Kenmore West track is off and running
Setting the tone for the Lady Blue Devils this season are seniors Lexi and Jenna Panepinto.
Lexi is slated to run in the 1500, 3000, 800, steeplechase and will probably get a crack at long-jump during the course of the season.
Jenna will also run 1500 along with the 400-high hurdle and triple-jump. Both Panepinto's will join with Jessica Jolley and Kalei Mathias in the 4x800 relay.
"We'll be solid this year," coach Mike Panepinto said. “We've got a lot of returners. We're looking for somebody to step up in the sprint at this point, but other than that I think we have at least one or two girls in each event that will at least compete during a dual meet and hopefully in the NFL's."
Ken-West also returns sophomore Sharon Guarino who will run the 400, 4x400 relay and pole vault. Coach Marty Madore called Guarino absolutely fearless in the pole vault.
Freshman Alyssa Lesakowski, 400 and high-jump, will join Guarino on the 4 x 400 relay team.
Kalei Mathias will also be in the 1500 and 800.
The biggest loss was the graduation of Taylor Mundell who was key in field events. But it appears that junior Liz Gallagher will step into that role and be a girl the Blue Devils can count on.
Gallagher, who is coming off of strong seasons in basketball and volleyball, is new to track and field but has learned at an impressive pace and should blossom into a strong contributor.
"She's a good athlete. I think she can really help us," Panepinto said of Gallagher's progress.
Senior Jessica Zawadzki also returns.
Coach Panepinto feels that the Lady Blue Devils have that blend of proven talent that is confident in each other, as well as themselves, which should provide foundation of that will help them compete as a team as well as individuals.
The boys team will be led by two of the school's best all-around athletes ever, Marcus Lobdell and Martin Bailey. Standouts in football and basketball, Lobdell and Bailey are both returnees to track. Lobdell took part in the state track tournament last season.
Senior Mike Wilcox is unable to compete this season as he recovers from surgery that took place over the Easter break.
A huge loss for the team to overcome, Wilcox was not only a gifted athlete, but the kind of hard working team-first player any coach would love to have.
The Blue Devils open up NFL play on April 18 when they host district rival Kenmore East.
The Ken-Ton Invitational Track and Field Tournament, which features teams from the NFL, Monsignor Martin and ECIC, will take place at Crosby Field on May 19.