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Girls Track and Field: Warriors to field possible top 3 team

With 15 of the 18 spots returning, the Brainerd Warriors should have a field day this season. Brainerd returns 15 girls who competed in field events in last year's Section 8-2A and Central Lakes Conference meets last season. Graduation did claim ...

Brainerd Warrior girls track seniors Amanda Cook (left), Chantrelle Thayer, Molly Rudolph, Madelynn Gibbons, Carson Blegen and Olivia Wiskow run in the snow Monday, March 25, on Adamson Field. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
Brainerd Warrior girls track seniors Amanda Cook (left), Chantrelle Thayer, Molly Rudolph, Madelynn Gibbons, Carson Blegen and Olivia Wiskow run in the snow Monday, March 25, on Adamson Field. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

 

With 15 of the 18 spots returning, the Brainerd Warriors should have a field day this season.

Brainerd returns 15 girls who competed in field events in last year's Section 8-2A and Central Lakes Conference meets last season. Graduation did claim state experience in Cami Harmer and Lilianna Charlier, but talent remains in the six field events for the Warriors.

Despite the graduation of Harmer, pole vault should still be a strength for the Warriors. Kayla Deason and Eden Worden both return after finishing fifth and sixth in the section meet last year. The two posted 9-foot-6 efforts, with Harmer winning with a 10-6.

Worden won the Central Lakes Conference title with a 9-8 effort. Deason placed ninth.

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"Eden and Kayla are back and Robb (Kolodziej, Brainerd's pole vault coach) is expecting good things out of them," Warrior head coach Howie Jacobs said. "Kayla's sister Brenna Deason, an eighth-grader, is also vaulting so she'll be an addition to the equation.

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Girls track and field

  • Head coach: Howie Jacobs, fourth season as head coach (29 years as assistant coach-1983-2003, 2008-2015)
  • 2018 finish: fourth in CLC, seventh in Section 8-2A meet, fourth in Section 8-3A True Team Assistant coaches: Kris Smith (long and triple jumps), Dave Herath (middle distance), Ashley Rutman (distance), Mike Langer (throws), Robb Kolodziej (pole vault), Rod Reuer (sprinters), Landon Brainerd (high jump), Kelsi Brusehaver (sprints, hurdles)

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"Pole vault and the 200 through 800 runs will be our real strength. We have some good kids back and our ninth-grade class is going to be kind of a wild card for us because they've posted some good times and distance and heights in their junior high careers so now we want to see how they'll do when they get to the varsity level. There are two ninth-graders that have jumped 5 feet in the high jump. That will help a lot."

Olivia Wiskow returns in both the shot and discus. She placed seventh in shot and 19th in the discus at the section meet. She recorded a sixth and a 10th in the conference meet. Amanda Cook was ninth in the section discus competition and was sixth in the CLC.

Quin Villwock returns after placing 23rd in the section shot put and 10th in the conference.

Gabbie Smith, Emma Smith and Ellie Selisker all return to the long and triple jumps. The graduation of St. Cloud Tech's Jodi Lipp opens the door for someone else to take the jumping titles.

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In the long jump, Gabbie Smith was fourth, Emma Smith 10th and Selisker 28th in the section meet.

Gabbie Smith was fifth in the section triple jump followed by Emma Smith in seventh and Selisker 20th.

"I have about six triple jumpers that are back," Jacobs said. "Mari Devine, Taylor Larson and Amber Maki and Sara Schiller all jumped last year along with the three that competed at sections."

Emma Smith is the top returning high jumper from the section meet. She placed 15th. Katherine Henke was 20th and Avery Eckman 23rd. It was Eckman who posted the top result in the conference meet with a ninth-place effort.

Relays should be another strength of the Warriors, three-fourths of the conference winning 4x100 relay returns in Gabbie Smith, Madison Genz and Kayla Deason. The relay was fifth in the section meet.

Selisker, Emma Storbakken, Genz and Emma Smith placed 11th in the 4x200 relay at sections and was sixth in the CLC.

The foursome of Erin Hoelzel, Gabbie Smith, Carson Blegen and Deason placed sixth at sections in the 4x400 relay, while Blegen, Kayla Bush and Sophie Robinson all have experience on the 4x800 relay.

"Our relays should be pretty good, especially our sprint relays like our 4x4, our 4x2 and our 4x1," Jacobs said. "A lot of those kids are back again and I think the freshmen class is going to give us a little boost in speed. They're looking good. By the end of the season the last couple of years, we've been running really really well in our relays. We're starting to look at state qualifying standards and see if we can make a decent run at those and get some kids to state in a relay."

