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The Suburbanite
  • Coventry track teams have youth, depth on their side

  • The rebuilding process continues for Coventry track and field entering the 2013 season.

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  • The rebuilding process continues for Coventry track and field entering the 2013 season.
    For both the boys and girls squads, the year will be a test of their ability to move forward after a tough 2012.
    BACK AT THE HELM
    The girls team may have a feeling of deja- vu as coach Ed Egan, formerly the coach of the school’s varsity boys squad, is again taking over a team with great potential.
    “We have depth,” Egan said. “Lots of girls came out this season and we’re hoping to find some speed, some hurdlers, some jumps, some throws and some relay teams out of this group.”
    A six-pack of seniors will lead the way on the track as Katelyn Kaltwasser (distance), Amanda Meredith (multiple events), Emma Freshwater (throws), Talia Magestro (throws) Erica Oeltjen (sprints and hurdles) and Shiryl Stafford (hurdles and jumps) all have the potential to score points consistently.
    The team will also have an international flavor as foreign exchange students Xuan Mai and Ziman Zhang look to contribute.
    A total of 17 sophomores have come out for the team, providing the majority of the depth Egan is counting on to help his team be competitive in the tough Portage Trail Conference Metro Division. With five freshmen also in the mix, competition should be tough within the squad to fill out events and get a chance to line up and run, throw or jump at meets.
    Egan likes what he has seen from the group so far.
    “I’m glad to be back. It’s been a few years and this group is making it great,” Egan said. “They are working super-hard and we’re hoping for this excitement and work ethic to show in our meets and prepare us to compete in the league.”
    With so many newcomers on the team, the overall goal is consistent improvement and being competitive every time out. It’s a philosophy the varsity boys squad shares entering its second year under head coach Danny Savage.
    BOYS LOOK TO IMPROVE
    Savage took over last season after two years as an assistant coach and had the tall task of helping the Comets make the jump to Division I.
    In dual meets, Coventry’s boys were 4-8 last season, a mark that was a substantial improvement for the Comets over years past. However, the move up one division placed them in the highly competitive North Canton district and against a deep and talented field, none of Coventry’s competitors made it past the district meet.
    That included the PTC Metro champion and school record-setting 4x400 relay team anchored by juniors Casey Prater and Kelan Siner. With a mark of 3:31.43, the relay team should again be an anchor for the team, along with the 4x200 relay team - also anchored by Prater and Siner - and its school-record time of 1:33.59.
    Page 2 of 2 - Junior discus thrower Tyler Davis improved significantly throughout last season and will look to build on his best throw of 106’3” in 2013. Newcomers Kyle Forsythe (senior, distance events), Zack Lake (sophomore, sprints) and Will Morisak (sophomore, distance) and Jaret Skaggs (freshman, sprints) are among the promising newcomers to the team.
    “Our biggest weaknesses will be in the jumps and hurdles,” Savage said. “We lost the PTC runner-up in high jump and PTC third-place finisher in long jump to graduation and we also lost the PTC 300-meter hurdle runner-up to graduation.”
    COMBINED SUCCESS
    Even with the losses, the second-year coach is looking for a better overall record and believes that a decision to combine the coaching staffs for the boys and girls teams will benefit all of the athletes by allowing coaches to work more in their areas of expertise.
    “I’m very excited for this upcoming season,” Savage said. “ … We are combining coaching the girls’ and boys’ programs so that we, as coaches, can specialize more in our areas of expertise. I think this will have a good affect on our results. The kids are also very excited. They saw the improvement we showed last year and want to build on that this year as well.”
    Both squads will compete in the new Summit County Invitational. With strong programs from both the City Series, PTC and Suburban League, the meet promises to have plenty of depth. It should also prepare the Comets well for their goals of having a winning dual meet record and finishing in the top four at the PTC meet.