Girls Track and Field: Warriors open season Saturday
One state entrant has graduated but another returns for the Brainerd Warrior girls team, which will rely on those with varsity experience to be leaders this season. Thrower and 3-time state entrant Sophie Balster, an all-stater in discus in 2015,...
One state entrant has graduated but another returns for the Brainerd Warrior girls team, which will rely on those with varsity experience to be leaders this season.
Thrower and 3-time state entrant Sophie Balster, an all-stater in discus in 2015, has graduated, while state triple jumper Emma Smith returns as the Warriors prepare to compete in Central Lakes Conference and Section 8-2A competition.
The season opens Saturday at St. John's University in Collegeville with the CLC Indoor Meet. Second-year head coach Howie Jacobs has been encouraged by the attitude of girls and boys teams during the preseason. He said there was a day in practice during the preseason when both teams were in the weight room simultaneously.
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- Head coach: Howie Jacobs, second season as head coach (29 years as assistant coach-1983-2003, 2008-2015)
- 2016 finish: Fourth in CLC, 6th in Section 8-2A meet Assistant coaches: Kris Smith (long and triple jumps), Dave Herath (middle distance), Travis Raske (distance), Mike Langer (throws), Robb Kolodziej (high jump), Rod Reuer (sprinters), Tom Ringhand (high jump)
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"Normally that would turn into chaos," Jacobs said, "but it turned into a bunch of kids working hard. I'm looking forward to them continuing their hard work in the weight room and on the track.
"Their attitudes seem good. What I've asked them to do was get in the weight room and get on the track and work as hard as they can. We'll go from there and see how tough we can be as we get to the end of the year."
Emma Smith, a freshman, was an All-CLC selection last year. She was runner-up in the section triple jump and finished 15th at the Class 2A state meet.
"She looks a lot stronger already than she did last year," Jacobs said. "We're hoping for some really good things from her in the triple jump."
Junior Cami Harmer, an All-CLC performer in pole vault, Also returns. Harmer was the CLC champion and finished fourth in the section.
"Cami has been working all winter getting stronger and faster," Jacobs said. "We're looking for good things from her in pole vault. Her goal is the school record (10-9 set by Samantha Smith). That would be a great goal."
Jacobs said the Warriors will benefit from the new addition of Lili Charlier, an accomplished weight lifter and thrower from the state of Virginia.
"Lily placed in the top five in their state meet," Jacobs said. "She would have placed in the top five in the Minnesota state meet. We're looking forward to good things from her.
"She's incredibly strong, she works hard, she has a smile on her face all the time. She's a great addition to the team."
Jacobs has high expectations for a veteran group of seniors that includes Jazmin Sunderland, Katie Jobe, Jaelyn Kappes, Meritt Miller and Ali Crochet.
Crochet and Miller are distance runners, competing in the 800, 1600 and 3200. Miller placed third in the section 1600 in 2016.
"They had a great cross country season," Jacobs said. "We're looking for them to build off of that and have a little more success with our distance team from last year. Emily Rugloski and Lili Schaeffer from the cross country team have joined us this year. They will give us a lot of depth that we didn't have before."
Hurdles should be a strength with Jobe and fellow seniors Ally Smith and Brooke Watland. Jobe finished seventh in the section 100 hurdles.
"They have all been working hard to get stronger," Jacobs said. "They're veteran hurdlers, they know the game. We're looking to get way better points out of them than we've gotten the past few years."
Sunderland and Kappes will run the 200 and 400 dashes. Sunderland finished fifth in the section 400 last year.
"I think, if you would ask them, they would agree they didn't have a great year last year," Jacobs said. "They're working hard. They're looking for a way better year than last year.
"As far as individual sprinters, I think we advanced one to the section meet last year. Jazmin made the finals in the 400 and she was the only one that did."
Jacobs also expects contributions from freshman Gabby Smith in the hurdles and 200 and freshman Sophie Robinson in sprints.
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: Anna Commerell, Ali Crochet, Cailee Jensen, Katie Jobe, Jaelyn Kappes, Morgan Martinson, Meritt Miller, Marimar Ramirez, Ally Smith, Jazmin Sunderland, Isabel Thompson, Brooke Watland
Juniors: Kelsie Burgstaler, Melinda DeSmith, Kimberly Hall, Cami Harmer, Jaclyn Johnson, Jazzlyn Logelin, Reagan McElfresh, Molly Selisker, Tarin Skinner, Alex Toensing, Laura Wadsten, Jamie Wallace, Sophomores: Gracie Birks, Amanda Cook, Kayla Deason, Abby Doran, Madelynn Gibbons, Mariko Hermerding, Mariah Hummer, Jocelyn Polansky, Molly Rudolph, Silvia Schmitz, Hannah Sunderland, Chantrelle Thayer, Olivia Wiskow
Freshmen: Layne Christian, Madylin Clemmer, Avery Eckman, Marissa Gower, Amber Maki, Sophie Robinson, Delaney Schaeffer, Merriam Schmitz, Ellie Selisker, Emma Smith, Gabby Smith, Rayah Unger, Eden Worden,
Seventh grade: Liliana Schaeffer