Alpena High School boys’ track and field team is training to be on top in 2024

Courtesy Photo Members of the Alpena High School boys’ track and field team pose together on Thursday for their 2024 season team photo. With a new head coach this year, the team is excited to see new ways to advance and work their way to the top.

ALPENA — Bringing in a first-year head coach with plenty of returning athletes, the Alpena High boys’ track and field team plans to compete amongst the top-tiered talent within the Big North Conference.

Spencer Kraft will step into the head coaching role, looking to make an immediate impact by developing younger athletes and utilizing his more accomplished players in order to place highly at every meet.

“I expect to be really competitive this year because almost every single one of our athletes is returning. It’s not very often in high school sports to have your best athletes back, but this year, we’re ready to take on anybody,” Kraft said. “Between our sprint team and our long-distance guys, I believe we’ve taken a huge step forward from last season.”

The boys will be led by a strong lineup of upperclassmen who have been in the program for all of their high school years.

Julian Stevens might be the Wildcats’ most notable name this season before he graduates and continues his track career at Northwood University next year.

Outside of Stevens, Joe Sheridan, Thorin Rogers, Ty Dever, John Kurowski, and Hayden Bacchus are also expected to make significant strides to becoming top placers in almost all meets.

With only three out of those six athletes headed for their senior seasons, the track team should remain a contender for several years.

“Julian Stevens, Joe Sheridan, and John Kurowski are our three top senior leaders on this year’s team, and I really expect them to perform well all season,” Kraft said. “Ty Dever and Hayden Bacchus are two juniors that have put in tons of hard work and time over the offseason, and I expect an even bigger season than we’ve seen in the past. Obviously, the last guy, Thorin Rogers, came up as a freshman and made a huge impact on our team then. As a sophomore, I expect him to keep developing and become a better athlete.”

While many individual athletes have talent on this team, Kraft said he is most excited for his four-by-one team, which will return the same four runners as last year.

“Our base-level expectations are high, and that starts with the boy’s four-by-one team, which will have every single athlete returning. I’m excited for the future with our freshmen and sophomores, but this year is our year to compete,” Kraft said.

The top advantage to returning all those athletes is that they have experience and chemistry together, which could be the key to success for Alpena.

Alongside the Wildcats’ chemistry, Alpena’s athletes know what to expect from the coaching staff and understand what needs to be done to win at the varsity level.

The season started on Friday with an indoor meet at Lake Superior State University, but the Wildcats are feeling ready for plenty of competitions to follow.


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