By Chris Zadorozny
The Dearborn boys’ track squad is deep this year as the defending WWAC champ Pioneers come into the 2013 season looking to become a three-peat champ.
Head Coach Bob Bridges, in his 57th year coaching, will look to have his 90-member team pursuing a third straight championship with 23 returning lettermen.
Half-miler Ross Hunter and sprinter Nicholas Hallman, both seniors, will co-captain and lead the squad this year.
Hunter was a part of the two-mile relay that made it to the state meet last season.
Along with Hunter, junior Ahmen Abogilal was a part of the two-mile relay and ran a career-best 4:28 in the mile.
Shot and discus thrower Bearooz Yacoobi will return this year after achieving third in the regionals in the discus a season ago.
Among the hurdlers, junior Alexandru Ilisei had a first-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles at regionals and a strong showing there in the 110s.
Junior Neal Warren was one of three that placed in the league meet in the pole-vault last year and will look to lead the vaulters.
Senior Evan Behrendt is expected to contribute heavily in the long jump after finishing with a 23-foot jump in regionals.
“We’ve done this before, we do track, we do cross country,” said Bridges. “We expect to win every year.”
Edsel is young, but good
Coming into the 2013 season in a new league, Edsel Ford boy’s track coach Mark Tyler will look upon a couple of his seniors to lead the young team forward.
After running in the state finals last year in the 1600-meters (one mile), senior Zine Nassr will look to get back there this year. Nassr will hold down the middle-to-long distance events for the Thunderbirds, running the 400, 800 and 3200 meters.
Along with Nassr, senior Dan Garza will also help to lead the distance events. A strong cross-country runner in the fall, Garza will compete in the 800, 1600, and 3200-meter races.
One big addition to the team this year will come in the form of Ibrahim Humaison. The senior was injured last year, which hurt the team in the 800-meter races. He returns fully healthy, ready to make his mark this year.
Senior Peter Girardi will lead the sprinters this year. “He should compete at a very high level and we have great expectations for him,” said Tyler.
For the throwers, seniors Mike Rusko and Tom Emma are expected to showcase their strengths. Emma finished seventh in the discus last year at regionals.
Tyler and the Thunderbirds expect to be competitive at every meet and, despite being a young squad, believe they can compete with the top schools in the league.
“We will be filling in many areas with new personnel, and we hope to be competitive in every meet,” said Tyler. “If we can develop our potential, we will compete at a higher level than we have during the past few years.”
To read the original post that appeared online on the MI Prep Zone website, on March 22, 2013, go to www.miprepzone.com/pressandguide.