Bellwood-Antis track teams hope for deja-vu during the rest of the season

The Bellwood-Antis track and field program has been turning out great performances like a fine Swiss timepiece. If it’s spring, then the Blue Devil boys and girls must be figured in the mix for conference honors, both individually and as a team.
The Blue Devils haven’t always had instant success straight out of the gate, however. In 2005, both the B-A boys and girls got their tails beat pretty handily by a very tough Bedford Bison squad in their opening dual meet. The boys responded by winning all of the rest of the 13 duals as well as the MAC and Mountain League championships, and the Lady Blue Devils won 12 of 13 duals. After the same thing happened in the opener against Bedford on Tuesday, B-A coaches Julia Roseborough and Nick Lovrich are no doubt, hoping for more of the same this year.
The B-A boys won their fourth straight Mountain Conference championship, in the final year of the old league. The Blue Devils have won 10 of the last 13 Mountain Conference titles, with Tyrone breaking up the streak with titles in 1995, 2000 and 2001. Bellwood-Antis also claimed the MAC division 4 championship for the second straight year along the way to a 13-1 season overall (5-0 in the MAC).
“We have some solid athletes returning in some events, who should be able to improve this year,” explained seventh-year head boys coach Nick Lovrich, who has compiled an impressive 60-10-1 record. “Hopefully some of the new athletes that are coming out for the first time can maximize their potential to be contributors for us. We have good numbers this season, which could help us with our depth.”
Returning letterwinners from the 2005 squad include: seniors Tony DelGrosso (throws), Liam Flynn (distances), Josh Hanna (dis), Dustin Harris (sprints/javelin), juniors Evan Celmo (dis), Jon Davila (sprints), Adam Mueller (hurdles), Tyler Narehood (throws), and sophomores Brandon Humphreys (sprints) and Ben Hatch (dis).
In addition other returnees include: senior Carl Weiser (jumps), juniors Tyler Elvey (dis), Josh Peters (throws) and Garrett Wyland (dis), and sophomores Adam Brubaker (throws), Joe Earnest (throws), Adam Hanna (throws), Anthony Jenkins (throws), Tyler Lucas (throws), Patrick McCloskey (hurdles), Brad Rydbom (dis), Jeff Study (dis) and Jeremy Tomchick (sprints).
Newcomers to the team for 2006, include: seniors Troy Brunner (sprints), Eli Colyer (dis), Josh Ervine (dis) and Adam Martin (throws), juniors Mike Guinard (throws) and Chad Shilling (throws), sophomores Matt Harrity (throws), Don Partner (dis), Dustin Pruznak (dis) and Dustin Riggleman (sprints), and freshmen Kyle Canfield (sprints), Tim Collier (hurdles), Matt Flaugh (throws), Lance Hughes (sprints), Tyler Hunter (hurdles), Ben Martinez (throws), Corey Miller (dis), Drew Saylor (sprints), Kyle Shawley (sprints), Cody Smith (throws), Ryan Wolfe (sprints) and Tim Woomer (throws).
“We need some people to step up for the people that we lost to graduation, said Lovrich, who is assisted by Charlie Burch, Ken Swanson, Bill Edmiston, George Bell, Rudy Bilka III, Rudy Bilka IV, Galen Bickel and Matt Plummer. “They have to realize that this is their turn to step up and be the front-runners. We need to have all of our athletes commit to working hard so we can be better as a team.”
Ben Hatch (800) and Brandon Pruznak (400), who both qualified in their favorite events for the PIAA state tournament at Shippensburg University and as members of the Blue Devils’ 3200 relay team, return to lead the Blue Devils.
“We would like to do well in our dual meet season and MAC,” said Lovrich. “Hopefully we can improve on what we did last season in Invitationals, Districts, and qualify people for the state track meet.”
On the girls side, the Lady Blue Devils return 11 letterwinners from a 12-2 team in 2005 for long-time head coach Julia Roseborough. Now starting her 41st year as the only head coach the B-A girls program has ever had, Roseborough (303-54-2) picked up her 300th career victory when the Lady Blue Devils defeated Tyrone late in the season.
Roseborough has a squad that numbers a total of 25 girls who return from last year, in addition to 18 newcomers.
Returning letterwinners seniors Lauren Carter (sprints), Erica Greene (sprints), Ashley Mueller (sprints/hurdles) and Nicole Ross (sprints/jumps), juniors Sarah Bell (distance), Stephanie Damiano (field), Lauren Leap (sprints/jumps) and Brittany Webb (dis) and sophomores Rebekah Colyer (dis), Heather Greene (hurdles) and Chelsea Wilson (sprints/jumps).
Other returnees include seniors Amanda Houtz and Emily VanTries, juniors Rachel Bilka Andrea Gardner, Jenelle Gerwert, Jill McCartney, Leslie Mills, Samantha Putt, April Ruehle and Kaylee Walter, and sophomores Cassandra Kissell, Katie McCabe, Brittney Whiteman and Sam Tyler.
“Some of our returning letterwinners should have good seasons. Our relays should be strong,” said Roseborough, who is assisted by Robin Campbell (field), Wendy Wilson (sprinters/jumpers) and Rudy Bilka (pole vault)
Newcomers include Juniors Heather Novak, and Katie Weiser, sophomores Lindsey Andrekovich, Crystal Decker, Kristyn Ginter, Kasey Kowalski, Victoria Lombardo, Kelly McCracken, Keather Taylor, Jannell Wilt and Amanda Yon, and ninth graders Kelley Killinger, Ashley Lechner, Amanda Mills, Jenna Nevling, Emily O\’Shea, Nicole Post and Lauren Seidel.
The Lady Blue Devils won their second straight MAC Division IV title and closed out the Mountain Conference, which is ending because of the repetition in the MAC and other leagues, with fifth straight championship and 17th overall since the inception of the league in 1979.
“We have a number of weak events that are a concern to us,” explained Roseborough. “We need some newcomers to develop and help us as soon as possible.
“ I think we will improve as the season develops and we hope to finish strong.”