Female Area Athlete of the Week: Pierz’s Kimman a track and field star
Pierz junior earns area athlete of the week
Ashley Kimman is on fire.
The Pierz junior earned wins in all four of her events last week at the Section 7-1A True Team Meet which helped the Pioneer girls advance to the State True Team Meet scheduled for Saturday, May 21, at Stillwater High School.
Kimman won the 100-meter hurdles in 15.75, the 300 hurdles in 47.09, the long jump in 16-feet-8.5 and the high jump in 5-0. By winning all four events Kimman recorded 64 points for the Pierz girls team as they won the meet with 443.5 total points.
“She is one of the big reasons our girls advanced to state in the True Team,” first-year Pierz head coach Cole Oslin said.
Kimman’s success didn’t stop there. At the Granite Ridge Conference Championships Tuesday, she earned All-Conference honors in all four events and was conference champion in two of them.
“I’ve had a lot of support from my coaches coming into the season,” Kimman said. “We’ve had a new coach and he’s been really good about letting me pick the events I want to do and supporting me.”
She claimed the Granite Ridge title in the long jump at 16-4 and the high jump at 5-2. She was second in the 100 hurdles in 16.2 behind Little Falls’ Danielle Schirmers, and second in the 300 hurdles in 48.43 behind Foley’s Nicole Schaefer.
“Ashley is everything that embodies a student-athlete,” Oslin said. “She is one of our captains this year, so she is one of our leaders this year. But what I like about her the most is she leads by example. She’s just good for the program and the thing I like the most is she works hard in practice and never complains. I’m proud of the hard work she’s put in and how she pushes herself and I'm excited to see what she’ll do at the end of the year.”
One thing Kimman does to stay loose before she competes is have a dance party with her teammate Katie Leidenfrost.
“We just dance and sing together and get excited that way,” Kimman said. “I also pray before an event.”
Kimman won all four of her events in the Crosby-Ironton sports boosters meet May 6 and three of her events at the Holdingfold meet May 3.
“With the new coaching perspective, I’ve gotten new pointers on things to look at for high jump and that;’s been helpful,” Kimman said.
She racked up three wins in a Granite Ridge Meet April 26 and in the Pierz invite April 11.
“In our home meet, she tied the school record for the high jump at 5-foot-5,” Oslin said.
Kimman also qualified for the Hamline Elite meet April 29 in the high jump and in the 100 hurdles. She finished fifth in the high jump at 5-2 and ninth in the hurdles with a 15.59.
“That meet kind of brings together the top track athletes from the whole state of Minnesota regardless of their class,” Oslin said. “She’s had a strong start to her season this year and she doesn’t shy away from the spotlight.”
She opened the season with two wins, one in the 55 hurdles, and the other in the long jump March 31 at a Granite Ridge indoor meet.
“With me being new to the district this year and taking over for a 30-year head coach that had been leading the program for a while, I’ve still been trying to build that relationship,” Oslin said. “Ashley has been very open and responsive and has given me a chance. Then in practice, she has no problem in taking the lead on things.”
Kimman already has state experience. Last year, she finished third in the high jump at the Class 1A state tournament at 5-3.
“That gave me a confidence boost and I just like working on that event,” she said. “It’s a fun event and it’s something that I succeed at. I know I’m really close to getting to state in other events too.”
Oslin said he could probably put Kimman in any event and she would excel at it.
“I could put her in the pole vault and she could get top eight,” Oslin said. “Her strongest event though would be the high jump, but she’s really talented in the 100 hurdles.”
Other notable performances:
Softball: Victoria Koering, Pine River-Backus, went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs against Staples-Motley.
Morgan Eckes, Pequot Lakes, struck out eight and went 2-3 against Milaca. She also struck out six against Crosby-Ironton
Hannah Christle, Pillager, went 7-9 in a doubleheader against Menahga. She went 3-4 with a triple against New York Mills
Kelsi Martini, Pequot Lakes, recorded seven RBIs in a doubleheader against Crosby-Ironton.
Kaitlyn Geschwill, Pequot Lakes, went 5-6 in a doubleheader against Crosby-Ironton and struck out five. She struck out 16 against Royalton.
Alyssa Sadlovsky, Pierz, went 3-4 with a double against Albany.
Golf: Abby Turkowski, Little Falls, won the title at Sauk Rapids with an 80.
Genevieve Birkeland, Pequot Lakes, won the title at Owatonna with an 84.
Morgan Krieger, Pequot Lakes, won the title at The Vintage with a 79.
Track and Field: Jessa Kimman, Pillager, won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles at the Pillager invite.
Sport: Track and field
Highlights: She won all four of her events in the Section 7-1A True Team Meet helping the Pierz girls advance to state.