The Pilot News

Young talent gives Lady Pilgrims confidence for coming year

- By Rusty Nixon Sports Editor

PLYMOUTH — Plymouth girl’s track coach Rick Stiles is a very happy man these days.

A year ago he welcomed in a very strong group of freshman track and field athletes from Lincoln and this season he will do the same with a very good freshman class.

He also has his share of returning performers to give the Lady Pilgrims a lot of confidence for the upcoming season.

“Sophie Wray, whether she runs the 800, one mile or two mile she set the cross country record this fall,” said Stiles. “Last year she was on the verge of a great time to qualify for the 800 and the mile at the state. She was a regional qualifier. She is a topshelf distance runner.”

“Sonya Joseph qualified for the regionals in the 400m hurdles as a freshman. The sky is the limit for her.”

“We lost some key performers, Sydney Rice in the throwing events, and Aumrie Weiss who almost qualified for the state in the 300 hurdles.”

This year’s freshman class has plenty of reasons to add to that confidence.

“Alana Allen just got out she was at a basketball showcase and she’s in practice now,” said Stiles. “She was fourth place last year (jr. high) in the 200 at the state and set the record for the 200 twice at Lincoln last year. “

“Jersey Hunter is a great high jumper and she had a stellar season for the gymnastics team.”

“We have a lot of distance kids from Coach (Curtis) Nordmann’s cross country team that gives us a lot of depth in the distance. The talent level we have from those girls it’s exciting to have them on the team.”

A first-time performer could make a difference.

“We are looking for Tessa Hutchinson to come out and be a thrower for us,” said Stiles. “She has been stellar with the gymnastics team but we are hoping that an athlete of her caliber will come out and throw for us.”

Plymouth has been using Saturdays early on to take part in some indoor warm-up meets and get an idea of how a lineup will shake out.

“It’s a great opportunit­y for us to see where the girls are at,” said Stiles. “It’s good competitio­n and it is really different indoors, but what we are looking for is to get some nice times.”

“We’ve been outside probably seven or eight times and that’s not normal,” he said of the unusually cooperativ­e weather. ‘We are super excited about the opportunit­y to be outside. We’ve had a couple of days where there wasn’t a lot of wind either and that makes it almost like meet weather. Those have been great workouts.”

“Practicing indoors you have to be creative with the workouts.

If you ask our girls they prefer to go outside.”

Depth and talent have Plymouth thinking about a nice season.

“I hope we can finish top in the top two or three in the conference,” said Stiles. “It just depends on how well we develop our talent this year. Are our freshmen ready to go, do we have throwers to step up from the ones we lost?”

“Our biggest sectional rival is Culver Girls Academy and they are extremely well coached and have some girls back this year.”

“We hope that we can be ready to take it to them a little bit this year but it’s highly likely it’s either us or them that will win the sectional.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States