Coach: Lynn Swisher
Top returnees: Christina Dunford, Fr., discus, shot put; Amanda Powell, Fr., discus, long jump, sprints; Kathy Sanders, Fr., 100, discus, shot put; Cathy Stinnett, 6th, 100, 200.
Promising newcomers: Kaitlyn Harder, 4th, middle distance, distance; Laura Patterson, 5th, middle distance, discus, shot put.
Outlook: Like the Burgin boys, this is a young bunch that figures to improve with age. "My goal as a coach is for this to become a well rounded team, so that we can get more sprinting and relays going, and I think if our younger athletes stay the course, it's very attainable," Swisher said. The program has added two new elements that should help: an assistant coach, Burgin alum Chris Camden, and a new long jump pit at the school.
Coach: Barry Lee
Top returnees: Rita Dixon, Sr., middle distance, relays; Lindsey Hoskins, Jr., 400, relays; Jenna Lee, 7th, 800, relays; Danielle Murphy, Jr., discus; Beth Patterson, Sr., 100 hurdles, triple jump; Jessica Pierce, Sr., discus; Jessica Propes, Sr., pole vault, relays.
Promising newcomer: Natalie Wesley, 7th, sprints, relays.
Outlook: The Casey girls gave Lee a pleasant surprise at the end of his first season with their best finish ever (third place) in the Class AA state meet. Another high finish would be no surprise this year for a team that lost no one to graduation and is led by several strong seniors, including Patterson, a two-time state champion in the triple jump who is also a threat to win in the sprint hurdles. "The girls are determined this year, and with most of those going to state last year being seniors they want to finish strong. Our goal is to be more competitive at regions this year," Lee said. Dixon is a dependable veteran, and Pierce and Propes are continuing to improve in their events.
Coach: Sadie Gambrel
Top returnees: Rebecca Jenkins, Jr., high jump; Shatoniah Miller, Sr., 100, 300 hurdles, triple jump, long jump; Krystal Napier, Jr., 100, 200.
Promising newcomers: Brittany Baerlein, Fr., middle distance; Miranda Bailey, 7th, middle distance; Kayla Brand, 7th, sprints; Caroline Stroup, 8th, 300 hurdles.
Outlook: Miller and Napier give Danville two outstanding athletes at the top of the roster, and both of them could be state championship threats by season's end. But it's a young team overall, rebuilding after the loss of four key seniors from last season. And with the exception of the two at the top, it's a team with far better depth in the distance races than in the sprints. "Overall I think we shall do well, and I am really excited to see what surprises the girls have for me," Gambrel said.
Coach: Dennis Custard
Promising newcomers: Jackie Davis, So.; Wendi Logan, So.; Tamara Rothwell, So.
Outlook: It's essentially a new girls team, with no returning runners and a roster stocked with underclassmen. Like the Garrard boys, the girls will be best in distance events but will struggle to score points in field events.
Coach: Terry Yeast
Top returnee: Tiffany Smith, So., 200, 100 hurdles, long jump, triple jump.
Promising newcomer: Samantha Bartleson, Fr., discus.
Outlook: Harrodsburg's girls team is perhaps as small as it's ever been, with only five girls on the roster as the season begins. The star of the show is Smith, who is a proven performer in three events and is trying the 100 hurdles for the first time. "I expect Tiffany to have a big year for us. She's working harder than she's ever worked," Yeast said.
KENTUCKY SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
Coach: Lisa Kingsley
Top returnees: Ashleigh Hamilton, discus, shot put; Sonnie Smallwood, shot put, relays; Victoria Thompson, 100, shot put.
Promising newcomers: Tiffany Kendall, sprints; Emma Riley, 100.
Outlook: KSD's team is still made up of mostly middle-schoolers. Only three high school students are on the roster, and all compete in field events. "They are still developing running skills and will do their best," Kingsley said.
Coach: Kim Hamilton