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Thinner PC squad still PLAC favorite

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By Larry Goffinet

LEOPOLD—Perry Central has it fewest girls track athletes in five years but still has enough quality depth to be favored to win the PLAC title for the 15th year in a row.

There are 18 girls on the roster—eight fewer than the last two years. But they can still put two people in each individual event, which is all that is allowed in conference and sectional meets.

Jessica Huber starred in both hurdles races last year before being sidelined 31⁄2 weeks late in the season with an injury.

She is joined by freshman Whittney Huff, who broke Huber’s junior high school record in the 100-meter hurdles last year.

Both of them attended a hurdling camp last summer.

Coach Becky Genet also expects the Commodores to be strong in the sprints again.

Arika Kemp and Brianna Crockett return in the 200 dash after placing third and fourth, respectively, in the PLAC last year.

Kemp, who was second in the PLAC in the 100 last year, will be joined in that race by freshman Jessica Foster.

Freshman Lindsey Gengelbach heads the team’s 400 runners. She is the daughter of three-time 800 sectional champion Linda Waninger.

Kayla Goldman and Kaitlyn Poehlein “are pretty close” for the No. 2 spot in the 400, said Genet.

Gengelbach will also long jump and high jump. She will be joined by Huff in the high jump and Poehlein in the long jump.

Kemp is trying the pole vault.

Kyla Edwards returns in the shot put and discus and will be joined by newcomer Katie Schwartz.

Sophomores Tessa Lynch and Sara Brown will run the 800.

Lavina Schwartz returns in the 3200 and 1600 after placing second and third in the conference in those races last year.

She will probably be joined by Susan Schwartz in the 1600 and Amy Schwartz in the 3200, though “we may mix that around,” said Genet.

Those three Schwartzes will be joined by Crockett in the 3200 relay.

Kemp, Foster, Crockett and Huber will run the 400 relay.

Gengelbach, Huff, Crockett and Huber will run the 1600 relay.

Genet expects Paoli and Mitchell to be the Commodores’ top competitors in the PLAC again. “I’m not sure how strong Crawford County is,” she said.

She summed up her own team by saying, “I’d like to have a few more numbers, but I think we’re going to do pretty well. We’ll get better as the season goes along.”

Perry Central did not win a sectional event last year. But this year “I really feel by that time we’ll have more girls who may be able to compete there,” said Genet.