AURORA -- The Greenmen girls track and field team returns several strong athletes from last year, including a group of regional qualifiers, plus several who competed at the state cross country meet last fall.
This year's lead is led by new head coach Ricky Buoncore, a former AHS track standout. Other coaches are Chris Radtke, Jenna Schadle, Corey Houlahan, Tyler Hunter and Tom Nalepa.
Buoncore graduated in 2007, competed at the state meet and earned all-Ohio honors as part of the 4x800 relay. He is a personal trainer and fitness director at Barrington Golf Club.
This is his sixth year as a coach, with his five previous seasons being an assistant focusing on distance running.
"We have a great group of experience seniors, who will set a great example on and off the track for the younger kids," said Buoncore. "And we are working hard to replace several key people who graduated, but feel we can be competitive in the Suburban League and at the district, regional and hopefully state meets.
"Our main goal is to put each athlete in the best position to succeed, prepare them for potentially continuing their careers as collegians and most importantly, installing values of hard work, sportsmanship and accountability that will make the school and community very proud."
The Grohe twins -- seniors Olivia and Samantha -- will return this spring to run in distance events. They were regional qualifiers last year in the 4x800. Olivia also was a regional qualifier in the 1600 and 3200, and is a school record holder in all three events. They were on the state qualifying cross country team last fall.
Senior Shelby Adler and junior Marissa Sesny were the other members of the regional qualifying 4x800 team and also will run the 400 and 800, while senior Lexie Mehallis was a regional qualifier last year with the 4x400 relay team and will run the 200 and 400.
Junior Morgan Reidel is another member of the regional 4x400 team and will run the 200 and 400, while sophomore Leah Angelo qualifier for the regional last year in the high jump.
Buoncore expects the distance corps to be very strong, with seniors being challenged by some good freshmen and sophomores.
"We look for a young group of sprinters to take the next step in development because of their work in the off-season," he said. "Although our field event athletes were hit hard by graduation, this year's group looks promising. The 2017 season and beyond looks very bright for the Greenmen girls."