DARKE COUNTY – A pair of underclassmen who have worked hard to establish themselves as top athletes on their teams are this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Greenville girls tennis player Anna Mangas and Versailles boys cross country runner Joe Spitzer.
Even though she is just a freshman, Mangas quickly has risen up the ranks for the Lady Wave tennis team. She started out the year playing first doubles and since then has moved up to third singles and then second singles.
“She’s working hard, and she’s getting better,” Greenville girls tennis coach Jim Koontz said. “She’s coming on. She’s working hard.”
Mangas was 2-2 alongside Anja Mertel in first doubles to start the year. She went 6-2 in third singles and then won her first second singles match to lead the Lady Wave in winning percentage.
“I think she’s got a bright future because I know she’s going to keep working at it,” Koontz said.
Spitzer leads all Darke County runners this year with a time of 16:45. He set that time in the season-opening Bob Schul Invitational at Milton-Union where he finished third overall in the Division I-II boys race.
“Joe has done an exceptional job so far this year,” Versailles coach Mark Pleiman said. “I can tell that he has worked hard in the offseason to help better himself.”
Last week at Greenville’s Treaty City Invitational the sophomore won the Division II race with a time of 17:43.
“He practices very hard day in and day out,” Pleiman said. “He is a great example to the rest of the team on how to make yourself better. “
The Tigers hope Spitzer’s strong start to the season is just the beginning.
“He has some very high expectations and he works out with the tenacity that will allow him to achieve the goals that he has set,” Pleiman said.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports. For more features online go to advocate360.org or ‘like The Daily Advocate’ on Facebook by searching Advocate360.