By NICK BEDWAY
WHEELING-Three-time West Virginia Class A state champion in the weights Aaron Schneid was among five seniors graduating from the Wheeling Central Catholic boys' track team after a ninth-place finish in the 2011 state meet.
Schneid, also a key member of the Maroon Knights' 2010 state title-winning football team, twice won the discus throw and took the shot put event in 2011. His winning throw in the discus was 143 feet, 5 inches. The now West Liberty University freshman shot and discus stalwart was a seven-time Region One winner and a five-time Ohio Valley Athletic Conference champ in his specialties.
Other graduates from Coach Eric Belancic's boys' team were Carter Huffman, Brandon Ingram, Tyler Jacovetty and Jake Nixon.
Huffman was fourth in Charleston with a time of 52.14 in the 400 meters and fifth in the 200. He also ran on two OVAC winning shuttle hurdles relays teams during his career. Ingram, now playing basketball at Muskingum College, was a standout relays performer and a state meet qualifier in the 100.
The top returning performers to this season's team are seniors Daniel Scott, Corey Bryan and Noah Clark.
Scott, tied for third in the state single-A pole vault and is one of the school's all-time performers in this event. He was also a solid contributor to the 400, 800 and 1,600 relay teams. Clark was an OVAC finalist in the championship meet, finishing ninth among the all-class competitors as a pole vaulter. Bryan ran a strong leg on the 1,600 relay team that took fifth in the state meet.
Newcomers to the boys' squad are sprinters LukeHarto, J.T. Nixon, and Zach Fahey; Cory Kinecht (shot and discus) and Adler Roth (distance events), Harto and Nixon are juniors, Kinecht a sophomore while Fahey and Roth are both freshmen.
The lone graduate was Jesse John, a versatile all-around athlete and two-time member of state championship 3,200 relay teams.
Seniors back this spring are Addie Schneid, McKensie Mason, Hannah Mason, Sarah Nolan and Anna Pockl. Emily Bucon, standout junior member of the Maroon Knights' W.Va. Class A state runner-up basketball team, also returns along with sophomore Courtney Garlach.
Schneid has been a member of Central's shuttle hurdles team since her freshman year and has competed on the 400 and 800 relay teams all of which have placed in the state. McKensie and Hannah Mason also were part of those relay units.
Hannah Mason was a state qualifier as a 200 meters performer.
Nolan was fifth in the discus with a throw of 95 feet. During the state meet competition, she also had a throw of 94-11 and three others that exceeded 88 feet.
Pockl had her best time of the year in Charleston as Central took second place in the shuttle hurdles relay.
The athletic Bucon's sophomore track season was highlighted by her runner-up finish in the W.Va. Class A 800 meters with a time of 2:24.74, which also beat the former Mountain State Class A record in this event. She anchored the second-place shuttle hurdles and fourth place 3,200 relay squads.
''Emily could have placed in the states in the high jump but being the selfless individual we knew her to be, she elected to run the 4x800 because she wanted to help the team," Belancic pointed out.
Garloch, although just a freshman last spring, came into her own late in the season. She ran a personal best of 2:53 in the 3,200 as Central took fourth place in 10:42.
Completing the roster are: seniors Ashley Martin (hurdler) and Teryn Huffman (a past state placer in the long jump); sophomores Ava Iulliucci (sprints), Bailey Clark (sprints/hurdles); Gabrielle Gentile (sprints/middle distance),Emily Barnes (sprinter) and freshmen sprinters Holland Matlock and Emily Martin.
WHEELING CENTRAL 2012 TRACK SCHEDULE
March 31: at UL Doan Ford Inv. 9 a.m.
April 14: at WP Dick Dei Inv. (Boys) 9 a.m.
April 14: at Bellaire Girls Invitational 9 a.m.
April 21: Shadyside Relays TBA
April 26: at Bellaire (Girls) TBA
April 28: at Bellaire Relays (Boys) 9 a.m.
May 1, 3, 5: OVAC Championships TBA
May 11: Class A Regional at W.Park TBA