ShareThis Page
Out of the gates |

Out of the gates

Jamie Rankin
| Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:00 a.m

The Southmoreland boys track team is striving for yet another successful season in 2007, while the Lady Scotties are trying to overcome some injuries to stay in the thick of the Section 4-AA race.

“As always, we’re starting out with the goal of winning the section,” boys coach Bill Schrecengost said.

He said that the Scotties have taken the crown several times over the last decade, including last season, and they’ve also been successful on an individual basis.

“We’ve been fortunate enough the last few years to compete real well at the WPIAL level,” he said. “I’d like to see us do well there because we have some good individuals.”

Schrecengost said Southmoreland’s boys team will be led by 13 seniors.

“That’s always big for us, to have that core of leadership,” he said. “I emphasize that, actually.”

Among those seniors are the team’s three captains, all of whom Schrecengost said the team will count on for consistent points.

“Our three captains are Kevin Hagerman, who returns in the triple jump, javelin and sprints; Jimmy King, who runs the intermediate and high hurdles; and Ben Poorbaugh, who we’re counting on in the field events and discus,” Schrecengost said.

Schrecengost said seniors Bill Geyer and Michael Coleman should contribute, as well, and though one Scottie will be missed on and off the track, his younger brother could make his mark this season.

“If we had Chris Kiefer with us this year, we would definitely be challenging for a WPIAL championship,” Schrecengost said.

Chris Kiefer was killed in a car accident in November, but his brother, sophomore Kory Kiefer, will run for Southmoreland this season.

“Kory is going to be good for us in the sprints,” Schrecengost said.

In addition, freshmen Tyler Vivio and Justin Najewicz are already showing some talent.

Southmoreland girls track coach Chuck Brittain said the Lady Scotties also return some experienced athletes this season, but in a section as strong as theirs, “You never know from year to year how things are going to go.”

Brittain said several of Southmoreland’s girls have sustained injuries while competing in other sports, meaning that some newcomers will be expected to jump in and help out right away. But they won’t be without some veteran leadership.

“Stephanie Wiltrout has been with me since she was in seventh grade,” Brittain said. “She’s one of our captains, and she’ll lead the distance runners.”

Fellow senior Brianna Conty set a record in the sprints last year, and she returns to the team as well. Junior Jamie Henry will be a key member of the Lady Scotties’ relay teams, and WPIAL qualifier Rachel Mast, a senior, returns in the throwing events, as do Katie Lash and Stephanie Lindsay.

“(Junior) Brittani Eicher hopefully will improve in the hurdles. She did well as a freshman, but she was ill last year and got a slow start,” Brittain said. “(Senior) Vanessa Abel is out for us this year. She came out as a freshman and then sat out for two years. Hopefully, she’ll help us out this year, and we have some sophomores and freshmen who might help.”

Both coaches list Burrell, Greensburg Central Catholic and Mt. Pleasant among the top section opponents, but Brittain said it’s hard to say what will happen down the road.

“With our section, you don’t know until you get a chance to see some people,” he said.

Southmoreland will open the season on March 23 at Franklin Regional.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.