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Once again, the Twinsburg boys track and field program has a talented mix of athletes to compete this spring.
The Tigers will miss a strong senior class, led by gifted sprinter Justin Kimble, who qualified for the state championships in two events for the Tigers.
Dalanda Jackson is the new head coach for the Tigers and heads the team's sprint and hurdles crews.
Returning coaches include Chuck Glover (high jump), Anthony Byrd (throws), and distance coach Sarah Kmet, who also now serves as head girls coach.
With plenty of new faces, Kmet believes this year's team will be solid.
Twinsburg was set to open the spring at North Royalton March 28, but final results weren't available as of press time.
"We have several new staff members this spring," she said. "Dalanda Jackson will be heading our sprint and hurdle group. Danee Pinckney will be working with sprinters and jumpers. Roger Buell will be working with our pole vaulters, and Gus Crichlow will be helping with distance."
Last spring, Twinsburg finished 10th at the Austintown Fitch Division I regional championships after an incredible district meet.
After placing seventh out of eight teams in the rugged Suburban League National Division, Twinsburg peaked at The Nordonia district meet. Twinsburg scored a meet high 82 team points and tied host Nordonia.
Kimble placed fifth in Ohio and had a regional runner up finish in the 100-meter dash and helped Twinsburg's 400-meter relay to a state berth.
Kimble, who had committed to run at Mount St. Mary's University in Maryland, was joined in the relay with seniors Shawn Smith and James Eaton.
Josh Gogan (1,600-meter and 800-meter races) reached regionals and will be missed along with grads like Smith (100 regional qualifier), and James Hudson (11th in regionals in the high jump).
There's plenty of gifted returnees this spring.
"The boys will be led by returning state qualifiers Sean Silas (senior) and Christian Edgerson (junior), and cross country All-Ohioan Ryan Adkins (sophomore)," said Kmet.
Edgerson, who was fourth overall in the long jump at regionals, qualified for his first state berth.
The improving Edgerson won the league crown in the long jump with an incredible leap of 23 feet, 3 inches. Eric Jones holds the Twinsburg long jump record at 23-4.25 feet back in 2000.
Silas ran in the state-qualifying 400 relay that broke the 2010 school record of 42.25 seconds. He also placed eighth in regionals in the long jump and scored in the finals with a leap of 20-11.50 feet.
Both Silas and Edgerson ran in the league champion 400 relay and are threats in the open races. Edgerson ran sixth in the league in the 100.
"I think both Sean and Chris are talented jumpers and sprinters," said Kmet. "They are major keys to our team's success."
Adkins finished 12th in the regionals as a freshman in the 3,200 race and was sixth in the league (9:38.90).
"Ryan [Adkins] is looking to qualify for his first state track meet after his tremendous fall season [in cross country]," noted Kmet.
Twinsburg's 3,200-meter relay team placed fourth overall in the league and three athletes return in Adkins, senior Aaron McCarthy and junior Tyler Peeden.
McCarthy is versatile and will also score in the 800. He raced to a seventh-place effort in the league's 800 race a year ago.
Junior Khalid Thornton also returns as does senior Nick Bianco.
"Khalid Thornton is a returning versatile junior that brings a lot of experience to our sprint group," said Kmet.
"Seniors Aaron McCarthy and Nick Bianco, juniors Alex Dickson, Tyler Peeden and Evan Wagner, plus freshmen Mitchell Suder and Aidan Smith will be looking to score points for us in the distance events."
Matt Fetsko is a returning thrower and a veteran junior for the Tigers.
A slew of sophomores have some experience and potential -- Brad Yates (pole vault), James Bessett (jumps), Matt Belak (throws), Etaijen Easter (jumps), and Jason Buell (pole vault).
"Yates and Buell show big promise in the pole vault while Fetsko and Belak will lead our efforts in the shot put and discus," said Kmet. "Bessett and Easter will lead us in the jumps."
"We will tinker with our line-ups before May rolls around, but I expect the boys to send representatives to Columbus," said Kmet.
The Tigers compete April 4 at Brecksville in a league meet and run at the Bainbridge Kenston Invitational April 7 before hosting Stow-Munroe Falls in a league meet April 11.