FORT WAYNE – The Northrop team and Snider junior Shanelle DeJournett will be back this year to defend state championships.
The Bruins captured their state-best ninth state team title last spring by tying Lawrence North with 42 points. It was Northrop’s seventh state title since 2000.
At the same meet, DeJournett won the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 8 inches.
With a talented returning group of athletes in northeast Indiana, the Bruins and DeJournett could have some company on the podium come June.
Here’s a look at some teams, individuals and storylines to look out for in the 2012 season.
Northrop: The 2011 state co-champion Bruins will return seniors Emma Mirwaldt (distance) and Demetra Taylor (hurdles), junior Makelle Skelton (hurdles) and sophomore Alexis Scott (sprints).
Snider: The Panthers will make things tough for Northrop in the conference with junior Shanelle DeJournett (high jump), sophomores Karrina Smith (400) and Ennisa Wimby (sprinter).
Bellmont: The Braves have junior sprinter Alexis Harvey and sophomore Hankenson twins Holly (hurdles) and Bailee (high jump, 400) to lead the way this season.
Wayne: The Generals are talented with sophomore Brionna Thomas (sprinter), junior Brittney Britt (sprinter) and senior Wanda Long (sprinter).
Concordia: With senior Anna Reibs (distance) and sophomore Symone Black (hurdles), the Cadets will be just fine this year.
Shanelle DeJournett, Snider: The junior is the defending state champion in the high jump.
Brionna Thomas, Wayne: The sophomore was second in the 200 and third in the 100 at the state finals last season.
Dyamond Morris, North Side: In last year’s 100, the sophomore finished eighth.
Rachel Dincoff, DeKalb: The senior was third in the shot put and 16th in the discus at last year’s state meet.
Hannah Moore, South Adams: The senior won 2011 ACAC titles in the 1,600 and 3,200.
Sprinting success: Maybe we will finally get an answer to the question of who is the fastest sprinter in the SAC with Wayne’s Brionna Thomas, North Side’s Dyamond Morris, Northrop’s Alexis Scott or Snider’s Karinna Smith or Ennisa Wimby or somebody else.
All Knotted up: Garrett senior Jordan Knott scored 32 percent of her team’s points last year and has signed to compete at Purdue.
Emerald in the rough: Homestead senior Emerald Eviston finished ninth in the state pole vault and should be a contender again in the area with the graduation of Leo’s Gutermuth twins, Nina and Sophie.
Another title: Warsaw junior Ashley Erba will be looking to add a state track title to the cross country championship she won in the fall.
Logjam in 1,600: At last year’s state meet, the 1,600 had four area underclassmen finish 10-13 in the event with Columbia City’s Samantha Roush (10th), Fremont’s Abby Hostetler (11th), North Side’s Tiffany Rauch (12th) and Angola’s Ericka Rinehart (13th).