Xavier Prep opens its track and field season against Phoenix North Canyon at the Brophy Sports Campus on Wednesday (March 2), and we are taking a look at four athletes who are expected to play prominent roles for the Gators this season.
They are sprinter-hurdler-long jumper Cydeni Carter, sprinter-relay runner Kinsey Ehmann, hurdler-relay runner Annie Grant and long jumper-hurdler Teresa Roessler.
The senior is known affectionately among XCP coaches and teammates by one simple name – “Squid.’’
Carter, who wears goggles/glasses most of the time, got the nickname in seventh grade at St. Francis Elementary School. Her teacher knew someone named Sydney and called her Squid, so she started calling Cydeni by the same name and it stuck.
“It’s easy to remember,’’ Carter said.
Carter played guard for the XCP basketball team that recently reached the state tournament.
“Track is more individual. You have to be accountable for yourself. You have to try and prove yourself,’’ she said.
“Track is definitely more social, more laid-back.’’
She would like to continue to be involved in track in college. She has no offers as of yet, but is considering trying out for the team at Arizona State, where she hopes to become a broadcaster.
Like Carter, Ehmann, a sophomore, is a versatile athlete.
She also is the goalkeeper for Xavier’s high-profile soccer team.
“In soccer, you focus on agility,’’ said Ehmann, whose brother also was a goalie for Brophy Prep. “Out here, it’s running faster. You work more on your speed rather than endurance. You just go as fast as you can.
“I like soccer, but I also like being out here, too.’’
She puts her speed to the test in the sprints, 400-meter dash and 4x400-meter relay.
Xavier track and field coach Dave Van Sickle said that when Ehmann reaches college, she can be as successful in track as she is on the soccer field.
The junior has been involved in track since she was a freshman.
“I love the hurdles,’’ she said. “The 300 and the 100 are different. With the 100, you have to have a lot more form. Just when you get over one hurdle, you are almost at the next one. With the 300, you have a longer stride.’’
She said she had a personal record in the 100 last year.
Participating on a club team from August until just before the XCP season started also helped Grant stay sharp.
What are her expectations for the high school season?
“I think we are going to do a lot better this year,’’ she said.
The senior enjoys the long jump and the hurdles.
“The long jump is more relaxed, and the hurdles are more stressful,’’ she said.
She had a personal best of 18 feet in the long jump last season and thinks she can improve, due in part to increased weight training with her teammates.
“I think we are going to be a lot stronger and faster,’’ Roessler said.
Roessler would like to continue in college.
“We’ll just have to see after this season,’’ she said.