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Coventry girls track team ‘a pleasant surprise’

5/16/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

COVENTRY — Head coach Ed Egan called this year’s Coventry High School girls track team a “young veteran group.”

“[We have] three seniors, four juniors, 16 sophomores and two freshmen,” he said. “So it seems that we are a young team, but all those sophomores were on the team last year and act like veterans.”

The seniors on this year’s team are: Shyril Stafford, high jump and relays; Katlyn Kaltwasser, distance; and Amanda Meridith, mid distance.

“Stafford is our scorer. She can high jump, long jump, hurdle, run and stride. She can score in any event — it’s just too bad she can only do four events,” the coach said. “Kaltwasser is our worker. She works very hard. She comes to the weight room, works hard and goes out and runs — no questions asked, just runs. She has improved in every meet, and we are very pleased with her and her work ethic. Meridith wants to try everything and compete. She is our 800 runner who throws shot and disc for fun and asks if she can be in every event.”

The junior class includes Julia McGonigal (throws and distance) and Faith Hirschfelt, along with exchange students Mai Xuan (distance) and Zhang Ziman (distance).

According to Egan, Coventry is a team “of potential … lots of potential.”

“We are averaging 20 [personal records] a meet,” he said. “Our girls improve every time we compete. Hurdlers Tori Matson (freshman) and Sara Holderbaum (sophomore) could be really good, as could Amanda Wightman (sophomore) in the sprints and long jump, Kayla Jackson (sophomore) in the throws, Morgan Byers (sophomore) in the high jump, Megan Fuller (freshman) and Brooke Oldaker (sophomore) in the 400, and Makala Boggs (freshman) and Karli Morisak (freshman) in the sprints/relays. There is so much potential and they are so close.”

“Jumps and throws” are the strengths of this year’s team, Egan said.

“Our sprints are our weakness, and we need to get more speed and some depth in our sprint events,” he said.

Through May 12, the team’s overall record was 2-8, but Egan said the record isn’t necessarily indicative of his team’s season. The coach called his entire team “a pleasant surprise.”

“Our top scorers are Stafford in the high jump and relays; Kaltwasser in the 3200; Amanda Wightman in the long jump; Kayla Jackson in the throws; our 4x100 relay team of Wightman, Sarah Holderbaum, Makala Boggs and Tori Matson; and our 4x200 relay team of Stafford, Holderbaum, Boggs and Matson,” he said.

Egan was the head boys track coach for six years, but he took a few years off from coaching the sport.

“I feel so blessed to have them as a coach,” he said. “It’s my first year back in four years, and they are showing me the reason why I love track and coaching.”

In addition, Egan said he is pleased to be working with a quality coaching staff.

“Danny Savage is our head boys coach and works with our sprints and long jumps,” Egan said. “Keith Shinn is our throws coach, Chris Sherwood is our distance coach, and I work with the hurdler and high jumpers.”

Next up for the team is the Portage Trail Conference tournament, which took place this week at Woodridge High School, with the finals set for today, May 17.

“Our goal is to compete. Our goal is to improve every day, and if everyone hits their [personal records], we can compete,” the coach said. “We just need to put it all together.”

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