After a second-place finish last year in its first season in the Toledo Area Athletic Conference, the Gibsonburg girls track team is hoping for better things this time around.
If Colleen and Kendall Reynolds have anything to say about it, the Golden Bears may win the TAAC this season and make some noise in the postseason.
The top athletes on the team, the Reynolds twins, both of whom are sophomores, have led the team to a fine season thus far, one that has seen Gibsonburg go 4-3 in dual-meet action, win the Margaretta Relays and finish second at both the Fostoria St. Wendelin Invite and the Gibsonburg Invite.
This season, the sisters have been dominant in their three individual events, the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes. At the St. Wendelin Invite (Apr. 20), Colleen finished first in the 100, 200 & 400 while Kendall was third, second and third, respectively. Earlier in the year, at the Margaretta Relays (Apr. 6), their performances helped lead the Bears to a first-place finish.
And most recently, Colleen and Kendall finished first and second, respectively, in the 100, 200 & 400 at the Gibsonburg Invite last week, an event that saw the girls finished second as a team, just 1.5 points behind Toledo Christian.
Their mother, Elizabeth, spoke about the girls' work ethic.
“They train all winter,” said Elizabeth, who notes that the girls exercised at F.A.S.T. Lima before the season. “The girls participated in indoor track and field events at local colleges and universities, too. They've conditioned all winter (and) that definitely prepared them for the spring season.
“They were very blessed with their ability and did well during their freshman year and in junior high. Last year, Kendall usually finished in first place (in their events) and now Colleen has moved into that role. It's been a friendly competition.”
In the fall, both girls helped Gibsonburg's cross country team advance to the Division III Regional Meet, an impressive feat considering that it was the first season in which both had competed in the sport.
“The Reynolds girls both went out for cross country and they had a pretty good season,” said Glenn Owens, the track and field head coach. “And they do indoor track to keep themselves in shape. They've got to want to do it and get out and run on their own.”
But it hasn't just been the Reynolds girls who have helped the Bears' track team this season. With the help of senior Courtney Ksenich and freshman Abbey Castillo, Gibsonburg has done well. Most recently, at the Gibsonburg Invite, Ksenich was second in the 1600 (5:58.47) and third in the 3200 (13:00.50). Castillo, meanwhile, was third in the discus (95 feet, 10 inches) fifth in the shot put (30-06.00).
“Courtney has done really well in the distance races, the mile and the two-mile,” said Owens, who has been coaching the team in some form since 1993. “That's been a big bonus for us. Plus, we lost quite a bit of point scorers from last year in the shot and discus and that's why it was nice to see Abbey do so well, too.”
If the four of them can get some contributions from their teammates, there is a chance that the Bears could contend for a league title, a goal Owens says the team set for itself.
With the season winding down, Gibsonburg has a quad meet with conference foes Maumee Valley Country Day, Northwood and Cardinal Stritch and an appearance in the Ottawa Hills Relays before the TAAC Championships on May 17.
“We thought about trying to win the TAAC (before the season),” said Owens, now in his fourth year as the head coach. “I think we're starting to settle in to where we want to be. I'm trying to move kids around and try to break up the monotony of running the same race. I think we're zeroing in on what we need to do.”