Local Sports Journal

The Hart Pirates have a young girls track team, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking to make some noise in the West Michigan Conference.

Coach Mindy Whitney has a solid group of returning athletes as well as a lot of newcomers.

Leading the group of returning athletes is sophomore Jennie Gottardo, who had success in the middle distance races and relays. She was the conference champion in the 800 and 1600, runner up in the high jump and a state placer in the 800.

Other returning runners include sophomore Jenny Herrygers (middle distance, relays), junior Kristen Carlson (sprints), sophomore Maddie Hodges (middle distance, relays, hurdles), senior Melissa Kindinger (distance), junior Sabrina Smith (middle distance, distance, relays) and junior Brittany Wise (shot put, discus, hurdles).

Among newcomers to catch the coach’s eye are senior Brandy Facundo (sprints, relays), senior Meghan Kuipers (distance, relays) and Chiara Ledda (distance). Other new members of the team include freshmen Kassidy Baum, Kayleigh Gordon, Maia Jonassen, Jessica Riggs and Isabel Vela. Junior Whitney Holliday is another newcomer to the team.