Pine River track teams open next week

REED CITY — Pine River’s track teams are gearing up for a season that starts Tuesday at Harrison.

Richard Dietrick is back as girls track coach while Eric Gebhard handles the duties for the boys squad.

Dietrick has 52 girls on his roster.

“I think a lot of it has to do with our middle school track program,” Dietrick said. “We have 27 freshmen as our last count. We have about seven or eight seniors and seven or eight juniors.”

Key returning athletes include Sheena Vokes, a senior in the shot put and in the sprint events. Devyn Powell is a middle distance runner. Myriah Holmes will be in the pole vault and sprints. Jasmine Blackrick and Zee Moored will score points in the sprints. Michelle Kelsey is a talented sprinter and high jumper.

The Bucks will compete in the Highland Conference.

“We’re loaded in all areas,” Dietrick said. “We have sprinters and good distance people. Each one of our field events should do well. It will be an exciting year.”

For the boys, there are 41 athletes on the roster. “We’ve been the 40s the last few years and I think that’s where we’ll stay,” Gebhard said. “Anytime you can get outside before spring break is good. We’ve been outside since Day one. That helps a lot. There are only so many things you can do with them inside.”

Gebhard has several top returning athletes including Abel Langworthy in the pole vault.

“That will be his specialty but we’ll get some help from him in the sprints as well,” Gebhard said.

The middle distances feature Ethan Whitley, plus Cadillac transfers John Lenz in the discus and shot put and Trevor Holmes in the distances. “They’re great additions to help us out,” Gebhard said. “We should have a strong team. We’ll be strong in certain areas. We have a strong outlook in the conference but some stiff competition.

“Lake City will probably be the ones to watch out for. We hope to give them a run for it.”