Janesville Craig set for another run
A solid nucleus returns for the Cougars, along with a promising freshman class.
Craig High coach Jeff Deininger, who saw his team open the Big Eight Conference dual meet season with an impressive win over Middleton, is not trying to hide his enthusiasm.
“We’re still a pretty young team,” Deininger said. “But to open up our (outdoor) season with a win over Middleton, a team we haven’t had a lot of luck against the past few years, says a lot about the potential on this team.
“We’ve got about 65 kids out, which is a great number to work with, and a lot of kids coming back are ones we counted on heavily last year.”
Heading the list of returnees are seniors Alex Crandall, Mike Spaulding and Matt Bordwell, along with sophomore sensation Tommy Meister.
Meister won two events against Middleton and is capable of running anything from the 400 to the 3,200.
“We’ve been blessed the last couple of years with having athletes that can run a gamut of races, and Tommy is at the top of the list,” Deininger said. “He’s got a good chance to not only run at state, but compete for a medal.”
Bordwell ran at state a year ago on the 3,200 relay team, and like Meister, can run in a number of different races.
Seniors Eric Gudgeon and Brandon Rusch add quality depth in the distance races, while seniors Keegan Kelly, Jon Condon and Drilon Grajcevci are being counted on in the sprints and the sprint relays.
“I’ve got a senior group that I really believe is going to do a great job all season,” Deininger said. “They’re hard workers, and I know the younger guys on the team really look up to them.”
Crandall is one of the top pole vaulters in the conference, and will also be used on a couple of relay teams.
“We have to figure out the best way to utilize Alex,” Deininger said. “When he’s vaulting, and then has to run in a race, it takes an awful lot out of him. But with his versatility, he can score a lot of points for us in different events.”
Spaulding will join senior Dave Swanson in anchoring the shot put and discus.
Juniors Cy Badertscher and Bryce Loveland will be the top jumpers on the team. Badertscher holds the school record in the triple jump, while Loveland opened up the outdoor season by winning the long jump against Middleton.
Sophomore Calvin Coleman is also expected to provide depth in the jumps, and is transitioning to the running events, according to Deininger.
Craig’s schedule, with home meets at Monterey Stadium.
APRIL: 20—Verona, 4:30 p.m.; 23—At Watertown Invitational, 4:15 p.m.; 30—Cougar Relays, 4 p.m.
MAY: 4—Madison East, 4:30 p.m.; 7—At Burlington Invitational, 4 p.m.; 11—Janesville Parker and Beloit Memorial, 4:30 p.m.; 14—At Hartford Invitational, 4 p.m.; 18—At Big Eight Conference Meet (Mansfield), 3:45 p.m.