Niagara Gazette — The Starpoint girls track and field team, slated to open its season against Iroquois Tuesday at home, looks a lot like the team it fielded last year.
For the two-time defending ECIC III champion Spartans, that’s a good thing.
Despite sporting a very similar team, the Spartans will be without head coach Karly Allman, who is on leave from the school. Jackie Kirsch was hired as her replacement.
“Jackie brings some experience – she ran at Buffalo State,” boys coach Brian Lasher said. “She has experience and should help with the jumps and sprints and handling the girls administratively.”
Among the team’s returning athletes include juniors Kayleigh Shifferle, Olivia Chase and Julia Schreir.
Shifferle finished fifth and sixth in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, respectively, at sectionals last year. Chase will lead the way for the team’s distance runners and was all-state in cross country in the fall. Schreir finished fifth in the pole vault at sectionals as a sophomore.
Senior hurdler Abbi Boyce will also be a key contributor on the track for the Spartans. She was a sectional qualifier in the 110- and 400-meter hurdles last year. Versatile junior Brianna Jauch will throw discuss and take on the triple jump.
“She’s very strong, be it field or track,” Lasher said of Jauch.
Freshman Sophia Tasselmyer broke out on cross country this year and was one of the state’s top runners. She will compete in distance events, which will be bolstered by freshman Arianna Saraf and junior Kelsey Jaymes.
“We have a lot of great athletes and it should be a good season for the girls,” Lasher said.
The boys team finished 4-1 in a tough division last year and will field a near-identical team composed of many seniors.
Seniors Tom Moran and Justyn Thompson will man the pole vault for the Spartans. Moran qualified for states by winning sectionals last year. He and Thompson serve as a formidable tandem.