The Wyoming Area boys track and field team had two distinctly different looks last season.
The Warriors had so many competitive athletes spread across the 18 events that they were able to go unbeaten in the Wyoming Valley Conference while winning the Division 2 title.
When it came to District 2 competition, however, the lack of championship-level individuals meant Wyoming Area finished just 15th out of 19 teams at the Class AAA championships. Wyoming Area did not place an individual higher than sixth in District 2.
The Warriors may have a similar look in 2016.
There are some graduation losses that will make the team have to work for a repeat of the division title but there are also a lot of veterans around to create similar depth and balance.
The top returnees could climb a bit higher toward contention on the district level, but Wyoming Area is not likely to transform into a team that scores better in major events.
“We don’t have many returning district medalists, but we do have a lot of participants; a lot of good kids,” Warriors coach Joe Pizano said.
The Warriors will open their title defense Thursday at home against Nanticoke.
Sprinting depth will again be one of the team’s greatest assets.
Seniors Ryan Murphy and Michael Murphy and junior Brian Miles formed three-fourths of the 400-meter relay team that led the team on the district level last year by finishing fourth.
Ryan Murphy was also sixth in the district in the 200 meters.
Sophomore Donovan O’Boyle is another experienced sprinter.
Junior Alex Chronowski, who competed in the 200 and 400 at districts last year, may shift to more middle distance work.
The other returning point-scorers from districts are junior hurdler Ethan Crake and senior pole vaulter David Klaproth, who each finished eighth.
Robert Acacio has some experience in the hurdles and joins Anthony Shaver and Tony Saitta in supporting Crake there.
Joe Earl, another senior is back with Klaproth in the pole vault.
Seniors Nico Vazquez, Joe Buczynski and Kyler Higgins lead an experienced middle distance group that also includes David Alberigi.
Senior Ryan Murphy is the only 3200-meter runner with significant experience. Zack LaGrue, Zack Lahart, Shane Eslick and freshman Justin Alder could help there.
Ryan Murray is the top returning jumper. Brendan Lee has experience there and could help in the middle distance events as well.
Klaproth, Earl, Buczynski and Casey Orlando are other jumpers.
Kyle Carr, who was 10th in the district in the discus as a sophomore, is back along with senior Frank Yurek. Albert Blannett is another shot put/discus thrower.
Junior Tristan Sokach-Minnick returns as a javelin thrower and could get help from P.J. Angeli and Damon Barhight.
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