By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – The bus trips are going to be a little more crowded this spring when Bedford North Lawrence hits the road.
First, the Stars have 38 athletes on the roster, a robust number that includes 29 freshmen and sophomores. Second, BNL has adjusted the schedule in favor of more dual or three-way meets rather than the huge invitationals that limit the number of participants in each event.
For the Stars, more will be merrier. Everybody will have a job to do, an event to run.
“We’ve changed the philosophy,” BNL coach Jim Lewis said. “We’re not just taking the top two and leaving everyone else home. It’s more enjoyable and it keeps them going. That’s helped us quite a bit.
“We’re not worried about bringing home as many ribbons, but we’re dedicated to improving. It’s not life or death to win, all we want to do is work hard and improve.”
Somewhere among the quantity, Lewis expects to find quality as he looks to replace some key performers from last season. Somebody has to score the points that field-event star Megan Lambrecht (fourth in the state in the shot put with a school-record mark of 44-7) and sprinter Sarah Brewster (now serving her country as a U.S. Marine) could be counted on to produce.
The Stars will depend on sprinters Makena Moore and Sylvia Woods, on distance runners Autumn Spence and Myra Roberts, on Molly Lambrecht in the field and on sheer numbers to compete.
Moore is a special case study. She had never run the grueling 800 meter race until midway through last season. Now she’s challenging the school record of 2:18 after a 20-second time drop at the end of last year.
“She’s the type of kid, with encouragement, that can do just about anything,” Lewis said. “She’s really adept as a runner. We didn’t know how good she was. Running seems to be her niche. She has the perfect stride, and she has the mentality. I think she will do great things.”
Woods will be inserted in the 100 and the 400 relay.
“Woods is one of those kids that refuses to get beat,” Lewis said. “When she’s challenged, most of the time she will step up and take care of it. She’s a competitor, and she’s really fast.”
Lewis also anticipates contributions from Jacey Hughes (chasing the school record in the pole vault) and Gracie Crulo-Rood (sprints) as the Stars work under the guidance of former Purdue athlete Matt Garrison (who brought his training notebook with him and immediately got the Stars running in the right direction).
“We’ve got a good numbers,” Lewis said. “We’re pretty well rounded. We have some good freshmen (16 total) who are new to the whole thing, but they have talent and they will be the key to team success. We have some that will score a lot of points. We are very balanced. We just have to find where they belong.”
BNL will start the regular season at Bloomington North on April 2.