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Delaney Schaeffer was eighth in the section 100-meter hurdles followed by Chandler Niemeyer (28th) and Mari Devine (42nd). Schaeffer was third in the CLC meet followed by Devine in fifth and Niemeyer in 17th.

In the 300 hurdles, Gina Wasniewski was 24th followed by Schaeffer in 27th at sections.

"We're really trying to just build a base and get them into running shape and then we'll start speeding things up as the season progresses," Jacobs said. "We really work hard to be ready to be in May when we have to be. Right now we're just working to get them in shape. Our two indoor meets and our early outdoor meets are really to just break up practice and find out what we have."

Jacobs and his Warrior staff will be looking for sprinters.

Genz is the top returning 100-meter performer as she placed 14th in sections and seventh in the CLC.

Kayla Deason was 10th in the 200 dash followed by Selisker (27th) and Storbakken (32nd).

"We're really looking for that 100-meter dash kid," Jacobs said. "We haven't had a true sprinter for several years. You know, somebody who can contend for the section or conference title. It's been a few years since we've had somebody fast enough to even get to the finals of those. We'd love an injection of pure speed."

Hoelzel was 22nd in the 400 dash with Storbakken in 30th.

Blegen finished 15th and Jenna Host 35th in the 800 run at sections, while Kayla Bush was 32nd in the 1600 and Liliana Schaeffer 29th in the 3200.

Jacobs said his goals are top three in the Section 8-3A True Team meet, conference and section.

"To find out what we truly have, we'll be looking at early May, maybe late April," Jacobs said. "May 3 we have the Wayzata relays and then we start hitting the championship meets. After the Wayzata relays we have True Team and then two weeks later it's the conference and then it's sections. It's a really short season.

"It will take four to six weeks to get them in racing shape or competing shape and then they'll excel."

 

Warrior roster

Senior: Carson Blegen, Amanda Cook, Kayla Deason, Madelynn Gibbons, Molly Rudolph, Chantrelle Thayer, Olivia Wiskow

Junior: Avery Eckman, Marissa Gower, Madison Hannah, Madison Holm, Amber Maki, Sidney Miller, Sophie Robinson, Elizabeth Ryder, Delaney Schaeffer, Merriam Schmitz, Ellie Selisker, Emma Smith, Gabbie Smith, Ava Thompson, Quin Villwock, Gina Wasniewski, Eden Worden

Sophomore: Emma Bowen, Sabrina Buffeta, Kayla Bush, Mari Devine, Grace Ernster, Madison Genz, Allyson Goeden, Gabrielle Hannah, Katherine Henke, Erin Hoelzel, Jenna Host, Tayler Howard, Auni Jobe, Taylor Larson, Elizabeth Mattson, Isabell Mayer, Chandler Niemeyer, Sara Schiller, Emma Storbakken, Emma True-Williams, Macey Whitlock

Freshmen: Cylie Backstrom, Lily Birks, Autumn Brainerd, Elle Bruggeman, Hanna Caughey, Abigail Dahl, Hala Davis, Josie Gibson, Sophia Laube, Annie Loss, Parker Loy, Jordyn Marsh, Myah Nelson, Kamryn Peterson, Liliana Schaeffer, Alexis Shaw, Livia Thompson

Eighth grade: Brenna Deason

Seventh grade: Bridget Collins

 

Warrior schedule

Saturday, March 30, at St. John's University 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 6, in Central Lakes Conference meet at St. John's University 9 a.m.

April 12, Warrior Invite at Brainerd 4 p.m.

April 18, at Sartell invite 4 p.m.

April 23, Triangular at Brainerd 4 p.m.

April 26, Hamline Elite Meet at Hamline University 5:30 p.m.

April 30, at Alexandria Invite 5:30 p.m.

May 3, at Wayzata Invite 3:30 p.m.

May 7, Section 8-3A True Team at St. Michael-Albertville 2 p.m.

May 14, at Rocori Invite 4 p.m.

May 17, State True Team at Stillwater 4 p.m.

May 21, Central Lakes Conference Championship at Brainerd 3 p.m.

May 29, Section 8-2A meet at Fergus Falls 3 p.m.

June 1, Section 8-2A meet at Willmar

June 7-8, State meet at Hamline University

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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