By John Raffel
Greenville girls track coach Cari Scholtens has anticipated having another strong team this season.
“Not having a season in 2020 has impacted us greatly,.” she said. “We are left with a very young team. Most years I have to teach the freshmen the ropes of track and field. This year I have to teach freshmen and sophomores. But as problems go, I’m pretty glad mine is having a lot of young athletes. That’ll serve us well in the coming years.
“We will miss Sara Yob, Teryn Creasap. Both of these young ladies were real spark-plug athletes willing to jump into whatever place they were needed. That is where they will be missed the most.”
Top athletes for the Jackets have been Jordan Brown (pole vault, junior).
“Jordan is a great kid and a great pole vaulter,” Scholtens said. “She will be competitive at the conference meet. Lexi Rectenwal (Mid-Distance, junior) is a newcomer to the track and field scene at Greenville. She is a hard-worker above all and a great kid.
“Brooklyn Manson (sprints, freshman) is a young kid who works hard and is quick as a flash. She has already posted a 13.6 in the 100 meters and will only get faster. She also contributes to relays. Emma Huizinga (throwing and sprints) was the best shot-putter in our conference. She will be competitive again this year.”
Greenville, like all other girls track teams, have been challenged with numbers.
“Frankly, this year is about rebuilding,” Scholtens said. “COVID has gutted our most valuable numbers and now it is about recruiting, developing and retaining young athletes. I think we are already shining in that regard and I am excited to see where we go from here.
“We have a lot of strength in the field events and are beginning to build a competitive set of relays. Our team is putting in the work. Any weakness we have is no fault of the girls who are present. We need more distance girls. We have a bigger squad of them than in 2019 and hopefully our numbers will continue to grow. No pun intended but this season has been a sprint not a marathon. They are trying to jam as much into a shortened period as they can, which I appreciate greatly. That said, it’s hard on the kids who get contact traced and have to be out for two weeks. That constitutes a good chunk of the season this year.
“I am truly pumped for the future of women’s track at Greenville. In a year when most are struggling for numbers, our girls numbers are skyrocketing. With the guidance and leadership of my older girls and a healthy squad of younger girls, I think the future of this program is bright.”