Following his first season leading the Johnstown-Monroe High School boys and girls track and field teams, coach Jerry Tackett said he wants to make up for lost time.
Tackett was hired in February to replace Brad Orr, who led the program for two seasons. He expects his athletes to participate in offseason workouts and enter indoor competitions.
"I really love doing this -- that's why I do it," Tackett said. "The kids really worked hard and were really receptive to coaching. We had a very successful season this year, with 12 individuals going to regional.
"Next year we'll have more conditioning and participate in more indoor meets, but we'll have to recruit more boys. I already have talked to (football) coach (Mike) Carter about possibly steering kids our way because football and track complement each other."
The Johnnies did not have a boys or girls competitor reach the Division II state meet June 7 and 8 at Ohio State.
The top four in each regional event advanced to state, and the boys and girls teams did not score in the regional May 30 and June 1 at Lexington. Findlay Liberty-Benton (65) won the girls meet as 40 teams scored and Pemberville Eastwood (55) won the boys meet as 44 teams scored.
The Johnnies' chances for advancing to state were hampered when the bus arrived late at regional after heading south to New Lexington instead of north to Lexington. The girls 3,200-meter relay of freshman Grace Mast, junior Taylor Thomas, senior Jessica Turner and junior McCalah Mast did not arrive in time to compete, and senior Abby Smith fouled in her only regional attempt in the shot put.
Senior Kendall Colvin, who tied for fifth in the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches) in last year's girls state meet, did not clear her initial height at regional. She entered the competition with the bar set at 5-3.
Senior Marissa Sheets (400: 14th, 1 minute, 1.93 seconds), sophomore Elizabeth Blenk (300 hurdles: 14th, 50.98) and the girls 800 relay (11th, 1:49.7) of junior Tanner Jakeway, sophomore Kylie Workman, Blenk and Sheets competed May 30, but did not advance to regional finals June 1.
Junior Alex Workman did not clear his initial height of 13-6 on May 30 in the boys pole vault and freshman Josiah Annis did not compete in the event because of a leg injury.
On June 1, Blenk competed in the long jump and finished ninth (15-6).
In the 13-team district 1 meet May 21, 22 and 25 at Westerville South, the girls finished fifth (54) behind champion Granville (147.5) and the boys finished 12th (15) behind champion Independence (91).
On May 14 in the MBC meet, the girls scored 133.5 points to finish second behind Fredericktown (145) and ahead of host Loudonville (132), Northridge (106.5), Centerburg (55), Danville (44), East Knox (25) and Utica (9).
The boys were eighth (15) in the league meet behind Fredericktown (130), Utica (124.5), Centerburg (108), Loudonville (92.5), East Knox (76), Northridge (62.5) and Danville (46.5).
The boys team had one senior in Josh Mize and the girls had five in Colvin, Sheets, Smith, Taylor Tackett and Turner.
"This was the first year Josh ever ran track and he did a great job for us," coach Tackett said. "He did everything we asked of him and was one of the most polite kids I have worked with.
"(The senior girls) were five of our best athletes we had and they were all athletes we depended on in every meet. They were the leaders of both the girls team and the boys team. They will be a big loss for us."
Key competitors expected to return for the girls are junior Allie Nicholson, sophomores Lisett Arcos, Kendall Burcher, Madison Blair, Miranda Martin, Olivia McGee, Ebony Schirock, Cassie Thomas and Haley Vaughan and freshmen Hannah Kinney, Becka Kozel, Abi LaRoche, Alaina Morrison, Noel Offenburger, Lauren Thomas, Kayla Thompson and Ellie Whisler.
Also expected to return for the boys team are sophomores Aaron Davis, Tommy McCullough, Kaleb Matoskia, Paul Michel, Bryce Sinningson and Sam Wirth and freshmen David Corbi, Peter Holbrook, Trevor Kennedy, Jared Tucker, Kaleb Walker and Jared Williams.
Johnnies looking for three coaches
Johnstown is looking to fill coaching positions for baseball and wrestling as well as a j.v. coach for girls volleyball.
Athletics director Nick McIlwain said coach Jared Writesel left the wrestling program after two seasons to pursue other interests.
"He put a lot of hours and hard work into the wrestling program and we can't thank him enough for what he has done for the program," McIlwain said.
Applicants should send a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, June 12.