Tom Mix and Chris Murphy, Published April 12 2014
Metro girls track and field preview capsulesMoorhead Park Christian
Coach: Megan Endreson (6th year)
Last season: Pine to Prairie Conference runner-up
Who’s gone: No one.
Key returners: Courtney Nepstad, Sr. (signed to run at the University of North Dakota); Sydney Larson, Jr. (state participant in 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles), Morgan Nepstad, Soph. (state participant in long jump); Rachael Lizakowski, Soph.; Ana Monson, So.
Coach’s comments: “Our numbers are smaller this year, but those girls that are out this season are showing great potential and growth. The girls are working hard in practice and once we get over some injuries, we would expect to see lots of success. We anticipate that by the end of the season, we will have some great contenders for the state meet in June.”
Coach: Pat Rieder (8th year)
Last season: Won the Minnesota Class 1A, Section 6 True Team meet and third in Class 1A, Section 8 individual meet
Who’s gone: Mandy Mercil, Katie Highness, Sierra Senske, Madi Geiser.
Key returners: Caitlin Ash, Sr.; Amy Bentow, Sr.; Kylie Hamernik, Sr.; Sarah Sanderson, Sr.; Annie Rieder, Jr.; Elizabeth Schmitz, Jr.; Frannie Mercil, So.; Ally Reno, Soph.; Destiny Meyer, Soph.
Coach’s comments: “Although we graduated some very good athletes, we should be competitive again with many letter winners returning. We are looking for some of the younger girls to fill the voids left by our graduating seniors. With 42 athletes competing for top spots in the events, we should be able to fill the events with quality athletes. We believe track and field is a team sport and we set our goals as such. Our No. 1 team goal is to win the section True Team meet for the third consecutive year.”
Coach: Justin Gall (14th year)
Last season: Made it to state True Team meet
Who’s gone: Kristin Drechsel, Taylor Janssen.
Key returners: Mallori Johnson, Jr.; Avery Selberg, Sr.; Katie Olson, Jr.; Mackenzie Kelly, Jr.; Haley Ludwig, Jr.; Nicole Kurtti, Soph.
Coach’s comments: “We had a really successful season last year. We only lost a couple of seniors. Going into this year, I’m expecting big things from the team. We really have a good shot to make it to the True Team state meet. We had the 4x8, 4x1 and the 800 record broken last year for the school. This year we have the possibility of breaking the 4x800 and the 4x100 and possibly the 300-meter hurdles records for the school.”
Coach: Rory Beil (1st year)
Last year’s finish: 12th at Class A state meet
Who’s gone: Ericka Johnson
Key returners: Sarah Irmen, Jr.; Kayla Demarais, Jr.; Katie Bye, Soph.; Payton Mark, Jr.; Katelyn Carlson, Fr.
Coach’s comments: “With 19 outdoor events it takes a lot of kids to have a successful team. We have good numbers and above average talent in most events, however we are a very young team. How the young kids develop will determine how well our team does at the meets that count. Middle-distance events, pole vault and sprint relays will be the foundation of our success.”
Coach: Mike Merritt (22nd year)
Last year’s finish: 6th at Class A state meet; East Region runner-up.
Who’s gone: Madeline Strandemo (800-meter state champion); Lindsey Klug (100-meter hurdle state champion); Kara Schott; Bria Taber
Key returners: Carolyn Pifer, Sr.; Katie Bostrom, Sr.; Maddie Erickson, Soph.; Margrit Johannesson, Fr.; Emma Schalow, Sr.; Kiahna Goodman, Jr.
Coach’s comments: “We have a number of new faces on the team working their way into finding their spot on the team. The returners have a pretty good idea of what is expected of them as far as performance.”
Coach: Aaron Walker (4th year)
Last year’s finish: 5th at Class A state meet
Who’s gone: Kira Larson (high jump, 800- and 1600- meter relay champion); Regina Nyanfor (800- and 1600- meter relay champion); Sophi Simonson (800- and 1600- meter relay champion).
Key returners: Jackie Harmon, Jr. (1600-meter relay champion); Madison Uglem, Sr.; Olivia Hammerschmidt, Soph. (800-meter relay champion); Alicia Swenson, Sr.; Samantha Swenson, Sr.; Kendra Johnson, Jr.; Alexis Bachmeier, Fr.
Coach’s comments: “The Fargo North girls are off to a good start with solid performances at the EDC and state indoor meets. Strength for the team this spring include distance and hurdle events. Hurdles are led by senior Madison Uglem, who placed second at the EDC indoor meet, and sophomore Olivia Hammerschmidt (5th at state indoor meet). Distance runners are led by Jackie Harmon and twin sisters Alicia and Samantha Swenson.”
Coach: Barry Anderson (20th year)
Last year’s finish: 10th at Class A state meet
Who’s gone: Haley Brenner, Jess Anderson, Alex Day, Paris Ekman.
Key returners: Ellen Erie, Soph.; Afure Adah, Jr.; Julia Johnson, Jr.; Jess Vig, Soph.; Andrea Vetter, Soph.; Taylor Baumler, Sr.; Alex Backlund, Sr.; Brookelyn Dew, Fr.; Gabby Ries, Soph.; Julia Jordan, Sr.; Hannah Ohm, Sr.; Lauren Sandy, Jr.
Coach’s comments: “We return several place winners from the state meet a year ago. We have good balance and scored in jumps, throws, sprints, hurdles relays and distance events at the EDC indoor meet. We are a young team and should be very competitive once we develop our youngsters and gain more experience and depth.”
Fargo Oak Grove
Co-coaches: Janice Stoa and Nick Wright (1st year)
Last year’s finish: Tied for 21st at Class B state meet.
Who’s gone: None
Key returners: Brittany Dixon, Soph. (runner-up in the pole vault); Rikka Bergstrom, Soph.; Symone Jacobs, Sr.; Sam Kounovsky, Sr.; Petra Leysring, Soph.; Aspen Lindsey, Soph.; Emily Card, Fr.; Allison Widmer, Fr.
Coach’s comments: “Both Brittany and Rikka have been performing well in the indoor season,” Stoa said. “Strong events for the team will be Symone in the (3,200 meters), Rikka and Petra in the sprints, Emily in the 800 meters and 300 hurdles and Allison in the shot put. Our 800- and 3,200-meter relay teams also have the potential to do well this season. We have a younger group of girls who have shown in meets and practices that they are ready to step up into a varsity role.”
Coach: Darin McKinnon (18th year)
Last year’s finish: Third-place at Class A state meet, East Region champions
Who’s gone: Christina Bruenjes, Brooke Grooters, Kaley Stotz, Jessica Rosenau, Keana Karnopp.
Key returners: Amanda Levin, Sr. (100-, 200-, 400-meter state champion); Jennifer Dufner, Fr.; Madison Urlaub, eighth grade; Kennedi Sand, Soph.; Keely Walker, Soph.; Izzy Waite, Jr.; Shelby Gustafson, Sr.; Nicole Heinen, Jr.; Sara Wiederholt, Sr.
Coach’s comments: “This year’s team is balanced on the track and in the field events. We have a lot of experience returning and we also have a good group of young talent that can score points in varsity meets.”