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Spring sports preview: AuSable Valley

Dillon Savage did not waste any time making an impact for the AuSable Valley Patriots varsity baseball team, turning on the first pitch he saw and hitting it over the left field fence in Au Sable Forks for a two-run homer. Savage opened the season 4-for-4 with two doubles, five RBIs and the long home run.

Dillon Savage did not waste any time making an impact for the AuSable Valley Patriots varsity baseball team, turning on the first pitch he saw and hitting it over the left field fence in Au Sable Forks for a two-run homer. Savage opened the season 4-for-4 with two doubles, five RBIs and the long home run. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— While the AuSable Valley girls varsity track and field team lost several athletes to graduation, it does return plenty of state-level experience in 2013.

“Athletes who graduated last year were Raychel Agoney, Caitlin Blaise, Megan Colby, Leann Cook, Sierra Cotrona, Amanda Hamilton, Emma Helfgott, Sami Loreman and Cassidy Tallman,” head coach Sean Ganter said. “Returning athletes include Ashlee Estes, Rachel Knapp and Haley Taylor. Knapp, a school record holder, leads the returnees and will be a big contributor in the sprints. Estes, returning from her state meet qualification in the high jump during the recently completed indoor track season, is versatile. She will compete in several events, including the sprints, hurdles, jumps and shot put. Taylor is also counted on to score in the sprints and jumps.”

Ganter said that there are several new members to the team, including Marissa Bickford, Rachel Ford, Noelle Miller, Emily Patenaude, Brianna Rock, Kate Gallagher and Amanda Smith.

“The newcomers are the key to the season,” he said. “Their development will go a long way toward our success. Ford and Smith should be solid performers in the distance events.”

Ganter said that despite having a roster of 10 athletes, he felt the team should be able to score points for team totals.

“The low numbers are hopefully counteracted by the versatility and athleticism displayed to date,” he said. “It will be a challenge to fill events in all meets. However, each athlete is open to trying new things and seeing where they can be most successful. Our main strengths should be in the jumps and sprints.”

Boys track and field

The AuSable Valley varsity boys track and field team will look to an experienced core of seniors to guide them through the 2013 season.

“Paul Ford will be the featured leaper and hurdler,” head coach Heith Ford said. “Garth Benway and Elijah Fitzgerald will lead the throws. Not only will Jacob Montefusco strengthen the sprints, but also former thrower Michael Thompson joins in. Hard working seniors Mark Chauvin, Hank McCormick and Eli Blaise will hold down the middle distance. Alexander Connor and sophomore Brandon Ruocco will cover distance. Senior Austin Depo will contribute to the throws as well as sprints and jumps.”

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