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Tuscola girls' track and field looking to shine bright again

May 4—Sports Editor Matt Daniels caught up with Tuscola coach Drew Sterkel as the Warriors try to earn their third straight state trophy:

How does this year's team compare to the 2023 team

that placed third in Class 1A and the 2022 team that won a 1A state championship?

The team this year is similar to the 2022 and 2023 teams in that we have outstanding senior leadership that starts with Addisyn Pettry, Natalie Hasting and Lauren Woods. This team truly cares about each other and may be the deepest team I've coached. We can score points from the jumps to the throws, to sprints to distance.

Lia Patterson won two state titles last year as a sophomore. How has her season gone, and who else should folks know about from this year's team

before you compete next Thursday at the Central A&M Sectional in Moweaqua?

Lia's season has been great thus far. We have had quite a few meets canceled, so we don't have as much data as we would like, but she has already broken two of her own school records in the 100-meter hurdles and the 400-meter dash. One person that folks should be talking about is Rylie Vanausdoll with jumps and sprints. She is one inch behind our school record in the triple jump and has been such an influencial part of our team. I'm excited to see what she can do the rest of the year.

What would it mean if you're able to bring another state trophy back to Tuscola?

We are looking to send as many people to the blue track as possible this year. I'm hoping to be running from event to event watching these kids do what they do best.