Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

March 27, 2013

Healthy Bulldogs looking for big season

(Continued)

Those two are the major returners that figure to score a good deal of points for Wiedman's men, but there are plenty of other young talents that could have breakout seasons in 2013.

"This year we're still fairly young," he said. "We're mainly sophomores and juniors. We have a small team, but we have good people at most events, which is something I'm excited about."

Sophomore Andrew Gardewine is hard at work to prepare for the middle-distance races, having ran the 800 last season. Gardewine almost snuck into last year's state meet with his performance at sectionals. This season, with an added year to mature, Wiedman is expecting even bigger things.

"I look for him to be a top competitor in the middle distances," Wiedman said. "This year he's continuing to go further, training anywhere from the 400 to the mile. He's working really, really hard."

Assisting Gardewine in the middle distances, and really anywhere Wiedman may need him, is ironman Benton Hakman. A soccer player in the fall, Hakman uses his oustanding endurance to race in the 800, the mile run and even try his hand in jumping. Wiedman says he's just one of those special athletes you don't see too often.

"He's in phenomenal shape," Wiedman said. "He can do about anything from the 400 to the two-mile, long jump and triple jump. He's my main jumper. He's a good all-around athlete."

Senior Jake Spraul is another name to look our for in the distance races, and Wiedman expects his leader to rise to the occasion in his last season.

"He should be one of the top four or five distance runners in the NTC this year," Wiedman said.

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