Track turning heads

By Lenny Sementi
Head track coach Ryan Hornaday’s squad is part of the toughest small-school track conference, and they are part of the reason why.

The Central Illinois Conference collected 38 medals at Indoor State this past weekend at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, and Tuscola added 10 to that list with finishers 1-8 earning all-state honors.

Hornaday worked his magic building a pair of top-notch relays and Josiah Lemay and Joey Lopez struck pay dirt in individual events. Lopez found his way to three medals on the day and was a near miss on a fourth, while sophomores Turner Hastings and Noah Woods each collected a pair.

The 4×200-meter relay won their prelim heat and finished in sixth place overall ending the day less than a second and a half behind the first place team. Lopez led the way with a 23.6 split. Joining him was senior classmate Tyler Seip, and the two sophomores Hastings and Woods. Hastings, Lopez, and Woods were also in the 4×400 meter relay squad that also claimed sixth place and all-state honors. Joining the trio was John Hill. The junior turned in the best split of his high school career rounding the track in 53.3 seconds. Hill’s hard work in the early season paid off for the junior. He and Hastings are two of the hardest workers in practice night in and night out leading the way by example.

Individually, Lemay not only set a personal record but also added his name to school’s record board taking sixth place in the pole vault with leap of 13 feet 3 inches that tied the school record. Senior Hunter Kauffman was also strong in the event clearing 11 feet 9 inches for 13th overall. Hunter Woodard fell just outside all-state honors in the shot put landing in 10th overall with a throw of 48’1” in the finals. Woodard’s prelims throw of 50’5” would have been good enough for sixth overall.

Lopez added more hardware in the open running events thanks to a sixth place finish in the 400 meter with a time of 52.77. He was a near miss for the fourth medal falling just outside the top eight in ninth overall in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.25 seconds. Seip turned in a great time in the 200-meter dash crossing the line in 24.07-seconds good for 13th overall.

The full story can be found in the March 29, 2017, edition of The Tuscola Journal.