Although the weather has been far from cooperative, the Boone Central/Newman Grove girls and boys track & field teams have been busy preparing for the 2013 season the past three weeks.
With the Madison Relays postponed Tuesday by weather conditions, the Cardinals are now scheduled to make their spring debut Thursday when they host the annual Mansfield Invite at the Boone Central athletic complex in Albion.
Head Coach Kris Pestel and her staff have a solid number of athletes competing and are optimistic about the upcoming campaign.
Pestel, who handles the Cardinal throwers, is assisted by Tom Dickey (distance runs), Mike Kennedy (long/triple jumps & sprints), Justin DeWitt (pole vault), Aliscia Benes (sprints & athletic training), Susan Roberts (high jump & hurdles) and Tim Rossow (400 & 800 runners).
The Boone Central Lady Cardinals have won the last four Mid-State Conference championships and Pestel hopes to continue that type of success in the initial year of the BC/NG cooperative.
Boone Central/Newman Grove will be able to build around 10 returning letterwinners, including two athletes who were state qualifiers in 2012.
“We are very excited for the season,” Pestel commented. “We have a solid core of returning athletes with experience and good leadership skills, but we will need to develop our younger athletes quickly to help solidify all areas of our team.”
Sophomores Dana Pelster and Olivia Slizoski are back from the 4×100 relay team that placed third in last year’s state meet in Omaha.
Other letterwinners returning this season are seniors Terri Molt and Cassidy Pribnow, juniors Anna Goodwater, Jade Gottier and Miranda Ketteler and sophomores Kendra Gonzalez, Mariah Patzel and Kaitlyn Stuhr.
The Boone Central/Newman Grove boys will also seek to develop through the season, with hopes of having conference and district success. The Cardinals have 12 returning letterwinners, including five experienced seniors and four returning state qualifiers.
“We have a good number of athletes out for track, but return only four state qualifiers,” Pestel noted. “The development of all of our athletes will be the key to our season.
“We look forward to a very competitive season with the depth we have in many areas.”
Seniors Calvin Koziol (1600, 4×800), Blake Slizoski (100) and Nick Paulson (110 hurdles) were state meet qualifiers in 2012, as was sophomore Matt Brugger (4×800). They are joined by senior letterwinners Hallick Lehmann and Logan Olson, junior letterwinners Derek Gentrup, Alex Hayes and Trevor Salber and sophomore letterwinners Joe Brugger, Travis Kennedy and Michael Lipker.
Pestel and the Cardinals are anxious to get a new season of challenges underway.
“We are a member of the Mid-State Conference, which is a great athletic conference, and our district is made up of some of the best teams in Class B,” the Cardinal Coach pointed out. “We will have to perform at our best to compete with all of those great teams.”
Further details in Print & Online editions of Albion News