Seneca track teams have eyes on higher goals

Fourteen returning athletes, including 10 girls, competed for Seneca in at least one event at the 2013 Class A Track and Field State Final Meet.

Even in the wake of a season, in which the girls went undefeated in outdoor duals and won the Irish Invitational, the Interstate Eight Conference meet and their sectional, the returnees have coach Kim Sedlock hopeful that better results are ahead.

The early returns have been promising. Seneca’s girls won both of their indoor meets, with its boys winning one and finishing fourth in the other. Three athletes advanced to the Illinois Top Times meet: sophomore Willow Stuedemann was fourth in the girls 60 dash, senior Rylee Anderson was seventh in the girls high jump and Tommy Lovett was ninth in the boys 60 hurdles.

“Both teams have already shown great improvement from last year. They are much stronger and faster, and ready to compete,” Sedlock said. “We have great numbers with a lot of depth and experience, which will be the key to our relays.”

Goals for the Lady Irish are to place at state, to repeat as champion at the Irish Invitational, in conference and at the sectional and to break school records. Anderson, who qualified for state last season in the high jump and the 4x800 relay, and Stuedemann, who did so in the 100, the 200, the 400 and the 4x400, will be central in the pursuit of those goals, they should have plenty of help.

Lexi Wilkinson was an individual state qualifier in two events – the triple jump and the high hurdles – in 2013, and Caroline Collet was one in the 3,200. Shailee Bauer was part of qualifying teams in both the 4x200, where she was joined by fellow returnee Mickey Juricic, and the 4x400, where she was joined by fellow returnee Mackenzie Maierhofer. Also back are Lexi Bogren, Mali Seilheimer and Claudia Paulson, who all were part of last year’s state 4x800 team.

The boys’ goals are a bit more modest – to send multiple athletes to state, to finish in the top three at the Irish Invitational, conference and sectional meets and to win the sophomore conference title.

Lovett went to state in 2013 in both the high hurdles and the 4x200, with fellow returnees Lucas Ward and Trevin Seul joining him in the latter event. Ross McCormick is also back after going to state in the 3,200 last season.