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Young Coventry boys track team off to winning start

4/18/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

COVENTRY — Coventry High School boys track head coach Danny Savage said his team goals for this season are to finish with a winning dual meet record and to finish in the top four at the Portage Trail Conference meet.

Through April 15, the team was off to a good start toward the goal of a winning dual meet record.

“We are 2-1 this season,” Savage said. “Our loss came to a powerhouse Northwest team (98-30) and our two wins were against Mogadore (68-60) and Lake Center Christian (103-24). The meet against Mogadore was an exciting one. We were down 59-46 with three events left and needed huge performances out of the remaining runners. Zack Lake and Jaret Skaggs finished one-two in the 200, bringing the score to 60-54 Mogadore. We then got a clean sweep in the 3200 by Will Morisak, Evan Davenport and Sam Neugebauer, putting us ahead 63-60. In order to win the meet, we had to then win the 4x400, which we did.”

According to Savage, the team is “definitely young” this year.

“We have a total of 45 athletes, only 11 of which have run track before,” he said. “Of those 45, only two are seniors as well.”

The team’s seniors are Kyle Forsythe and Mason Belles.

“This is Kyle’s first year running. In fact, he was over 225 pounds last year and has slimmed down and is now one of our best distance runners. He loves to run and is a great leader for this team,” the coach said. “Mason is in his third year running track and is definitely our leader. He calls himself the ‘team mom’ and is a valuable asset because of that. He’s one of our 2-milers and looks to get better every meet.”

Savage called Coventry’s junior class “pretty strong.”

“We have [two] pieces of our 4x200 and 4x400 [relay teams] from last year in Casey Prater and Kelan Siner,” he said. “Devin Westfall and Luke Bogdanovich are pure athletes who I can put in a number of events and they’ll score points in them. Tyler Davis is our best returning thrower and looks to be competitive in the discus.”

Another junior, Zach Smith, has been a welcome addition to the squad this season, Savage said.

“Zach is probably our biggest surprise,” the coach stated. “He is in his first year running track and is already one of our top contributors. He’s our best jumper and an integral part to our 4x200 and 4x400 relays. The best part about him is that he’s still learning all the nuances related to track and will just keep getting better.”

Savage said the Comets also have a number of “strong underclassmen” this year.

“In our wins against Mogadore and Lake Center Christian this year, they were the majority of the point-scorers,” he stated. “Zack Lake is a sophomore in his first year running track and looks to be our [most valuable player] this year. He is our top 200 and 400 guy and is the anchor of the 4x200 and 4x400. Jaret Skaggs is a freshman and is our second-best 200 runner, just barely behind Zack. His second place finishes in the 200 and 400 at Mogadore were the key to our 68-60 victory over the Wildcats. Sophomores Trevor Burkhart and Will Morisak are our top miler and 2-miler, respectively. Two of our top 800 runners are freshmen, as well, in Nick Jones and Connor Wess. It’ll be very exciting to see what these two classes can do in the future.”

Savage is in his second year as the Coventry boys track head coach after being an assistant coach the previous two years.

“This year, we’ve combined boys and girls programs so that we, as coaches, can better specialize in the events we know best,” he said. “I do the sprinters, relays and long jumpers. The girls’ head coach, Ed Egan, does the hurdlers and high jumpers. Chris Sherwood does the distance runners and Keith Shinn does the throwers.”

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