A lot of things went right in 2014 for the Novi boys track and field squad.

The Wildcats captured the KLAA's Central Division, Kensington Conference and Oakland County championships to go along with a runner-up finish at the regional.

Only time will tell if Novi can duplicate last year's successful, but the Wildcats got off a successful start when they rallied to win their division dual meet opener March 31 at home against South Lyon, 71-66.

"It's going to be fun to see how we shake out this year," said coach Marsha Reid, now in her sixth season with the Wildcats. "We've got a lot of new kids on the team that have to fill some big roles left by Jordan Love and Ali Taha."

Love, who graduated, was Division 1 state runner-up in the200-meter dash (21.68) and a state qualifier in the 100. He also teamed up with Taha, Parker Sutton and Nicholas Oakley – all lost to graduation as well – for an eighth in the 400 relay (1:29.26) and a second in the 400 relay at the regional (43.3).

A freshman, Anthony D'Annibale, has caught Reid's eye in the early going.

"As a freshman he's run some pretty close times and I thought Jordan Love's times would be there for a long time, but he definitely has the strength if he works at it," the Novi coach said.

Another top returnee for the Wildcats is junior Joost Plaetinck, who is coming off an all-state season in cross country and placed 16th a year ago in the 3,200 (9:46.34) at the Division 1 meet in Rockford.

Northville ready

The Mustangs, who galloped past Livonia Stevenson 77-60 in their dual meet opener March 31 at home, hope to improve upon last year's fifth place finish in the Kensington Conference and eight-place showing at the regional.

Coming off a fourth-place finish in last fall's MHSAA Division 1 cross country meet, Northville will rely on its distance runners to carry the load.

Individual state qualifiers returning include junior Conor Naughton, who was 14th in the 3,200 (9:44.23); senior Jason Ferrante, 16th, 800 (1:54.23); and senior Sean McCullough, who went 9:33.4 in the 3,200 at the Milford regional.

"We've got a core group of guys who are hungry to leave their mark in this conference and in our program," Northville coach Brandon Langston said. "I hope that attitude becomes infectious to our newcomers as we continue to build this program."

CC aims higher

Longtime Novi Detroit Catholic Central coach Tony Magni is entering his 49th season overall with the Shamrocks and will bank on senior high jumper Lance Yassay, who was a state qualifier after taking second in the regional (6-3).

Catholic Central, which had its dual meet opener March 31 postponed against Warren DeLaSalle, finished 11th at last year's Division 1 regional and fourth in the Catholic League A-B Division meet.

CC returns sophomore Chris Bradbury in the throws as he hopes to replace the graduated Shane Campau, who placed eighth in the shot put (53 feet, 4.5 inches) and was a state qualifier in the discus (155-10).

Among the other returnees included senior sprinters Connor Canavan and Ike Marchie, junior distance runners Scott Smith and Avery Felty, and senior hurdler Donovan D'Amore.

See capsule outlook of area boys track teams.

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