Girls’ track: Look for more records to fall this spring

Anoka

2012 finish: Second place at Section 4AAA True Team.

Coach: Pete Tremaine.

Several top competitors return to the track for Blaine this spring including sprinter Taylor Morgan, second from right. File photo

Several top competitors return to the track for Blaine this spring including sprinter Taylor Morgan, second from right. File photo

Return players: Seniors: Gabbi Guimont (hurdles, jumps), Ana Asp (jumps), Karleigh Bebeau (throws); juniors: Stephanie Neilsen (sprints, jumps), Lindsey Gast (distance), Alexis Fritz (distance); sophomore: Michelle Trebba.

Outlook: Gabbi Guimont led an Anoka sweep in the high jump at the St. Thomas select meet March 30. She cleared 5-2 while Lauren Sherva and Courtney Hlavka placed second and third in the event. Steph Neilsen placed seventh in the 55 dash at the season-opener Northern Badger Classic at UW-Stout March 23. Lindsey Gast placed fourth in the 800 run and ninth in the 1600. Alexis Fritz was fifth in the 3200 run. Guimont won the high jump and was fourth in the 55 hurdles. Senior thrower Karleigh Bebeau placed fifth in the shot put (33 feet).

Blaine

2012 finish: Third at Section 5AAA True Team.

Coach: Ann Stalboerger, 22nd season. New assistants include throwers coach Tim Juba and jumps coach Nicole Murphey.

Return players: The 4×100 and 4×200 relays return intact (4×100: Taylor Morgan, Alyssa Nebo, Britney Monteon, Courtney Purcell and 4×200: Purcell, Morgan, Kiersten Falck and Monteon) after fifth- and third-place finishes at the state meet last June along with Morgan’s eighth-place finish in the 100 meter dash and Marissa Eggerichs’ seventh-place finish in the triple jump at the state meet.

Purcell, a senior sprinter, earned all-conference honors in the 100 and 200 in addition to the 4×200 relay. Morgan, a sophomore sprinter, earned all-conference honors in the 100. Monteon, a sophomore, recovered from a sprained ankle to compete at sections and state in both relays. Alex Williams returns as an all-conference 300 hurdles and should be a favorite in the conference and section meets.

Senior Hailey Lachinski currently holds the all-time 400 time of 58.8 seconds. Senior thrower Hayley Kytta earned all-conference honors in discus. Senior jumper Kristen Olsen will look to improve on her school record high jump leap of 5 feet, 5 inches and Eggerichs earned all-conference honors in the triple jump, then translated that into a seventh-place finish at state.

Captains: Hailey Lachinski, Hayley Kytta, Kaylie Dahmus and Courtney Purcell.

Outlook: While the Bengals return several top-end performers, coach Ann Stalboerger says the team is still looking to fill out its distance and field events line-up, but otherwise should be in position to be at the top of the standings.

Coon Rapids

2012 finish: Second at True Team, seventh at NWSC and three state meet participants.

Coach: Denny Green, eighth season coaching girls, 11th at Coon Rapids and 13th season coaching track.

Return players: The three Cardinals state participants include Nicole Christianson in the high jump (15th); Courtney Pasiowicz in the shot put (second) and Amber Harris in the 300 hurdles (12th). Pasiowicz plans to throw at North Dakota State University next season so look for her to excel once again this spring in both events. Harris will compete in both hurdle events and run on the 4×400 relay. Rozlynn Lund will be a key in the 400, while the distance team of Paige D’Heilly, Stephanie Weimbolt, Anna Nelson and Elise Weimbolt make up a very solid distance crew. Emily Thomsen and McKenzie Haas will be the top pole vaulters and Olivia Jung will be a top jumper. Captains include Pasiowitz, D’Heilly, Thomson and Anna Truong.

Outlook: Coach Green believes this group has a chance to break several school records, which means real chances to compete at the state meet. “But we are focusing on the team and what we can do as a team this year,” Green said. “We will be honored and celebrate any accomplishments or records that are set this year, as they should be, but will not hold anyone up above anyone else on the team. It is about a group effort and making sure everyone does their parts.”

Taking that team theme to the next level means a solid performance in the True Team meets, sections and state, Green said. “We have most of our girls back and have looked to replace those that have left due to graduation,” he said. “We are looking at taking the next step and would like to win the True Team section meet this year and go back to True Team state.

“It is a possibility but we need to show up every day and put our focus on performing to the best of our ability and not just thinking it will happen.”

Legacy Christian

2012 finish: MCAC Conferene team champion.

Coach: Dennis Mients

Return players: Seniors Sabrina Batalden (sprints) and Hannah Ryan (sprints/hurdles)

Newcomers: Eighth grader Rylee Smith (300 hurdles, pole vault, jumps) and Allison Strandlund 200 dash already holds the triple jump school record.

Outlook: Legacy graduated a large senior class but managed to add a number of first-time tracksters, “that are showing a lot of potential early on in the season,” Mients said. “What we lack in experience we make up for in spirit and determination.”

Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village

2012 finish: Fourth place in the North Suburban Conference.

Coach: Don Fineran, 32nd season at Spring Lake Park (39th overall).

Return players: The Panthers return two all-conference honorees in seniors Natalie Pawlyshyn (100 dash) and Kristen Whitney (100 and 300 hurdles and pole vault). Honorable mention honors went to five including juniors Monica Brown (discus), Melissa Marsh (1600) and Halley Winters (shot put), sophomore Charlotte Wolf (100, 200 and 400) and eighth-grader Riley McGinnity (3200 and 4×800 relay).

Outlook: This marks the 20th season of a cooperative team between Spring Lake Park and St. Anthony Village. Fineran said the young team from last season should be better based on experience and maturity from last spring.

St. Francis

2012 finish: Defending North Suburban Conference champions and two state entrants including the state’s top thrower in Arizona State-bound senior Maggie Ewen.

Coach: Andy Forbort, eighth season as St. Francis coach (fourth season with girls).

Return players: Ewen is already off to an impressive start, winning the New Balance Indoor National Championships with a meet record shot put throw of 54 feet 1 inch, which would also set a new all-time mark in Minnesota State High School League competition. Jessica Justin comes off a 14th-place finish at state in the triple jump and will be one of the top jumpers in the conference and section once again.

Outlook: Look for the Saints to grab team points in nearly every event. “We will look to find depth in each event that will allow us to compete at the conference/section levels,” Forbort said.

Andover

Coach: Gretchen Wahl

Outlook: No information was provided.

Jason Olson is at jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

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