LEROY — Richard Dietrick is coaching the Pine River girls track team again this season and likes the prospects of his 2013 squad.

“It’s been a great year,” Dietrick said. “We’ve combined the boys and girls and have combined a lot of our activities and are running together.”

The team hasn’t been outside until late last week before taking off for spring break. The first meet is next Tuesday at Coleman.

Devyn Powell, a junior, returns as defending Division 3 state champion in the 400-meter dash.

“We expect her to return and do very well. She tried hurdles this year and had never done it before,” Dietrick said. “But she looked like she’s done it forever.

“A of our relay girls are back except for one.”

Returnees include Myriah Holmes, also in the pole vault and hurdles, Michelle Kelsey and Zee Moored, Erin Koetje and Jasmine Blackrick

“We have a great incoming freshman class, one of the best I’ve seen, who will contribute to the team,” Dietrick said. “We have so many returners I honestly think we’re going to be strong in every area. Field events we’ll do quite well, especially in pole vault and high jump.”

In the Highland, “Beal City won it last year so I would put them at the top,” Dietrick said. “We’re second last year and McBain third. I think those would be main contenders. I’m excited about the year. I think it’s going to be a great year because of our talent and work ethic.”