Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Balance Expected as Youngsters Move into Leadership Roles

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Balance Expected as Youngsters Move into Leadership Roles

Article excerpt

After a year of rebuilding, the track and field programs at St. Dominic High appear to be back on track.

"Last year, we relied on a lot of young, untested runners," boys coach Joe Haug said. "But this year, with a few more seniors in the program, we look a little more solid. I'm not saying we're going to dominate, but I do see this as a team that can be competitive."

Girls coach Dave Fitzler has similar feelings about his squad: "We return some good kids and they're really working hard. A lot of the younger girls also competed in cross country, so we're hoping they'll be ready to contribute." The strength of the St. Dominic program figures to be in the distance events; both the St. Dominic boys and girls reached state in cross country last fall. Seniors Ben and Chris Kuebler and junior J.J. Heller are back off a 4x800 relay team that placed sixth at state last spring. Chris Kuebler also qualified in the 800. Senior Alex Noel, who enjoyed a solid season in cross country, figures to be another solid distance threat. Seniors Jason Miller and Brian Schoehholz should provide some depth. Super-versatile Chris Buscher, a senior, will concentrate on the pole vault this season; he cleared 12 feet a year ago. He's also capable of helping out in the sprints, the throws and the jumps. Andy Knaust (high jump) and Chris Leffeler (hurdles, sprints) are two other key seniors. Top juniors on the squad include sprinters Eddie Pelikan, Josh Herbig, Erik Hahn and Chris Norton. Juniors Mike Mathews and Matt Bickel will be looked to in the shot put and discus. "We also have some sophomores and freshmen who've shown some potential," Haug said. "At the start of practice, I was concerned about our field events. We don't have much depth there, but we should be able to put at least one quality competitor in each event." Fitzler, the girls coach at St. Dominic, has been encouraged by the squad's early-season efforts. "We're really working hard in practice; that's always a good sign," the coach said. "And we have some talent. I think our 4x800 team should be good and we also have some talent in the discus." Seniors Nicki Warren and Mary Rattini give the Lady Crusaders a pair of solid distance runners. …

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