With their final Suburban League meet squarely in their sights, the Green Bulldogs are seeking a surprising finish to the girls track and field season.

With their final Suburban League meet squarely in their sights, the Green Bulldogs are seeking a surprising finish to the girls track and field season.

With two losses in league competition, the possibility of a top finish is still in play should Green perform well at the league’s championship meet. Head coach Maedene Pfouts noted that despite a loss to Nordonia that “wasn’t a pretty meet” and a loss to Wadsworth that the team felt it could have won, there is a positive mindset for the league meet.

“We could have a surprise finish for the Suburban League meet, that’s what we’re expecting,” Pfouts said.

In order to achieve their desired results, the Bulldogs are hanging their hopes largely on an area of the team that has quickly become their trademark thanks to a steady stream of All-Ohio performers and future Division I college standouts.

Pole vault has been an area of dominance for Green in recent years, including multiple state championships turned in by the likes of Carrie Kayes, Kelsie Abhe and Morgan Estes. The next generation of Green pole vaulters includes senior Alissa Jenkins and sophomore Macee Erickson, both of whom have increased their jumps this season. While neither is at the impressive heights at which Estes flew in winning two state titles, Pfouts likes what she sees from both.

“We have Macee Erickson who jumped 12 (feet) last Friday and she’s a sophomore and she came from being a freshman and not turning to now, she’s really improved,” Pfouts said. “Alissa Jenkins is the other one and she’s jumped 11-6 this year, so we have two in the mix.”

Distance events are another point of strength, with junior Alyssa Thomas leading the way. Thomas, who runs the anchor leg of the 3,200 relay and also excels in the 1,600 and 3,200 as an individual, had a strong cross country season last fall and has carried that success over to the track this spring. In assessing Thomas’ efforts at the front of the Bulldogs’ distance running group, Pfouts is succinct in her evaluation.

“Alyssa Thomas, she’s a beast,” the veteran coach said with a smile

With Thomas as a part of the 3,200 relay team, Pfouts believes that group is one of several with a chance to advance to the regional meet at Austintown Fitch. Getting there will mean advancing through a district meet rife with Federal League teams Green will join next season, giving them a chance to measure themselves against future league rivals in an intense setting.

The team’s goal is getting as many athletes as possible to regionals and the coaching staff has tried to prepare a team comprised primarily of underclassmen for the postseason by using the various invitational meets at which the Bulldogs have competed as a training ground.

“What at do with those athletes, for a lot of the young girls, is when we do invitationals, we try to fit some of those top athletes in so that they’re able to score some points (and) see what it’s like in those big meets and get a feel for it,” Pfouts said.

The biggest meets of the season are still ahead, giving Green a chance to author a solid conclusion to both the current campaign and the program’s long run in the Suburban League. In their last moments in the league, they would like nothing more than to exit on top.

Reach Andy at 330-580-8936 or andy.harris@thesuburbanite.com.
On Twitter: @aharrisBURB