Six letter-winners return for Cougar track & field

These seniors and returning letter-winners will anchor the Centre track team this season: front row (from left) Barrett Smith, Kate Basore, James Mercer, Max Svoboda; (back row) Summer Espinoza; Whitney Gutsch, Carissa Shields. Not pictured: Amanda Salamone.Six returning letter-winners will provide the foundation for the Centre track and field team this season for seventh-year coach Alan Stahlecker.

The Cougar girls return four letter-winners, including Wheat State League shot put champion Whitney Gutsch, a senior who will also throw the discus; WSL shot put runner-up Summer Espinoza, junior; junior Amanda Salamone, high jump/long jump; and sophomore Kate Basore, javelin, shot put, discus.

None of Centre?s five state qualifiers return this season. Newcomer Grace Knepp, freshman, has joined the team and will run the 200 and 400.

For the boys, returning letter-winners include senior Barrett Smith, javelin, and sophomore Max Svoboda, 100, 200, 4×100.

The Cougars will compete without graduated senior Connor Montgomery, a three-time state qualifier in the 4×100 relay.

Newcomers for the boys? team include sophomore Zach Barney, triple jump/ 4×100, and freshman Xavier Espinoza, 100, 400, 4×100, long jump.

?With only eight girls and 10 boys, our depth is not real strong to be competitive in team scoring,? Stahlecker said. ?With 11 of our 18 athletes being throwers, we will not be able to fill most running and jumping events. I do expect a lot of competitiveness in individual events.?

The Cougars were scheduled to open the season at a CKTL Quint hosted by Marion April 5. Centre will return to Marion for an invitational meet April 8 Events are set to begin at 3:30 p.m.

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