Youthful Bluffton Track and Field Building for the Future
January 20, 2010
By: Evan Miller, sports information assistant
The 2010 Bluffton University men's and women's track teams will be led by second-year
Head Coach Gary Labonte. Labonte, who also directs the cross country program, will
have three assistants helping with this year's squad. Travis Lepley returns for his
seventh season as throws coach while Jordan Hill is currently in her first year as
a graduate assistant for the Beavers. Also returning for his second season as jumps
coach is Dakel Vicks.
Although Bluffton will field a smaller squad in 2010, Coach Labonte is "Looking forward
to getting the younger group some experience while also looking toward the future."
As the current athletes mature, the Beavers will count on them to provide both leadership
and stability to the team.
Leading the men's team this year is a pair of seniors who have had tremendous success
during the past three seasons. Jason Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) and Rob Johnson (Columbus/Marion Franklin) have worked hard to ensure that they will continue to
excel in their final campaign. Johnson, who runs sprints, will look to defend his
100m title in the HCAC. Jason Fisher also had an impressive 2009 campaign as he won
the conference title in the hammer throw, finished second in the shot put and third
in the discus.
Also returning for the 2010 men's team will be seniors Brandon Kindell (Kenton), sprints/hurdles; Justin Shearer (Loudonville), distance; and Ben Siebert (Celina) in distance events. The junior class is represented by Brian Timpe (Wauseon/Pike-Delta-York) in mid-distance and Michael Timpe (Swanton), who runs in the distance events. Sophomores on the team include Andrew Chaffee (Clarkston, Mich.), distance; Bryan Heckathorn (Hartville/Lake), throws; and Kevin Hickman (Centerburg), sprints.
The men's team will also seek contribution from four freshmen: Ryan Sabin (Canal Winchester), sprints; Chris Arnold (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury), distance; Clint Clark (Lewisburg/Tri-County North), mid-distance; and Jeremy Kidder (New Carlisle/Tecumseh), mid-distance.
The women's team will be paced by top returners Kourtney Lewis (Arlington/Riverdale), a sophomore in the high jump who also stars for the women's
soccer team, sophomore distance runner Heather Smith (Elkhart, Ind./Concord) and junior sprinter Megan Koch (Elida).
The team will look for leadership from two seniors this season. Sarah Binkley will be competing in the sprints while Donelle Parker (Painesville/Thomas W. Harvey) handles the sprints and jumps.
Also competing for the women's team is Megan Neal (Arlington), performing in both the throws and sprints, and Allison Trent (Orrville/Smithville) who concentrates on the throws. This year's squad will also
have five freshmen. Alison Janzen (Whitewater, Kansas/Remington) and Katy Heffner (Troy) will be running in the distance events. Elizabeth Brown (Edon) specializes in mid-distance. Delylah Kubitz (Ashtabula/Edgewood) will be participating in the throws and Alexandria Castanien (Marion/Harding) competes in the sprint and jump events.
After both the men and women finished sixth at Ohio Northern in their first event
of the year on January 15, the Beavers will travel to the University of Findlay on
January 22, with events starting at 2:30 p.m.