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S-GI girl’s track team brings back its sectional contenders for another season

Jessica Adamcyzk
SPRINGVILLE — Reloading has been a reoccurring theme for Springville-Griffith Institute girls track coach Mark Heichberger, and this season will be no different.

After graduating some of the team’s top point-scorers, Heichberger will be bringing back eight girls with sectional experience and has a fully loaded roster of 52 girls.

“This really is a great group of kids,” Heichberger said. “We have a lot of leadership from the juniors and seniors – some really dedicated girls that have been on the team from four-to-six years. They’re doing everything we’ve asked them to do.”

Springville graduated Lexi Lines, who is now running track at Division-1 Niagara University. Lines owns the school record at Springville in the 100-meter hurdles and anchored the team’s sprint events, last season.

Headlining Springville’s long list of returnees is seniors Tia and Alena Woodarek. Alena Woodarek holds the school record in the pole vault, at 10 feet, and qualified for states, last season. She was also a sectional qualifier in the 400-meter hurdles and ran a leg in Springville’s 4x400-meter relay team. She will also see time competing in the triple jump, the 400-meter and the 4x100 relay.

Tia Woodarek qualified for sectionals in the pole vault last season as well, and owned the school record before her sister broke it, last season. She will do the high jump and has experience running the 100 and 200-meter, 4x100 and 4x400.

Junior Joelle Adamczyk was a sectional participant last season, in the 400 and the 4x400. Adamczyk will see time running the 200-meter and 800-meter, along with being a leg in the 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams.

“Joelle is a girl you can put in anything, from a 100 to an 800,” Heichberger said. “If I can score points with her in an 800 – she’ll run an 800. If I need her in the 100 – she’ll run a 100. She’s an all-round runner for us.”

Junior Jess Wiede will lead the Lady Griffs throwers. Wiede was a sectional finalist last season in the shot put and is coming off a record-breaking season in indoor track, where she broke the school record.

“She’ll score a lot of points from us in the shot,” Heichberger said. “We need to work on her discus throw. She can probably be in the top three in small schools this year, in shot. I’m really hoping she can be in the 35-36 feet range, at the end of the season. I think she’ll have a great year for us.”

Other throwers include Emily Zebrowski, Sydney Popovski and Sydney Schindler. Heichberger noted that Zebrowski and Popovski have a good chance of qualifying for sectionals in discus.

Senior Kate Darling will contribute in both the triple jump and long jump.

“Kate will qualify for sectionals in the triple jump,” Heichberger said. “She’s a very hardworking girl that just works her tail off. Anything I need done, she’s there to help out.”

Jenna Schunke will anchor the sprints and was one of the Springville’s best last season, in the 100 and the 200. The team has not been able to run on the track yet and have not been able to get practice times because of it. Heichberger will be looking for sophomores Brittney Luther and Kalei Brautlacht and juniors Sara Marren, junior Nicole Paler and eighth-grader Jenna Schelble to emerge, as other pieces to bolster his sprint team.

The distance team will be led by Jess Wojkowiak, who has been cleared to be a dual-athlete for the second year in a row, as she will also be statring on the Springville lacrosse team. Wojkowiak holds the school record in both the 1,500-meter and the 3,000-meter, in indoor track, and will look to leave her mark on the outdoor program, as well.

Springville will be without Sam Peterman, who transferred to Sweet Home in the fall. Peterman broke the school record in both 1,500 and 3,000 in outdoor last season and finished second at sectionals in the 1,500.

Elle Russell, an eighth-grader, will also be in the mix to have a break-out season in distance events.

“Elle came along a lot, last year,” Heichberger said. “With a season of cross country and indoor, she should be a lot better this year and have a good season for us.”

Sophomore McKenzie Maloy has been on Springville’s distance team since seventh grade, but will move to mid-distance this year and focus on running the 400 and 800. Sophomore Sam Reese will be one of Springville’s most versatile athletes, having the ability to throw shot put, discus, run 400s, 400 hurdles, 200s and do jumps, as well.

“I know she’s going to be good – I just don’t what she’ll be good in,” Heichberger said, of the versatile player.

The Lady Griffs have a scrimmage scheduled with Fredonia on April 7 and will then travel to the Warrior Relays at Cheektowaga on April 12.


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