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New leaders stepping up for Green girls track squad

5/9/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — Green girls track head coach Maedene Pfouts said this year’s team features a good mix of young athletes and veterans, with new leaders stepping up to fill the void left by the loss of a really strong graduating class.

“Last year’s senior class was large, and we have a few holes in events as a result,” the coach said. “Last year’s seniors included Liz Vorhies, Kristen Bergmeyer, Marissa Papp, Evelyn Fonatella, Krista Roehlig, Megan Swaney, Amanda Pinhero, Samantha Lang and Morgan Kelly.”

According to Pfouts, the seniors on this year’s team include Morgan Estes, the 2012 state pole vault champion, along with: Erika Rector, mid-distance; Kathryn Pudoka, distance; Kelley Wallace, distance; Cailyn McLaughlin, shot put; Chinyere Nkwocha, sprints and long jump; and Alaina Schock, throws.

“This is a hard-working group that contributes each meet,” the coach said. “The pleasant surprise this year is Erika Rector. She ran sprints and began running the 800 this season. She has made tremendous strides towards breaking the school record.”

Pfouts said this year’s team has received key contributions from the junior class.

“Ashley Augustynovich has made great strides this season in the 3200. Her first performance of the season was 13:02, and she has cut her time to 12:39. She has made impressive progress,” the coach noted. “Emily Hooker has broken three records this school year in the 200 (25.4), 100 (12.4) and 400 (58.4). She has put time in during the offseason to prepare, and it sure has paid off. Taylor Elrod (pole vault, sprinter), Kiera Campbell (long jump, relays, high jump) and Brooke Barrickman (long jump, relays) have shown improvement and progress during this season.”

In addition, Pfouts said, the 2013 team features a number of “up-and-coming” young athletes.

“Sophomore Elizabeth Mogus is strong in the discus. [Freshman high jumper] Olga Branney has broken the record three times this year. This week, she jumped 5-foot-6,” the coach said. “And sophomore Alyssa Jenkins has jumped 9-foot-6 in pole vault. Her approach is coming together, and she will have to step up next year and be the leader in pole vault.”

Through May 6, Green had a 3-4 record in league play. The season has included a second-place finish in the North Canton Relays.

“Our goal this year is to send seven individuals to regionals,” Pfouts said. “We have strong individuals, but lack depth this year. This makes it difficult to compete in dual meets. We have stronger performances in larger meets. We need to improve in the long jump and hurdles. We have lost some valuable athletes in those areas and are in the rebuilding stage.”

Pfouts, who is in her rookie year as the team’s head coach, is assisted by: Dan Gourley (hurdles and pole vault), Jacob Saylor (long jump and distance) and Matthew Ohlson (shot and discus).

“I have spent the last 10 years as the girls pole vault coach,” Pfouts said. “This has been a huge learning curve for me this year. I have had tremendous help from my veteran coaches Gourley and Ohlson. I am looking forward to seeing how this season finishes. We have some strong athletes looking for a successful end of the season.

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