Most of all, the Princeton track teams just want to compete. For now, they and all the other teams around the state and country, remain idle waiting out the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.
“We are taking the stoppage in stride. It is really out of our hands, and we will adjust to anything that happens moving forward,” PHS boys coach Dan Foes said. “Our kids do a great job of staying active on their own, so I am confident they will continue to do so in the midst of the stoppage.”
“If we’re able to get the season in, it will be interesting to see how things work out if there is a lot of rescheduling. We’ll definitely be taking it one meet at a time. I’ve enjoyed working with this group so far,” said Pat Hodge, who marks his 26th year as PHS girls coach.
The Tigers bring back top talent, including six four-year seniors and a junior who continues to soar, with some exciting new talent in the mix this year.
Junior Conner Workman was a state qualifier in the triple jump and long jump, crowned as the Three Rivers Conference champion in both jumps. He is the school record holder in the triple jump at 44-7.
The senior class is eight strong, led by four-year members Nathan Allen and Christian Kinnamon (hurdles and sprints), Branden Haring (weights), and Reece Bohms, Luke Peacock and Eli Crouch (distance).
Foes was anticipating some big things from his weights crew this year with the return of juniors Grant Foes and Caleb Haring and sophomores Pierce Miller and Drew Harp.
Junior Alex May and sophomores Keegan Fogarty, Logan Glancy, Ethan Thompson and Harp are the top returning sprinters. Sophomores Mack Williams and Jake May are valuable distance runners.
Foes was excited with the addition of senior Wyatt Davis and juniors Cael Davis, Tyler Gibson and Ronde Worrels, all who had a highly successful football seasons, three of whom also played basketball, and were going to give track a go. The Tigers also gained junior newcomer Nolan Scott.
“They all look to be great complements to our team,” Foes said. “We are also excited about our incoming freshmen class to see how they develop over time for us.”
Rounding out the squad are seniors Luke Peacock and Kolbe Reynolds, sophomores Gabe Jackson, Brevyn Michael, Graeham Rumley and Dominic Schillaci, and freshmen Bradyn Briddick, Teegan Davis, Brent Farrell, Gabe Glass, Conner Hickey, Brennon Mills, Chris Ossola, Ethan Wallace and Chris Yepsen.
The Tigers have been in the running for the conference title for several years, finally breaking through with the championship last year on their home track. They had their sights set on a Three Rivers repeat.
“We are excited to defend that title, and we believe we will compete for it again,” Foes said. “Obviously it is always a tough task in the Three Rivers Conference. Every year all teams bring their events to the table. Morrison, Sterling Neman and Erie-Prophetstown are also always in the running, and they all return some great athletes.”
The Tigresses once again have a diversified group with as many as seven girls pulling double duty in multiple sports.
In addition to running track, sophomores Graycee Funderberg (sprints/hurdles/TJ), McKenzie Hecht (sprints/long jump) and Hannah Muehlschlegel (sprints) and freshmen Isa Ibarra (sprints/hurdles) and Emma Kruse-Carter (weights) will also be playing softball, while sophomore Maya Gartin (middle distance) and freshman Mariah Hobson (sprints/jumps) will also run with the soccer team.
“We’ve got a nice nucleus coming back and a good freshman class, although many are doing two sports. When we have everybody, we’ll be a pretty competitive team in just about every event,” Hodge said.
“We’ve got a lot of new faces, which makes it very interesting to see where everyone fits in. We’re much deeper in the distance events this year, so we should be pretty consistent there.”
Senior Elizabeth Orwig, who was sixth in the 3200, and sophomore Jenna Loftus, second in the 3200 and second in the 1600, come off successful seasons from 2019 competing in the Three Rivers Conference.
Other returning athletes are juniors Isabelle Gerber (mid distance), Addilyn Glass (sprints/mid distance/TJ), Audri Jennings (sprints, mid distance), Anya Kauffman (jumps), Zoe Starkey (jumps/sprints), Ashten Wilson (mid distance/jumps) and Carli Wright (weights), and sophomores Hope Crouch (sprints/mid distance) and Madison Richards (weights).
Rounding out the squad are juniors Jillian Cihocki (weights), Lauren Frost (distance) and Maddison Gentry (jumps), sophomore Rachelle Newberry (weights) and freshmen Lex Bohms (distance/hurdles), Kiana Brokaw (mid distance), Emma Frost (weights/pole vault), Claire Grey (distance), Katalina Jackson (sprints/jumps), Allie Leone (sprints/LJ) and Gen Tirao (sprints/HJ).
Senior Maddie Devert is team manager.