Tallmadge head girls track and field coach Mike Srodawa thinks he will have a nice mix of upperclassmen and younger team members this season.
"We'll see how the younger ones fit in and we'll see how it goes," he said of his team that comes off a 3-3 record and fourth-place finish in the Suburban League American Conference last year.
Key contributors lost to graduation were Anna Bartlett, Amanda Peters, Victoria Murray and Sadie Bennett.
Junior returning letter winner Sara Johnson was the Lady Blue Devils' lone regional qualifier -- in the long jump -- a year ago. She was the American Conference champion in the same event at the Suburban League Championships. She also will compete in sprinting events.
"Sara's longest jump last season was 17 feet, 8 inches, which she did a couple times, and that's long enough to get her to the state meet," said Srodawa, who enters his 20th season as head coach. "She had an off-day at regionals, but she has a lot of speed and is very explosive."
Tallmadge's top hurdlers will be senior Brittney Harris and junior Madison Tasich, both returning letter winners. Harris qualified for regionals as a sophomore but was hurt last year.
"Brittney and Madison definitely are two of the best hurdlers in the conference," Srodawa said. "Both are just hardworking kids."
Senior returning letter winner Vanessa Lane also will be a hurdler and will compete in the high jump, too.
Senior Devyn Smith and junior Lauren Bradshaw will compete in the shot put and discus, while senior Alexis Malish will be a sprinter. All three are returning letter winners.
"Alexis is explosive," Srodawa said.
The top distance runners will be freshmen Kenna Loveless and Rayvn Edge. Loveless is coming off an injury from basketball season.
"Both are really strong distance kids," Srodawa said.
Other returning letter winners will be seniors Emma Brown, Jessica Gardella, Ashley Lane and Hannah Salter; juniors Kaitlin Meadows, Evelyn Passarelli, Miranda Pyka and Hallie Turney; and sophomore Savanna Ansley.
The other top newcomer will be freshman Jill Catalano.
"We have a strong group, just as strong as last year," Srodawa said. "We had our ups and downs with injuries and that type of stuff. Highland, Aurora and Copley will be our stiffest competition in the American Conference, but if we stay healthy, we can contend."
Srodawa's assistant coaches are John Gergely, Jeremy Huth, Laura McElrath, David Stayzak and Mike Hay.
Tallmadge was scheduled to open its season April 1 at the Newton Falls Invitational. Results were not available at press time.
The Blue Devils are set to visit Kent Roosevelt April 4 at 4 p.m. They are scheduled to host the Bill Barry Invitational April 7 at 3:30 p.m.