With nearly 120 students participating in track and field this spring, the Windsor coaches and athletes begin this season with high expectations.
“I am really excited about the season,” boys head coach Jeff Stoffey said. “We have a great turnout this season with about 60 boys and roughly the same number of girls. We have a great mix of returners and newcomers with some speed.”
The Owls finished last season with a flourish–including state medalists in four events. Aiden Ciuffa took seventh in pole vault, Bradley Ahrens took seventh in the 1600, the boys 4×400 (Andy McCrory, Alex Julian, Bradley Ahrens, Logan Chaney) took fifth place and Sophia Dubis took third in high jump.
“We return four state medalists–Bradley Ahrens, Alex Julian, Logan Chaney, and Aiden Ciuffa,” said Stoffey. “I expect those boys, along with senior Ethan Petty, to lead the way for us. All of them have been tremendous for us over the past four years.”
Not only do the Owls have a solid senior core, but they also have several important underclassmen.
“Along with the returning seniors, we’ve got some fast younger sprinters such as Noah Harman, Alex Sullivan, AJ Patrick, Colin Carter and Claytin Blassingame. We’ve also added several newcomers such as Conner Begeman, Garrett Brandon, Nick Daughtery, Jordan Foster, Nolan and Brady Hirth, Brenton Shirk, Michael Batee, Drew Hagan and Michael Becker, among others. As the head football coach, Coach Jeff Funston has done a phenomenal job getting kids to come out for track,” Stoffey said.
On the girl’s side, they have high expectations as well. The senior girls are: Olivia Bunton, Alayna Green, Maggie Funston, Andrea Gonzalez Fernandez, Elise Lier, Jaelyn Sutton and Megan Terry. The girls also return key sprinters such as Maddy and Adrianna Mancuso.
“I’m really excited for everything this year because we have a much bigger team than usual,” girls head coach Stephany Dueker-Richmond said. “If I had to pick an event I’m truly excited about, it would probably be hurdles or javelin.”
While Dueker-Richmond enjoys coaching volleyball in the fall, track has a special place for her.
I’ve always loved running and anything dealing with physical fitness and helping kids get better at sports,” Dueker-Richmond said. “Track fits all of those things-getting faster, stronger, more agile, more flexible-that makes an athlete better at every sport and it’s something you can do long term whereas most other sports end at some point.”
The Owls begin their season tomorrow at Potosi.
Dueker-Richmond said, “I am super excited just to get the ball rolling this year.”