Underclassmen fill the rosters for Skyline High School’s track teams this spring, but head coach Summer Younie expects those young athletes to do well against varsity competition.
Sophomore Anna Petrowsky is the only state medallist returning, though juniors Leah McPherson and Rosena Startzman have competed at state in previous years.
Those three will be joined by junior Vicky Ibarra and freshman Morgan Flowers to make up a strong group of sprinters and give Younie several good options for a 4X100 meter relay team.
Petrowsky medalled in the 100 meter high hurdles at last year’s state meet,  plus made state in the 100 and 200 meter dash events, and she also qualified as part of the 4X100 relay team (along with McPherson and Startzman).
Add in Ibarra and Flowers, and Skyline should be  a threat to qualify for state again in the 4X100 relay.
“We should be very strong in the sprints again with Anna, Rosena, Leah, Vicky and Morgan,” Younie said.
In middle school track, Flowers also did well in the long jump and Younie expects her to continue that success.
“Morgan should really help us in the jumps too,” she said.
Skyline’s girls also have a talented core of distance runners as most of the regional champion cross-country team is on the track roster.
Seniors Chelsey Swim and Darrian Wannow, and freshmen Katelyn Kumberg, Megan Pyles and Allison Sanders all ran at the state cross-country meet last fall and will be expected to do well on the track.
“Distance will be strong this season with Chelsey and Darrian plus a bunch of talented freshmen,” Younie said.
She also expects junio Ashton Lee and sophomore Kaitlyn Swonger to score points in the javelin.
The Skyline girls roster also includes sophomore Mackenzie Weber and freshmen Alexa Hoss, Patty Ibarra (another member of the state qualifying cross-country team), Ashley Koirth, and Harley Weaver.
On the boys side, senior thrower Trent Befort is expected to have another good season in his three events.
A year ago, Befort won the HOPL title in the javelin and placed second in the discus and third in the shot put.
Skyline’s boys also expect to score points in the distance and middle distance events, as state cross-country medallist Karson Becker is out for track this year.
“Karson and Brandon Broce (a sophomore) will get us points in the distance, mid-distance and jumps,” Younie said, adding that she expects to see other athletes step up as the season progresses.
The boys team also includes senior Brandon Morrow, junior Devin Hacker, sophomores Austen Anschutz, Easton Burgardt, Adam Flowers, Jake Harts, Aaron Hirt, and Preston Weaver-Tharp, and freshmen Brandon Baird, Sam Howell, and Colten Sharp-Ebert.
Skyline opens the season tomorrow at the Greensburg Invitational, which begins at 3 p.m.
Other meets on the schedule are Pretty Prairie (April 8), the Pre-State Challenge in Wichita (April 8-9), Stafford (April 13), Norwich (April 23), Satanta (April 27), Jetmore (May 4), and the HOPL meet at Norwich (May 13).
The Class 1A regional meet will be May 21, with the state meet in Wichita on May 28 and 29.