Boys Track & Field: Bexley Lions focusing on conditioning early in season

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Junior Evan Scott will compete in the throwing events for the Bexley boys track and field team, which will be host to the Russ Owen-Bexley Relays on April 16.

Ninth-year coach Shane Roberts is making up for lost time with the Bexley boys track and field team.

After the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of the spring sports season last year, Roberts is working to get his athletes in track shape as he looks for continued improvement heading into the Division II postseason.

“We have around 50 kids on the roster, which is about where we normally would be,” Roberts said. “But missing last year hurt because we’re doing a lot of conditioning. Some of the kids didn’t work out until they came back to us. We’re trying to keep everyone healthy while we’re working them back in shape.”

Spencer Stevenson returns with state meet experience, as the senior earned helped the 3,200-meter relay place fifth in 8 minutes, 3.07 seconds along with 2019 graduates Nicholas Hall and Grant Halliday and 2020 graduate Miles Feinknopf. He also runs the 400 and 800 and will be on the 1,600 relay.

Seniors Sam Adler (sprints), Maxwell Clous (throws) and Elliot Roe (distance) and juniors Owen Gunther (throws), Tucker Harpe (jumps) and Miller MacDonald (distance) also were contributors in 2019.

Adler, senior Matthew Levy and several newcomers including senior Grant Sheridan and sophomores Mason Louis and Jamel Thomas-Joyce are expected to lead the sprinters.

“We haven’t found anything that Mason Louis can’t do,” Roberts said. “He came to us as a hurdler, but he’s sprinted well and has done well in the 400. He’s just a good all-around athlete.”

Junior Nicholas Eddy has excelled in the 400 and 800, and junior Evan Scott competes in the throws. Senior Ryan Kemp is a sprinter who throws the shot, and freshman Brian Haynes is a distance runner who also competes in the throws.

Thomas-Joyce and Sheridan join Harpe in the long jump, and seniors Nathan Ma and Jude Nathan compete in the high jump. 

“Jamel Thomas-Joyce has gone 19 feet in long jump, so he’s a younger kid with a high ceiling,” Roberts said. “He’s a gym rat that’s always around and always wants to get better.

“Tucker Harpe is starting to figure out what jumping is all about. He understands arching his back and getting the leg kick (in the high jump). He’s starting to understand what he needs to do.”

INSIDE THE LIONS

•Coach: Shane Roberts, ninth season

•Next meet: April 16 at Russ Owen-Bexley Relays

•Key athletes: Sam Adler, Maxwell Clous, Owen Gunther, Tucker Harpe, Mason Louis, Miller MacDonald, Elliot Roe, Grant Sheridan and Spencer Stevenson

Cardinals learning as

season rolls along

When John Leskovich started coaching at St. Charles in 2017, he inherited a young team with plenty of potential.

As the Cardinals continued to progress, they were expecting to take another step forward in 2020 before the season was canceled.

Now Leskovich coach sees many similarities between this group and the one from his first season. 

“There are a lot of nines and 10s on the roster next to kids’ names in terms of their grade levels,” he said. “This team reminds me of four years ago when I came here, and everyone bought into the training, kept getting better and could have had a great season last year.

“We were looking at a shot at a (Division I) state title because with (2020 graduate) Kaleb Simpson in sprints, our relays and (senior) Owen (Karas) in the distance events, I could have seen us scoring 40 or 50 points at state, which often is good enough to win.”

Simpson is running at Eastern Michigan, where he was the MAC Freshman of the Year in indoor track and field.

Karas, a Yale commit, leads a group of seven seniors after finishing 18th at state in the 3,200 (10:19.06) as a sophomore. Last fall, he was 29th (16:08.9) in the Division I state cross country meet.

Other seniors include Colin Hayter (distance), Liam Quinlan (high jump, hurdles), Max Taylor (sprints, hurdles), Emanuel Tewolde (800, 1,600), Brady Westin (400, 1,600, long jump) and Isaiah Yarngo (sprints).

Junior Trenton Wells also contributed in the 400 as a freshman, junior Will Cromley can run anything from the 200 to distance and sophomore Derek Lyons will compete in sprints and the long jump.

Junior Paul Roginski will be in the high jump and long jump, while junior Luke Messerly will lead the throwers along with junior Sam Lawler and sophomore Michael Lieu.

“Derek Lyons was one of the top sprinters in the diocese in middle school, so we’re excited to see what he can do,” Leskovich said. “We should be really good in the sprints with Isaiah, Trenton, Max and Derek."

INSIDE THE CARDINALS

•Coach: John Leskovich, third season

•Next : April 16 at Russ Owen-Bexley Relays

•Key athletes: Colin Hayter, Owen Karas, Derek Lyons, Liam Quinlan, Max Taylor, Trenton Wells, Brady Westin and Isaiah Yarngo

shennen@thisweeknews.com

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