Lovell thinclads bring experience to 2024 squad

David Peck

Although losing several seniors to graduation, the Lovell High School track team returns experience and success from a year ago, especially for the boys squad, which placed fourth at the Class 3A West Regional meet and sixth at State.
The Bulldogs have strong numbers once again, coach Joshua Sanders said, with 31 boys and 17 girls on the squad this spring. Practice started March 4 for most athletes, March 11 for members of the boys basketball team after the state tournament.
“Practices have been going really good,” Sanders said. “We’re trying to do base work that we can build on. We’re still trying to discover what athletes can do and want to do. It will be a continuous process for us.
“For some of the newer kids, they’re trying to discover and we’re trying to discover the events that are the most compatible for them.”
Sanders is once again assisted by brother Caleb Sanders in middle distance and long distance running events, AJ Montanez in throws and Josey Alley in sprints and hurdles. Besides head coaching duties, Josh Sanders will coach the jumpers. Volunteer assistants are expected to be Collin McArthur and Zeke Newman.
Bulldog boys
The Lovell boys return depth, experience and success in the jumping events with four state placers returning in the triple jump, one in the long jump and one in the high jump. Now senior Adnan Khan placed third at State in the triple jump, sophomore Owen Walker fifth, sophomore Matthew Newman sixth and senior Blake Wilson seventh.
Khan also placed second in the long jump, Walker fourth in the high jump.
“I believe we will be strong in the jumps,” Sanders said, “with four who placed in the triple jump at State and Adnan coming off a good state indoor meet.”
Other returning jumpers who competed at Regionals or State are junior Gavin Robertson (long jump and high jump) and senior Parker Anderson (high jump). Junior Taggart Shumway qualified for State in the pole vault, and sophomore Owen Edwards competed at Regionals.
Returning throwers with regional and state experience are senior Rosendo Garcia and sophomores Halen Strom, Brody Muller, Kyle Wilson and Kalell Gruell, although Sanders said Gruell is nursing a shoulder injury.
Khan is the top returning sprinter, having placed seventh at State in the 100-meter dash, and Blake Wilson also returns in the sprints, as does Robertson.
“Adnan is our experienced sprinter with Gavin and Blake, as well, so we have two seniors (Khan and Wilson) with a lot of experience.”
Middle- to long-distance runners include sophomores David Durfee, Jacob Thomas and Damian Wagner and juniors Stetson Asay and Thane Zollman.
“I’m impressed with the work Thane Zollman is putting in,” Sanders said. “David had a strong cross country and indoor season.”
Hurdlers include Newman and freshman Kaeson Anderson, Sanders said.
Lady Bulldogs
Throwers will lead the way for the Lovell girls, with senior Carissa Lindsay and freshman sister Celeste strong in the events. Carissa Lindsay placed eighth at State in both the shot put and discus last year and had an outstanding indoor season.
“The Lindsays will be leading the way,” Sanders said. “We’ll see some sibling competition.”
Senior Summer Teter has returned to the throwing ranks, and sophomore Haley Sanders shows promise, Coach Sanders said.
Jumpers include seniors Hallie Cornia and Sadie Wassmer, along with some “promising freshmen,” Sanders said.
Sprinters are Cornia, Wassmer and sophomores Kaitlynn Robison and Becca Nichols, and middle-distance runners include senior Keyanna Walker and freshmen Kandace Asay and Jenna Hessenthaler. Freshman Brooklin Clark will run the hurdles and is also a jumper.
Cody today
The Bulldogs will open the season at the Cody Invitational today (Thursday) starting at 10 a.m., then will travel to Buffalo on Good Friday, March 29.