The Amboy-LaMoille girls track team has a strong nucleus with state-level success and experience, returning five athletes who qualified for state in six events, medaling in one.
It’s a group led by seniors Sidney Corcoran, Margaret Vaessen, Emma Lundquist and Ashley Althaus and junior Brooklyn Whelchel. They are just waiting for the opportunity to run as they wait out the coronavirus pandemic that has suspended all spring sports in the state.
“We have a great core group coming back anchored by four seniors. They will be our leaders through the season,” first-year A-L head coach Michael Robinson said. “We are short on numbers as you can see with only 11 girls, but we will turn some heads. If we can ever get on the track, that is.
“We are really itching to get out there and see what we can do. I just hope we get the chance. Our four seniors have worked really hard, and it would be a shame if they didn’t get the chance.”
Robinson served as an assistant under Bob Halberg, who resigned after a long run as head coach.
The Clippers ran down a fifth-place state medal in the 4x400 relay last year on the legs of Corcoran, Lundquist, Althaus and Whelchel, who also made state in the 4x100.
Lundquist and Althaus also qualified for state in the 300 low hurdles and 400, respectively.
The Clippers took an off-season hit with the loss of sophomore returning state finalist Kylee Brown (long jump ) of LaMoille to an ACL injury during basketball. She also qualified for state in the 4x2 with Corcoran, Whelchel and Lundquist.
Two freshmen from LaMoille, Bailey Crouch, who ran well in cross country, and Trinity Wheeler (field events), expect to be strong contributors. Sophomore Lauren Althaus (mid distance), Dulce Bejerano (mid distance) and Ki’ Yanna Moore (throws) and junior Fabienne Pavel (throws), round out the squad.
“We have some solid members and look for a lot of improvement all around,” Robinson said. “The delay is really hurting as we were really excited for the season, we have some big goals this year, but this delay isn’t helping us or anyone, for that matter.”
The Amboy-LaMoille-Ohio boys team sports just 10 athletes, but it brings back two athletes from the 2019 All-BCR Track & Field Team, sophomore Brock Loftus of Ohio and Austin Norman of Amboy, both state qualifiers a year ago.
Loftus qualified for state in the 3200 with a time of 10:54.19, the top time returning this year. Norman also advanced to state in the 110 HH (17.71).
Joining Loftus from Ohio are juniors Sean Fitzpatrick (sprints, shot) and Benjamin Henrikson (high jump).
Other squad members are juniors Calvin Deering (distance), Chandler Pohl (throws) and Darrin Youcam (high jump, sprints), sophomore Wyatt Lundquist (discus, distance) and freshmen Kyler McNinch (distance) and Kelton Schwamberger (long jump, sprints).
“With the limited amount of boys out this year, we will have to be creative with our relay and find out what works best for us,” A-L coach Jeremy Wittenauer said. “State qualifiers Brock Loftus and Austin Norman will bring us some experience along with a strong sprinter in Sean Fitzpatrick.”