By Chris Chaney
In track and field, more than any other spring sport, week-to-week improvement is more important than the outcomes of any given meet. Teams are working towards peaking at the end of the season at league meets, district, regional and ultimately, the state meet. Bethel-Tate’s track and field teams subscribe to that philosophy.
“We’re a team that’s been improving every week and competing with the top schools,” Pam Taylor, Bethel’s girls’ head coach said. “We’re hoping for the kids to show individual improvement week, by week, by week.”
In the Southern Buckeye Conference’s American Division, which is so often dominated by powerhouse teams like New Richmond and Western Brown, the Tigers are proving to be more than a thorn in the sides of the traditional powers and are often taking coveted points away from them.
Leading the point scavenging for the Lady Tigers is returning First Team All-Conference selection Dakota Sicurella. Sicurella, a hurdling and long jumping specialist, is routinely around the top of the 100-meter hurdle standings, running a season-best 17.17 to win the Norwood Invitational event.
“(Sicurella) has gone to the districts each of the last two years in hurdles,” Taylor said. “We’re hoping that she continues to improve going into the (end-of-the-year) tournaments. Right now, she’s jumped a 15-06 (in the long jump), which is about what she was jumping at the end of the year last year, so hopefully she will progress with that. And with her 100 hurdles, hopefully she can get into the 16s.”
Taylor also pointed to Christine Meyers and Angela Schuler as a pair of upperclassmen who, along with Sicurella, are leading the Lady Tigers in the week-to-week improvement.
In other field events, Taylor said their best thrower, Maddie Imhoff, is recovering from some arm soreness, again looking towards the end of the season as the time when she will be at her best.
Taylor said overall, the average age of her team is on the younger side with some cross country crossovers holding down the distance portion, including Morgan Reinhart and Haley Taylor.
For the boys’ team, the long jump is also a big points earner with seniors Jake Robinson and Evan Iding both coming out on top at various meets throughout the season.
Robinson has won at Norwood and New Richmond with a season-best 20-06.50. Iding joined his classmate with his win at the Georgetown – Vern Hawkins Invitational.
The boys’ relay teams have also procured some points for the Tigers, most notably the 4×200, 4×400 and 4×800 teams.
Not much for sprinters, the Bethel-Tate distance squad is solid as well. Headed up Zane Copestick, Logan Smith, Austin Hile, Derek Dotson and Justin Royer, the distance team routinely competes for placing spots in each meet they enter.
Still with a couple of meets left on the regular season schedule, which include the Batavia and Goshen Invitationals this week, the Bethel-Tate teams will have ample time to rest before the Tuesday, May 13 Southern Buckeye Conference Meet at Blanchester. The district meet, held at New Richmond, will be the following week.
For full meet results, log onto baumspage.com/track.