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Individual advancement a goal for North Miami girls

S(NO)W CHALLENGE TOO GREAT: North Miami sophomore Nicky Scher braves the elements during a run at a recent practice. Scher will be aiming to improve upon her regional qualification in the 3200-meter run this season as the Warrior girls’ track team looks for more individual advancement in the 2018 season.

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

As the TRC girls’ track and field meet went down to the wire at IWU last year, favorites Manchester were being hunted down by a Miami County squad.

That North Miami was the team leading the chase and not Maconaquah was a bit of a surprise but not completely out of the question given the talent the Warriors had at their disposal.

Six members of the squad advanced to the regional with Carlee Lefebvre and Faith White both advancing to the state finals and earning All-State honors at the meet.

Challenging for a TRC title will be much more difficult this season as North Miami has an even smaller squad than before.

Warrior head coach Jason Faine said despite the low numbers the group had plenty of talent and was already making strides to improve on last season.

“They’re where they need to be this early in the season,” Faine said. “The girls are putting the work in, working hard, they want to succeed and that’s what you want to see from your core group.”

Faine said watching the girls challenge for the conference title and finish fourth at the sectional was fun but the team had a similar problem then as they face this season.

“It was very enjoyable to work with the group last year,” Faine noted. “The only thing we wish we had was a couple of more people out there on the team.

“That might have made the difference as we were only behind by a few points and the right people could have made that up.”

White is joined by returning regional qualifiers Nicky Scher and Madison France while the team will feature several throwers in Kayla Kraning, Britney Stroud, Hannah McVay and Kate Cobler along with distance runners Kaylee Lane and Alyssa Ramsell as well as Annika Oliver.

Faine said the gap between individual levels required different approaches at practice but expected everyone to find ways to grow in their events.

“We’ll keep working individually with the ones that have made it deeper into the state tournament to make sure they continue to improve,” Faine said. “We want to make sure the girls who have had success keep moving forward from where they were.

“For the rest of the girls, there’s a lot of building to do. For them, the goal is to reach the next level and to try to catch up with the others.”

Finding ways to improve on last year’s finishes in the tournament was an area Faine said several girls were working towards while reaching the regional was a goal for several others.

“Nicky works had and we need to keep pushing her,” Faine said. “She’s already a hard worked on a normal day but we need to find ways to keep improving so she can advance further in the tournament.

“Madison is all about throwing and we expect to see her improve this season. Brittney is a good, solid freshman thrower for us who needs a little work on her technique but once we have that down we’ll see where she goes.

“Kayla is another solid thrower who was in the top-two at most of the events we had last year,” Faine added. “She’s splitting time between track and softball so hopefully her throwing is where it needs to be.

“Kaylee has some potential to be a good runner in the distance events. She is a freshman who shows up every day, puts the work and we’ll see what she can do.”

The limited numbers will make winning meets a challenge, though Faine said the girls understood the situation and would be allowed to focus on their individual areas throughout the season.

“It’ll be hard this season,” Faine pointed out. “Even having someone like Adreanna (Faine) leaving, she wasn’t someone who was going to win the 100-meter dash but was a piece of the 400-meter relay.

“We’ll be lucky to fill relay teams this year, which makes it very difficult to compete in the team scores. We want the girls to focus on the events they do well in, not throw them into events to score points and hurt their performance elsewhere.”

With individual advancement the main priority this season, Faine said the girls were eager to work each day and had high expectations for themselves this season.

“The easiest one is that we’d like to see Faith be top-five in both the long jump and high jump at the state meet, which is a huge goal,” Faine said. “We’d also like to see her win the TRC in both and the indoor state meet if possible.

“For many of the girls, we want to see them reach the top end of their abilities. Nicky and Madison are a couple that we expect to see improvements from in the tournament and as they have more time in front of them, we like the direction they’re headed.”