Boys Track and Field: Warriors hope to better their best all season
Brainerd Warrior boys track and field head coach Rod Reuer is resurrecting a phrase used by his predecessor when describing what he hopes this year's team will accomplish. "Better your Best" was former head coach Mark Embretson's favorite phrase,...
Brainerd Warrior boys track and field head coach Rod Reuer is resurrecting a phrase used by his predecessor when describing what he hopes this year's team will accomplish.
"Better your Best" was former head coach Mark Embretson's favorite phrase, his way of encouraging Warrior athletes to strive to improve on their previous best performance.
"That's our theme-'Better your Best,'" Reuer said. "Our goal is to be better at the end than we are now but I don't know what that means at this point. That's the reason we had time trials at Sartell (Monday). We needed to get a start for all of our kids. We have to get some times and distances and see where we're at, lay it all out there without a really high-pressure meet setting."
Reuer said he's been impressed with the work ethic-on the track and in the weight room-of this team as it prepares for Saturday's Central Lakes Conference Indoor meet at St. John's University.
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- Boys head coach: Rod Reuer, 30th year (3 years head coach at Page, N.D., 1 year head coach at Napoleon, N.D., 18 years head coach at Brainerd, 8 years assistant at Brainerd)
- Boys 2017 finish: Fourth in CLC, eighth in Section 8-2A
- Assistant coaches: Kris Smith (long and triple jumps), Dave Herath (middle distance), Travis Raske (distance), Robb Kolodziej (high jump), Tom Ringhand (high jump), Chet Stevenson (shot put, discus)
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"Along with that mentality, we do have ability," he said. "Once they learn the sport of track and field, combined with their ability, they could turn out to be a pretty good team.
"Right now there are a lot of unknowns. It's a matter of how quickly and how much we can learn and mature between now and the end of the season, which is fun."
One of the known commodities is senior thrower Greg Rider, who in 2016 won the Section 8-2A discus championship and placed 17th at the Class 2A state meet. Rider, who also garnered All-CLC honors, is recovering from surgery to remove bone spurs from his non-throwing elbow.
"The goal for him, obviously, is get back there and improve," Reuer said. "He will be up against some good throwers in the conference from Sartell and in the section from Detroit Lakes. We're hoping the experience of being there as a junior carries over and motivates him to want to get back there.
"He was not happy with his performance down there, as can be expected. The nice thing about being a junior (last year) is you get another shot."
Other top returnees include senior Matt Cherne who placed sixth in the section 3200 run and ran in the state cross country meet last fall.
"Matt's kind of a quiet, unsung leader," Reuer said. "He really came on at the end of last season and ran well. He was the leader of the boys cross country team. He looks really good right now. He has run all winter and plans to run in college.
"He's come in in really good shape. He's got a good shot of being one of the top runners in the conference and section this year, probably more so in the 3200, but he will run the mile and 3200."
Senior Seth Desrocher returns from a sixth-place finish in the section shot put. However, he underwent surgery on his non-throwing shoulder Monday and is out indefinitely.
"Our goal is to get him healthy," Reuer said, "then we'll see where he's at. The beauty of track is you need to be at your best at the end of the season. Getting him back and recovered come conference and section time that's what we're shooting for."
Junior Jeff Spieker, who was All-CLC in the 4x200 relay, and sophomore Zach Henke return to solidify the hurdles crew. Spieker finished eighth in the section 300 hurdles and Henke 10th.
"Henke just missed the finals in the 300 as a freshman," Reuer said. "There were a few seniors ahead of them in the pack so the door's pretty wide open. With another year of maturity and strength, hopefully they can step up."
Other experienced athletes returning include senior Aden Davis in relays, sprints and jumps; senior Devan Liebeg in relays and jumps; and sophomore sprinter Ben Renner who was All-CLC with the 4x200 relay.
Junior Charlie Geraets returns to the sprint corps after a year away from the sport. He will be joined by Pat Gervenak and Tanner Stenglein, both out for track for the first time, junior Matt Auvil and freshmen Ben Staehling and Owen Davis.
"All of these guys have been second fiddle for their career," Reuer said. "Now as sophomores, juniors and seniors, it's their turn now to take over. They've been working hard. It's just a matter of are we going to be where we need to be come conference and section time? But I know we will compete."
In distance events, Reuer expects Zach Herrlich to be a factor along with Sam Nesheim and Grant Kosobud. Sophomore Ethan Hebert is the only returning pole vaulter.
Additional high jumpers will be Owen Davis and Taylor Shelito. Additional throwers will be Ryan Powers and Shelito.
April 1, CLC Meet at St. John's University 10 a.m.
April 13, Brainerd Invitational 4 p.m.
April 21, at Sartell Invitational 4 p.m.
April 25, Brainerd Quadrangular 4 p.m.
April 28, at Hamline University Elite Meet, St. Paul, 5:30 p.m.
May 5, at Wayzata Invitational 3:30 p.m.
May 9, Section 8-3A True Team Meet at Brainerd
May 16, at St. Cloud Apollo Invitational 4 p.m.
May 19, Class 3A State True Team Meet at Stillwater 4 p.m.
May 23, CLC Meet at St. Cloud Apollo 3 p.m.
May 31, Section 8-2A prelims at Moorhead 3 p.m.
June 3, Section 8-2A finals at Sauk Rapids 9:30 a.m.
June 9-10, Class 2A State Meet at Hamline University, St. Paul
Seniors: Grant Anderson, Matt Cherne, Aden Davis, Seth Desrocher, Zach Herrlich, Brandon Justin, Grant Kosobud, Devan Liebeg, Sam Nesheim, Zach Posch, Ryan Powers, Gabe Raguse, Greg Rider, Evan Schreifels,Kole Gifferson-Woodwick
Juniors: Matt Auvil, Mike Bostrom, Jared Erickson, Michael Finch, Charlie Geraets, Evan Heitilla, Isaak Hines, David Kelm, David Nibbe, Ryan Peterson, Ben Plinske, Charlie Rude, Eric Rude, Abe Schlegel, Blake Seidl, Taylor Shelito, Jeff Spieker, Tanner Stenglein, Joe Stolski, Andrew Wasniewski, Tim Whiteman
Sophomores: Riley Backstrom, Bryson Bassett, Noah Ebinger, Jaret Embertson, Garret Gardiepy, Pat Gervanek, Brett Hague, Ethan Hebert, Zach Henke, Ethan Iverson, Jason Jennette, Taylor Ludwig, Will Lundstrom, Maxim Osborne, Ben Renner, Brady Seidl, Carter Sobania, Hunter Turcotte, Chase Zebroski
Freshmen: Jacob Aanes, Brett Besenfelder, Atlie Danielson, Owen Davis, Bobby Erickson, Jake Haapajoki, Nick Hagemann, Dalton Hamre, Izaac Herrlich, Jack Ingram, Kalib Koons, Cruz Lemmerhirt, Ryan Miller, Caleb Nagel, Nick Porisch, Connor Powers, Devin Rudolph, Ben Staehling, Brady Streiff, A.J. Thompson, Luke Wilhelm, Justin Youngquist