PLYMOUTH — When the weather breaks around Plymouth sightings of packs of young people running around become common.
Happy that Mother Nature has allowed them to be out of the gym, or off the treadmill, Plymouth’s track athletes are out in force ready — finally — for a season.
“I think they are excited seeing fall and winter make it through,” said Plymouth girls track coach Rick Stiles. “We are very positive that this is going to happen we are just excited to get going.”
The girls started with optional workouts in January and officially began practice on Feb. 22.
“A lot of our girls participated in swimming over the winter and they came in in very good shape,” said Stiles.
“In inclimate weather, we started doing some indoor sessions,” said Stiles. “We’ve gotten some good workouts in when we’ve gotten outside. We were starting to get into it but here we are at spring break.”
The week off in the middle of preparing for the season can have its downside.
“We’re offering up some optional sessions for the athletes that are here to come in and get some work in,” said Stiles. “We are also offering some workouts for those who are leaving town to take advantage of that re-charge opportunity.”
“A lot of the girls have said that they are going to get some work in during the break,” he said. “We are hoping that they jump on top of that because they’ve put a lot of work in. When they get back you can tell the athletes who’ve put the work in and the ones who may have taken a little break.”
“As long as the Academies relays remain on target we will have about two weeks once we get back to get everybody ready to go.”
The competition season was made a little shorter for some teams that traditionally participated in indoor meets as part of the Hoosier State Relays — canceled for this season — but there have been some opportunities to compete.
“Warsaw has an indoor facility and they had a few meets,” said Stiles. “Some running events one day and field events the next and we took a couple of our throwers over there. Sidney Rice and Lexi Rose both hit (personal records). I think that Sidney PR’d by over three feet. We are looking for them to score some points for us. We are excited about our throwing program.”
The program has had its share of successful throwers especially recently.
“It’s been a legacy,” said Stiles. “Sandy Orsund and Nicole Horvath are up on our record board. Nicole (Horvath) went to state for two straight years. CeeCee (Robinson) went down and Sidney is kind of the next in line.”
A third athlete makes the field deeper.
“We have a newcomer, Leah Tanner has been throwing really well,” said Stiles. “We have three girls right there and there will be nights I hope they can bring us all three places but I think they are going to have a big influence (points-wise) in how our meets go.”
In the running events, Stiles has plenty of good athletes to choose from.
“We have a plethora of girls coming back and we have some newcomers, but some of those newcomers are people that we were excited about a year ago,” said Stiles. “Morgan Reed is one of our top 400 runners. Claudia Marohn can do some short relays and sprints but she’s also a two-time state qualifier in the high jump so we’re looking for her to be super successful this year.”
“Rachael Kaylor does sprints also hurdles and will be our pole vaulter,” said Stiles. “Aumrie Weiss will be excellent in the relays and she’ll be our top hurdler this year.
“Summer South will be a sprinter and long jumper,” he said. “We’ll have to see how much Sarah Hunter is able to do, she was a sectional high jumper but she’s been having a little soreness here so far, but she’s excited to see what she can do.”
“Amber Schrameyer could run anything for us from the 200 to the 800,” said Stiles. “She’s going to be a big surprise for people in the sprints.”
Stiles is also anxious to see some newcomers for the first time after a season lost to COVID.
“Jadyn Barron started off our indoor season being our top sprinter and Amaya Ameling they were both amazing sprinters in junior high,” he said. “One of our newcomers — Sophie Wray — was all-conference in cross country as with our distance girls so far she’s been leading the way. She’s so hungry she just pushes envelope along with our returning distance girls and it’s just fun to watch them practice.”
“I feel like we have a lot of depth this year which will make us balanced,” said Stiles. “Our conference is ultra-competitive, but I feel we can compete. If we do that and if we keep working hard I think that we can be at that middle tier or higher and see if we can surprise some people at that conference meet.”