By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
The girls track and field preview for the Garfield G-Men 2023 season:
Head Coach: Matt Pfleger, 2nd year.
Coaching Staff: Jim Pfleger, Kelliann Collins, Colin Lysiak.
2022 Record: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference champions.
State Qualifiers: None.
Returning Letterwinners (15): Megan Schaefer, sr.; Aubrey Stonestreet, sr.; Madelyn Stonestreet, sr.; Kloe Kristoff, sr.; Leah Bailey, jr.; Megan Berecek, jr.; Kourtney Brawler, jr.; Zoey May, jr.; Rylie Turner, jr.; Kyla Grace, soph.; Hannah Kernig, soph.; Kylee Neer, soph.; Loreal Puleo, soph.; Grace Scirocco, soph.; Ruby White, soph.
Letterwinners Lost (4): Zoe Turner, Grace Spreitzer, Sophia Walz, Lenci Blohm.
Team Captains: Megan Schaefer, Rylie Turner, Aubrey Stonestreet, Madelyn Stonestreet.
Underclassmen to Watch: Hannah Kernig, Mandy Cardinal, Riley Grace, Elise Edwards, Kat McMayon, Olivia Rowe, Camille Arana, Ruby White, Taylor Wade.
The G-Men are the reigning league champions in the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference.
The title came in Matt Pfleger’s first year leading the program, after he took over for 32-year veteran John Bennett following his retirement.
There is plenty of talent returning to the G-Men this season, leading Pfleger to say, “it is an extremely exciting year to be a Lady G-Man this track season.”
Juniors Rylie Turner and Leah Bailey spotlight a very young group of sprinters.
“We have so many new additions to the team that it is hard to know exactly where they will make the biggest impact,” Pfleger said.
The distance group will be a blend of talented underclassmen and upperclassmen.
“It should make for an exciting year,” Pfleger said.
Kat McMayon and Olivia Rowe are two freshmen that could make their imprint in the 400, 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters.
“They are two naturally talented runners, who can compete with the best by the end of the year,” Pfleger said.
Aubrey and Madelyn Stonestreet highlight the upperclassmen group, alongside Kourtney Brawler and Megan Schaefer, who are the heart of the team.
“They work hard every single day,” Pfleger said.
“The Stonestreet twins will excel in the mile and two mile,” Pfleger added. “We expect b ig things from AKourtney in the mile and two mile, as well as Megan in anything from the 200 to the 800.”
Junior Lillian Shackelford has shown the ability to “really put the shot out there,” according to Pleger, during the preseason work.
Sophomore Kyla Grace is working to return from an injury that dates back to the volleyball season, but when she returns, will join gate shot put and discus group.
Riley Grace and Elise Edwards are “looking great” in both throwing events.
Sophomore Hannah Kernig returns to lead the jumps group.
Kernig qualified for regionals in the high jump last season as a freshman.
“She is looking to capture the school record in the high jump this year,” Pfleger said.
Freshman Mandy Cardinal joins the jumps group, and she will also be part of the sprints, and is described by Pfleger as a “big game-changer for the team.”
March 25: at Austintown Fitch Early Bird Invitational
March 28: at LaBrae
April 1: at Cardinal Invitational
April 4: at Jackson-Milton
April 14: at Western Reserve Lew Speece Invitational
April 15: at Marlington Invitational
April 22: at Chardon Invitational
April 25: at McDonald
April 28: at Mogadore Wildcat Invitational
April 29: at Poland Invitational
May 2: at Jackson-Milton
May 6: at Optimist Meet
May 9: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference Championships at Champion