Young Wildcats aiming to improve as season progresses

THREE RIVERS — Meet strategy for Three Rivers’ boys’ track and field team can be summed up in three words this season.
Score by committee.
“We are a young team and we’ll lean on a mix of guys for scoring. Each event group will need to score a little for us to have team success,” said Three Rivers’ fourth-year head coach Alex Schmidtendorff.
Unlike the past few years, Three Rivers doesn’t possess a returning state qualifier that it can go to when it needs to win an event or race.
Schmidtendorff graduated three-time Division 2 all-stater Nate Eldridge (400-meter dash), along with fellow state qualifiers Isaiah Smith (110 high hurdles, 300 IH) and Tanner Blyly (3200).
Eldridge finished second in the state as a junior and senior and third his sophomore year in the 400, and also qualified in the 200.
Eldridge, who is now competing at the Division II level at Hillsdale College, is the school record holder in the 400 and competed in the Midwest Meet of Champions for Team Michigan placing fourth in the 400 and helping the 1600 relay to a first-place finish.
Also competing in the collegiate ranks from Three Rivers are Smith and Chad Sage at Davenport University.
Three Rivers finished fourth in the Wolverine Conference last season, fifth at regionals and 26th as a team at the state meet.
The Wildcats have a lot of seniors who are either out for the first time or trying to finish their career on a high note.
“If this group works hard and stays focused we’ll be very competitive. Our weakest point as a team is that we are young and inexperienced,” Schmidtendorff said.
Senior Logan Evans (discus) and junior Tirrell Hausmanis (shot put) give Three Rivers a solid 1-2 punch in their respective events.
Seniors Deion Deans, Eric Johnson and Michael Coffey give Three Rivers strength in the long jump.
Coffey will also compete in the high jump, while Deans and Coffey are also penciled in for the 100-meter dash and Johnson in the 200.
Seniors Jon Scare and Davis Dickerson along with sophomores Logan Borst and Cole Appoloni represent Three Rivers’ hopes in the distance races. Scare also competes in the 800.
Please see Saturday’s Commercial-News print or e-edition for the full article.

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