Cardinal Stritch Catholic’s girls’ track and field team found out real quick this season that there is, indeed, strength in numbers.
Stritch alum Nicole Bergman had eight girls on the team last year, her rookie year as the Cardinals’ coach. This season, thanks to an influx of talented freshmen, Stritch had 23 athletes come out for the squad.
“Our girls’ team is doing fantastic this year,” Bergman said. “We have a nice group of (14) freshmen that came in. We have placed pretty high in every meet. Last year we would be second to last, or last. We’re still building our program and still getting more girls to come out. We have more depth. Right now we have fast girls, but we also need the fourth- and fifth-place finishers.”
|Cardinal Stritch freshman Kali
Hardy. (Press photo by Doug
A handful of freshmen are already making an impact.
Kali Hardy is one-tenth of a second from breaking the 28-year-old school record in the 100-meter dash, running a personal-best 12.7 seconds at a meet in Fremont. She broke the school’s 200-meter record at the NWOCSA Championships at Sandusky St. Mary, finishing in 25.9. The old record was a 26.4, set in 1984.
“She’s quick and she’s a tiny girl,” Bergman said. “You would lose her in a crowd. She’s really good at coming out of the blocks, catching up with people and finishing strong. We were running against Toledo Christian at the Northwood meet and she had a 50-meter gap (as the anchor leg) in the 4x200 relay. She closed that gap and was one-tenth of a second from placing first.”
Kali’s cousin, Kama Hardy, has been “fantastic” in the 300 hurdles, according to Bergman. Kama Hardy also runs the 4x100 and now anchors the 4x400 relay, which consists of all freshmen.
“Kali and Kama together are a pretty good pair,” Bergman said. “Kama is going to be fantastic in everything she does. We have a lot of girls who run the same times. Whoever we put in the 4x100 and 4x200 have all done really well.”
Stritch’s 4x100 relay consists of sophomore Kailyn Horna, freshman Abbie Reichert and Kama and Kali Hardy. That relay is one second shy of the school record (52.5) heading into this Friday’s Toledo Area Athletic Conference meet at Gibsonburg.
The Cardinals are also strong in the 4x200 relay, which consists of Horna, senior Olivia Lapz and Kama and Kali Hardy.
“We definitely have a talented young group of girls,” Bergman said, adding that junior discus thrower Jennifer Trumbull has won nearly every meet this season. Her best throw this year is 117 feet, 9 inches and she is closing in on Bergman’s school-record throw of 121-7, set in 2005.
“She goes out there every time and does well,” Bergman said. “I see her taking first in every meet we have next year.”
Another solid performer has been freshman Lauren Loucks in the 400, 800 and 4x400.
“She’s been great at middle distance,” Bergman said. “She’s placing pretty high in the 400.”
Bergman said she has high hopes at Friday’s TAAC meet, but she knows Gibsonburg and Toledo Christian will be tough to beat.
“We’re going to give them a run for their money,” Bergman said. “I’m excited to see how we hold up. Last year I believe we took sixth place. I’m hoping for first this year, but we just don’t necessarily have the depth. I think we can get second or third.”
Stritch’s boys team, which has 24 athletes and won a quad meet at Danbury this season, has had some solid individual performances.
Sophomore Zack Matthews, a regional qualifier in the 400 last spring, is back in that event this season and also runs on the 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800 relays.
“He’s the one who gets out of the blocks and is usually first in his leg on the relays,” Bergman said. “He starts off well and can catch up to kids. He’s a strong athlete. I definitely think he’ll get back to regionals (in the 400). His best time last year was 54.4, and this year he ran a 54.7 at mid-season. I definitely hope he’ll PR soon.”
Sophomore Bobby Romstadt has been a versatile runner, competing in the 300 hurdles and 4x400 and 4x800 relays.
“We can put him in anything, in the sprints and in the two-mile,” Bergman said. “He’s been one of our top athletes this year.”
Sophomore Tim Lynn (4x800, 1600, 3200) and junior Johnny Grayczyk (400, relays) also drew praise from their coach.
“All three of these boys (Romstadt, Lynn, Grayczyk) are reasons I became a coach,” Bergman said. “All of them are dedicated and start practice on time and do what they need to do. They know what they want to run and set goals for themselves and they accomplish those goals. Johnny’s true love is soccer. We were lucky to get him this year.”
Junior discus thrower Michael Outland has a season PR of 125-7 and is a regular top-six placer.
“We’ve seen huge progress,” Bergman said. “Last year he threw 112 at districts. This year, in our third meet, he threw 125.”