|2014 COVINGTON BUCCS GIRLS TRACK TEAM...
Last season the Covington girls track team had a highly successful season with just 13 kids on the roster and with numbers increasing to 22 kids this season, the expectations are even higher in 2014.
And leading the way will be senior Jackie Siefring, who placed third at state in the 300 meter hurdles and is fresh off an indoor state championship in the long jump. She also returns strong after suffering a torn ACL last June that forced her to forgo her senior season in basketball.
"Jackie works hard at what she does," said Covington coach Dave Tobias. "She does a lot of off-season training on her own and has high expectations for herself."
Siefring looks to improve on the five school records she broke a year ago in the 100 meter dash (12.90), the 200 meter dash (26.29), the 100 meter hurdles (15.22), the 300 meter hurdles (44.72) and the long jump (17'3.00"). She also looks to break more records in 2014.
"Jackie's working to be a Pentathlete or a Heptathlete in college, so she'll trow some shot and discus and compete in some high jump this year," continued Tobias of Siefring. "She's going to get us a lot of points this year."
Also returning after placing at state a year ago is sophomore distance runner Carly Shell, who placed 6th at state in the 3200 and owns the school record in that event with a time of 11.25.50. Shell is also fresh off placing 24th at state in Cross Country.
"Carly will be running primarily the 3200, the mile and the 4x800," Tobias said. "We'll also throw her into some shorter relay events to give her some speed work."
Senior Hannah Retz also returns after anchoring the 4x800 relay team that won a league championship a year ago, along with teammates Juliann Yingst and Carly Shell. The lone runner who doesn't return from the 4x800 relay team is Tara Snipes, but that spot will be adequately filled by newcomers Heidi Cron, Cassidy Cain or freshman Anna Dunn.
"We'll have a strong 4x800 relay team," Tobias said. "Hannah (Retz) will need to overcome some leg issues and we'll have to find someone to pick up the slack from losing (Tara) Snipes, but we have some strong runners who we think will step right in."
Yingst and Retz will also help in mid-distance and distance events.
"Julianna had a strong freshman year last season and she ran well in cross country," said Tobias. "Anna Dunn placed high at state in cross country and she's only a freshman, so she'll only get better. She's been doing well in some 5k's."
Sophomore Maria Mohler returns to lead Covington in the pole vault as well as the throwing events, along with junior Megan Lange.
"Maria is our junior high record holder in the pole vault and Megan continues to improve in the throwing events," praised Tobias. "We're hoping for some big things from both of them this year."
Junior Sadie Canan returns to help in some relays events and sprint events for Covington.
"Sadie is the kind of athlete we can put in a lot of different events due to her speed," Tobias said. "She'll run the 100, 200, some sprint relays and the long jump."
Due to the overall talent and increased numbers to the roster, Tobias believes his team is capable of challenging once again for a Cross County Conference championship after finishing runner-up last year to Miami East.
"I'd think we'd be right there," he said. "We have a lot of really good kids back from last year and a very strong freshman class who will help us score points."