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home : sports : sports June 25, 2016

4/11/2013 11:56:00 AM
University of St. Thomas hosts rare indoor track meet, NB starts well

Although none of the spring sports have been able to practice outside yet, much less play, the North Branch track and field team did have an opportunity to participate in an indoor track meet last week at the University of St. Thomas.

“It was a good opportunity for the kids to compete at an indoor facility. Because of spring break, many of the freshmen and sophomores were able to compete, and by some of the times and distances, I was impressed with the performances due to the fact the kids haven't seen a track this season due to the snow,” Head Coach Norm Nagel explained. “Our first outdoor meet was cancelled due to the weather, so we are a little behind on our preparation for the season. The kids are getting anxious to get outside for practice.”

In the girls half of the indoor meet, the Vikes tried a few girls in some new events and mixed and matched with others to get a feel for the season. Rhianna Rinke ran a strong leg in the 4x800 meter relay, and she also had a great time in the 3,200 meter run. That great time was expected by Nagel, though, because Rinke is coming off a cross country season in which she made the state tournament. “We are setting her goals very high this season,” Nagel said.

Maddie Kunshier, who is the only returning Viking to participate in the 2012 track and field state tournament, got her season off right with a 1:03 in the 400 meter run. “This is a nice start to the season for Maddie,” Nagel opined. Nagel went over a few of the other girls who had impressive first meets, saying, “Crystal Letexier and Cassie Kunshier ran some nice times in the 4x400 relay. Gina Amundson jumped 4'8" in the high jump and SherahLynn Linkert ran the 55 yard meter hurdles in 8.2 seconds and a leg in the 4x200 relay. I'm really looking forward to SherahLynn having a great year and making it to state in the hurdles since she was ill last year.” Freshmen, Elise Brasel, Madison Tetzlaff, Letexier and Hope Jenson, filled in and ran the 4x200 relay and the 4x400 relay. “I'm proud that those girls stepped up and ran two relays. Overall, I am very pleased with the first meet and really looking forward to the first outdoor meet,” Nagel said.

The middle distance runners, Levi Kolke, Jack Klun, Brandon Thauwald, and Jacob Souther, had some nice 400 meter dash times in the open and 4x400 relay. A few of those guys had impressive days in the field portions of the event, too. Kolke surprised many in the long jump by leaping 18'4". Klun had a nice showing in the triple jump and Thauwald had a nice effort in the high jump. Nagel pointed to a few of his youngsters and what they were able to accomplish in the short distance sprints. “Max Southbloom had a nice triple jump effort and ran a great leg in the 4x200 relay. Matthew Marrin, who had ACL surgery in the fall, surprisingly ran an impressive leg in the 4x200 and the 200 meter dash. Tony Denn also had a great effort in the 4x200 and the 200 meter dash,” he said. Much like the girls, a few youngsters needed to fill in big shoes for the relay teams, and freshmen Devin Grode, Aaron Irvin, Thomas Steele and Sam Peterson stepped up and ran their first ever 4x800 relay together. “I'm very impressed with their first outing of the season,” Nagel said after the meet.

Nagel also mentioned that the pole vaulters were finally able to get up in the air and get some practice in. “The boys and girls pole vaulters were finally able to jump into a mat the first time this season since there was no pole vault competition that day,” he explained. “We used it as a practice session. It was nice for the kids to get in the air. I'm really excited to see what the vaulters can do this year.”

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