BY TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
SPENCER — The numbers are good at S-VE, which is hoping to challenge in the IAC South Small School division and IAC Small School meet this season.
The Panthers' boys coach, Dewitt Grove, said he has 27 athletes out, but is hoping to get up to 30. Girls coach Dana Bennett said he has good numbers as well.
"Looking good so far," Bennett said. "We're roughly around 21, 22, so pretty decent numbers."
The girls team lost state high jump qualifier Jenna Squier to graduation, but brings back sprinter / jumper Ryleigh Clark. She was the overall IAC champion in the triple jump, was the small school runner-up in the long jump, placed third in the small school 100 and ran on the small school runner-up 4x100 relay. Clark also competed in indoor track and field during the winter season.
Also gone are Kay Terrio, who moved out of the district and, and Madelynn Pasto who didn't go out this season. Pasto made it to the state qualifier in the 200 and the 4x100 relay.
"We had a very young team last year," Bennett said. "We have Jaylene Noviello coming back. She's part of that powerhouse four-by-one team. And she has her twin sister with her, Brianna Noviello, who's a really great sprinter too."
Also returning is Paige Grube, a strong middle distance runner.
"There's a really long list of names of people coming back, but we also have some really great freshman talent also," Bennett said.
"Last year was a rebuilding year," Bennett said. "The year prior we only had nine girls, so I was really looking to rebuild the program. Rebuilding was the focus last year, so I was really surprised, pleasantly surprised to go as far as we did. This year, states. States."
Meanwhile, Grove has big expectations for the boys team.
"I'm expecting to win the IACs, believe it or not, small school. Last year, we came in second to Odessa and this year we're looking to beat them, win it all," he said. "We have a young, but very competitive team. We're tall and we've got good numbers, and we're athletic, so we're going to match up nicely with the rest of the teams."
Odessa-Montour dominated the league's small school meet last year with the Panthers beating out the other nine teams.
The coach has high hopes for thrower Luke Simonton, the IAC Small School runner-up and third overall in the discus last season.
"Hopefully, he'll go to states in the discuss," he said. "We also have some up-and-coming stars like Marcus Brock," Grove added. "He's a 10th-grader specializing in the long and triple jump, but we lost a big, key player in Levi Mickelson. Christian Kunzman, he was a big hit too. He was a really good thrower for us, a good role model."
Mickelson was the overall IAC champion in the 1600-meter run and the small school 800 champ.
IN PHOTO 1: Ryleigh Clark (L) and Josie Killen. ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.
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