Hopes are high for this year's Northview girls' track team as a good deal of talented veterans return along with some incoming talent from North Clay's ranks.
The strength of this year's group once again appears to be the distance crew who hope to build on the foundation laid by the cross-country team.
A sectional team championship for the harriers should mean good things for new coach Eric Stearley's distance runners who will be led by Emily and Mary Pugh along with Shandra Kirby, Nikki Royer, Kim Deakins and Emilee Lutes.
Emily Pugh was limited to just postseason work last year and immediately bolsters an already strong, 1,600 and 3,200 meter group. She placed fourth in sectional action in the 1,600 and second in the 3,200 while Deakins added a seventh place finish. Kirby was fourth in the 800 meter event. When joined with Royer, the group should make a dangerous 3,200 relay team as well.
The sprinting crop might be a little thin on depth though senior Britt Hofmann returns to lead a 100, 200 and 400 group that includes senior Lindsey Stearley along with sophomore newcomer Felicia Smith and freshman Andrea Thomas.
Natasha Barnett will take over the reigns in the hurdles after the graduation of Jessica Reece.
In the field events, Hofmann should be one of the Wabash Valley's top long jumpers after finishing fourth in sectional competition last year.
In the throwing events, Bethany Fagg will have to take up the slack in the discus after placing eighth in the sectional. However the crew should be bolstered by the addition of freshmen Ashley Davis and Ashley McDonald.
Davis set the new North Clay record in the shot put last year while McDonald set the discus record.
While the girls' pole vault will not be contested at all dual meets, Northview's Royer is one of the best in the area after clearing 9'6 in an indoor meet earlier this season
High jump will be another key for the Knights after Reece's graduation as Mallory Pugh returns along with newcomers Hannah Hunter and Jenica Yocom.
Northview will be led early in the season by their long distance runners as their more inexperienced competitors find their niche amongst the events. However, by postseason time the Knights should be one of the team's challenging for a top finish.