Bulldog track boasts larger squads
- Published: April 4, 2019
By Coach John Gudgel
Both the boys and girls track squads this spring boast the largest number of participants in several years — the boys squad has 21 athletes while the girls boast a robust squad of 17 participants. The girls team returns sophomores Haneefah Jones and Annlyn Foster, who both qualified for the regionals last year. In addition, one-time regional qualifier senior Jude Meekin returns for a final year, along with previous senior letter winners Kelli Baxter and Kayla Brown. Other returning letter winners are Lydia Fleetham, Ivy Tebbe and Ateerys Wagner. A bevy of newcomers are competing at the varsity level for the first time: Malaya Booth, Devyn Deal, Natalie Galarza, Sophia Lawson, Chanel Phillips, Talia Potter, Ani Reeder, Avery Reeder and Marin Wirrig.
On the boys side, seniors Zach Lugo, Raven Campbell and Harper Mesure bring a wealth of experience and are complimented by letter winners Finn Bledsoe, Ibrahim Chappelle, Phillip Diamond, Liam Hackett, Jay Millman, Gideon Naziri and Griffin Roberts. In similar fashion to the girls team, there is a large contingent of first-time athletes: Sam Anderson, Craig Arrington, Matt Duncan, Joaquin Espinosa, Teymour Fultz, Yanne Gilley, Vaughn Hendrickson, Jonah Kintner, Jason Lansing, Calum Siler and Dezmond Wilson.
With such large numbers, the Bulldogs will be able to field full teams and provide depth in a variety of events, which in previous years has been problematic. Coaching the Bulldogs this year are John Gudgel, Isabelle Dierauer and Peter Dierauer. Former Bulldogs and YSHS alumni Devin Lewis, Ayanna Madison and Julie Roberts have also provided assistance.
Bulldogs compete at Shawnee
During last week’s spring break, the Bulldogs competed Wednesday, March 27, in a five-team meet at Springfield Shawnee against Dayton Carroll, Dayton Ponitz, Greeneview and Shawnee. Underclassmen Annlyn Foster and Sophia Lawson led the Bulldogs, with each garnering two first-place finishes. Foster ran to a first-place finish in the 100 hurdles (17.35) while Lawson leaped to a first-place finish in the pole vault (7´6˝). Both girls were part of the first-place 400-meter relay (55.01) team that included Malaya Booth and Haneefah Jones. Foster also ran to a third-place finish in the 300 hurdles along with being part of the fourth-place 1,600-meter relay team that included Jones, Natalie Galarza and Avery Reeder.
The 800-meter relay team of Jude Meekin, Reeder, Talia Potter and Galarza finished in second place, while ninth-grader Reeder finished third in the 1,600 meters. Fellow ninth-grader Booth sprinted to a fourth place in the 100 and fifth in the 200, and Galarza earned a fifth place in the 1,600 meters.
Great first performances were turned in by Kelli Baxter, Kayla Brown, Devyn Deal, Aaliyah Longshaw, Chanel Phillips and Ateerys Wagner. The girls eventually finished in fourth place after initially leading the meet after the first seven events.
On the boys side, with only 10 members competing out of a full squad of 21 due to spring break, Jay Millman admirably led the boys with a third-place finish in the 3,200 meters. Other significant performances were turned in by Sam Anderson, Phillip Diamond, Matt Duncan, Yanne Gilley, Liam Hackett, Vaughn Hendrickson, Jonah Kintner, Griffin Roberts and Calum Siler.
The Bulldogs are back in action April 4 with a return trip to Springfield Shawnee for the Seitz Invitational.