Girls Track & Field: Isabella Burholt's versatility to guide balanced Groveport Madison Cruisers

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Canal Winchester's Samantha Smith won the pole-vault title at the OCC-Capital meet in 2019 and will compete in sprinting events.

Groveport Madison girls track and field coach Zach Green said that because his team entered the season with an abundance of leadership and talent across the board, he expects that devising a lineup for some meets will be anything but routine.

“I can honestly say I have about 20 really promising girls," Green said. "It’s a perfect mix of seniority and young talent. My leaders have done a good job of helping guide these young girls and really take them under their wing and show them how things are done and our expectations.”

Senior Isabella Burholt entered the outdoor season with some momentum, having finished eighth in the triple jump (32 feet, 2 ½ inches) at the Division I indoor state meet March 6 at SPIRE Institute in Geneva. Her talent extends beyond jumps, according to Green, who also plans to use Burholt in sprints.

Burholt, who is the only senior in field events, was 19th at indoor state as a sophomore.

“She’s my Swiss Army Knife. She can do just about everything and be good at just about everything,” said Green, a former assistant and 2012 graduate of Groveport who succeeded five-year coach Aaron Fenzel after the 2019 season.

Green ran track at Capital in 2013 and 2014 and then returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach, concentrating on sprints and jumps.

Other jumpers will include sophomores Braylan James, Marissa Jones and sophomore Nijah Montgomery. They also will be in sprints along with senior Amara Towns and sophomore Anijah Bryant.

Sophomore Alexiz Golden will help pace the distance unit, which Green said is “shallow” in terms of depth.

“(Golden) has been busting it in practice and she looks very good,” Green said. “Right now, I’m trying to get the girls into the mindset that there are more races than the 100. They’ll have to run more than that to get better and to run in certain invitationals. We have a talented sprint group and there will be a lot of competition.”

INSIDE THE CRUISERS

•Coach: Zach Green, first season

•Next meet: April 10 at Pickerington North Stingel Invitational

•Key athletes: Anijah Bryant, Isabella Burholt, Alexiz Golden, Nijah Montgomery and Amara Towns

Talented seniors

to pace Indians

Two OCC-Capital Division champions from 2019 return for Canal Winchester in seniors Allena Klamorick (400 meters) and Samantha Smith (pole vault).

Klamorick, a Lipscomb recruit, also was a Division I district runner-up in the 800 and a three-time regional qualifier in cross country, a feat also accomplished by senior Bonnie Butler.

Smith also will be a sprinter for the Indians, who began the season with more than 70 athletes in the program.

“We’re fairly evenly distributed among events,” seventh-year coach Darren Avery said. “In the past maybe we’ve been one-sided, particularly heavy in one area or another, but we’re a balanced team this year. I’m excited about that.

"We’ve been a little more balanced now than the past couple years, and I think we’re in a position where we’re competitive in a majority of events. We’ll have some good athletes at each spot.”

Butler and Klamorick will pace the distance and middle-distance events and be joined by, among others, classmate Erin Duckworth and junior Kayla Fearing and sophomores Alyssa Condrac, Elise Hamilton, Marissa Klamorick and Alyssa Kolonchuk.

“Honestly, there isn’t much of a pecking order (among the distance runners),” Avery said. “Allena and Bonnie are there and then there’s a big group of girls who are about the same. When you have that depth as a coach, you’re definitely excited.”

Junior Lauren Snider will throw and participate in the pole vault, in which she finished third at the league meet two years ago.

More varsity contributors include juniors Shelby Baer (hurdles, sprints) and Maria Sims (hurdles, jumps, sprints).

INSIDE THE INDIANS

Coach: Darren Avery, seventh season

Next meet: April 10 at Fairfield Union Invitational and Stingel Invitational

Key athletes: Shelby Baer, Bonnie Butler, Allena Klamorick, Samantha Smith and Lauren Snider

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave