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Boys Track and Field: Warriors chomping at bit to get outside

One of the largest squads in Rod Reuer's tenure as head coach of the Brainerd Warrior boys track and field team is chomping at the bit to compete. Ninety-two Warriors, who have been working out since March 12, had an indoor time trial March 23 at St.

Brainerd Warrior hurdlers Jeff Spieker (left) and Zach Henke practice in a Brainerd High School hallway this week. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
Brainerd Warrior hurdlers Jeff Spieker (left) and Zach Henke practice in a Brainerd High School hallway this week. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

 

One of the largest squads in Rod Reuer's tenure as head coach of the Brainerd Warrior boys track and field team is chomping at the bit to compete.

Ninety-two Warriors, who have been working out since March 12, had an indoor time trial March 23 at St. John's University with Sartell. The Central Lakes Conference indoor meet is scheduled for Saturday, April 7. Other than that, the Warriors haven't been able to do much outside other than some running.

Reuer said the Warriors have been working out in the pool, in the fitness center and have been weightlifting four times a week. Throwers have been able to practice discus and shot put inside. But the Warriors are unable to practice events like jumping and pole vault indoors.

"We just need to be patient and try to keep kids engaged," Reuer said. "Sometimes coaches deal with this a lot tougher than kids do. I know at some point they do sign up to compete, not just practice. We do need to get to a point where we're able to do that.

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"The nice thing was we did have time trials with Sartell. We were able to bring all the kids who were able to go and just compete. ... (Saturday) we will have another group go again but that's only about half our squad because it's limited entry.

"We will get outside, it will happen, we just have to be patient."

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Brainerd Warriors

  • Boys head coach: Rod Reuer, 35th year (3 years head coach at Page, N.D., 1 year head coach at Napoleon, N.D., 19 years head coach at Brainerd, 8 years assistant at Brainerd, 4 years Brainerd junior high coach)
  • Boys 2017 finish: Third in CLC, third in Section 8-3A True Team, fourth in Section 8-2A
  • Assistant coaches: Kris Smith (long and triple jumps), Dave Herath (middle distance), Travis Raske (distance), Robb Kolodziej (pole vault), Chet Stevenson (shot put, discus), Landon Brainerd (high jump, horizontal jumps), Kelsi Brusehaver (hurdles, sprints), Howie Jacobs (hurdles), Mike Langer (throwers)

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When Brainerd finally does get outside, it returns three competitors from the Class 2A state meet. Ethan Hebert finished 16th in pole vault. Jeff Spieker was 15th in the 110-meter hurdles and 16th in the 300s. Zach Henke competed in the 110 hurdles but was disqualified in prelims.

In the Section 8-2A meet, Hebert won pole vault, Henke was the 110 hurdles champion, and Spieker was runner-up in 300 hurdles and in the 110s. "All three of those guys are track guys. That's their No, 1 sport," Reuer said. "Getting a taste of some success last year, especially down the stretch, and qualifying for state ... Hebert came out of nowhere to win the pole vault. He went through quite a bit of adversity at that meet and still pulled it off, breaking a pole and kicking himself in the face and he still ends up winning the event.

"Spieker and Henke have the makings of being two of the better hurdlers we've had here. Again, they got a taste of qualifying for state, then not doing as well as expected when you get to state has them really geared to go back. They're in great shape. They looked really good at the time trials. We're expecting big things from our hurdlers."

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Others Reuer is counting on immediately include junior Ben Renner in the 200 and 400 dashes. Renner placed in the section and conference meets.

Senior Mike Bostrom is ticketed for short sprints, relays and long jump.

Senior Abe Schlegel is a second-year track participant who will be competing in long jump, short sprints and pole vault.

"Last year, Abe tried to balance triathlon and track at the same time and it kind of wore him down," Reuer said. "This year, he's focusing on track. He ended up long jumping 20 feet at a JV meet at the end of the year last year. He really came on."

Senior Taylor Shelito is the top returning thrower in discus and shot put and also will high jump. Shelito placed third in the section high jump last year, one place from qualifying for state.

Senior Tanner Stenglein will do short sprints and relays. Seniors David Kelm and Andrew Wasniewski are penciled in to run distance events.

Additional junior contributors include thrower Brett Hague and Hunter Turcotte in the 200, 400 and 800 dashes.

Sophomores in the mix to score include sprinter Dalton Hamre and Connor Powers in jumps.

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Brainerd lists 22 seniors, 20 juniors, 27 sophomores and 23 freshmen on its roster.

"With all of these guys, our focus this year is going to have to be on relays," Reuer said. "I think we've got good, decent speed in sprints along with some depth. We don't have a flat-out burner, which we rarely do. I do think we're back to where we've got enough quality speed in sprints where we're going to be able to put together good 4x1, 4x2 and 4x4 relays."

Reuer said almost all of the top sprinters In the conference and section return, which will make qualifying for state in those events challenging.

"The top 10 kids are back in the 100 and 200 for the most part," he said. "It's a matter of how much did they improve from last year to this year.

"Our kids have worked really hard in the offseason. They're excited. They're confident. We haven't been doing much (in relays) the last couple, three years. We need to get that back again."

 

Warriors roster

Seniors: Mike Bostrom, Ben Elias, Taylor George, Evan Heittola, Isaak Hines, David Kelm, Nate King, David Olson, Brady Opay 12, Ryan Peterson, Ben Plinske, Charlie Rude, Eric Rude, Abe Schlegel, Taylor Shelito, Anthony Sloan, Jeff Spieker, Tanner Stenglein, Tyler Vanderkooi, Andrew Wasniewski, Tim Whiteman, Nathan Yezek Juniors: Bryson Bassett, Nate Bessingpas, Isaac Chappuis, Bryce Dusbabek, Jaret Embertson, Calvin Foss, Garret Gardiepy, Brett Hague, Ethan Hebert, Zach Henke, Jason Jennette, Levi McDonald, Shelby Nickey, Cameron Olson, Jack Olson, Maxim Osborne, Ben Renner, Carter Sobania, Evan Storbakken, Hunter Turcotte Sophomores: Jacob Aanes, Jeff Azure, John Berry, Brett Besenfelder, Atlie Danielson, Bobby Erickson, Nick Hagemann, Dalton Hamre, Izaac Herrlich, Jack Ingram, Caleb Jarvela, Cruz Lemmerhirt, Ryan Miller, Nick Moline, Caleb Nagel, Nick Porisch, Connor Powers, Devin Rudolph, Nate Quast, Zach Ruggles, Isaac Stange, Isaiah Stange, Davon Stuckey, A.J. Thompson, Stephen Thompson-Fly, Teddy Wadsten, Luke Wilhelm Freshmen: Ryan Cook, Aden Crabb, Briston Domino, Gus Duininck, Mac Eigen, Joe Figliuzzi, Simon Foss, Forrest Gibson, Javan Hemsworth, Brandon Krall, Max Lelwica, Jaiden McClanahan, Anthony Menghini, Ethan Naanes, Jacob Olson, Max Olson, Gabriel Qualley, Nolan Reynolds, Nole Robertson, Jacob Schommer, Nick Smith, Aaron Stark, Marcus Yliniemi

 

Schedule

Saturday, April 7, Central Lakes Conference Meet at St. John's University 10 a.m. April 13, Alexandria, Morra, Pequot Lakes, St. Cloud Tech at Brainerd Invite 4 p.m. April 20, at Sartell Invitational 4 p.m. April 24, Bemidji, Fergus Falls at Brainerd Invite 4 p.m. April 27, at Hamline University Elite Meet 5:30 p.m. May 1, at Alexandria Invite 4:30 p.m. May 4, at Wayzata Invite 3:30 p.m. May 8, Section 8-3A True Team at Brainerd 3 p.m. May 15, St. Cloud Apollo, Rocori, St. Cloud Tech at Brainerd Quad 4 p.m. May 18, Class 3A True Team State Meet at Stillwater 4 p.m. May 22, Central Lakes Conference meet at Rocori 3 p.m. May 30, Section 8-2A prelims at Willmar 3 p.m. June 2, Section 8-2A Finals at Moorhead 9:30 a.m. June 8-9, Class 2A State Meet at Hamline University, St. Paul

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