Coming off their eighth consecutive Section True Team Championship last year, the 2014 Blue Earth Area girls track and field team only lost two girls to graduation.
However, one of those girls contributed over 100 points in the Section True Team Championship, according to coach Tom Plocker.
The Bucs will need to replace Krista Hassing. She was All-Conference and took first places in the 400 and 800. She was named All-State and was a part of the 4 x 400 team, which took second place at State.
Girl tracksters, left to right, top: Mariah Halvorson, Brooke Frandle, Callie Stevermer, Nicole Lium, Sofie Blair, Maddi Oelke, Lauren Schoenfelder, Sidney Blair, Sam Ripley, Mariah Mauris, Emma Olson, Jennifer Quintero. Middle: Justina Gaydon, Melissa Hagedorn, Lindsey Phillips, Katie Allis, Christa Phillips, Hayley Jahnke, Mette Rostad, Katrine Robertson, Amelie Bachmann, Cece Illa Romane and Frannie Tetzlaff. Front row: Sam Barslou, Skylee Bell, Mariah Twedt, Jenna Stevermer, Kaitlyn Olsen, Anne Franta, Paige Darrington and Sierra Halvorson.
"It's hard to replace such an amazing athlete like Krista," Plocker says. "But, the good news is, we still have our major nucleus here who will be very strong in the sprints and relays."
Last year the girls had an excellent campaign; they finished second at the South Central Conference Championship, at Sub-Section and Sections. In a season where several meets were cancelled, the girls won two other meets as well.
Other All-Conference girls who took first places last year were Skylee Bell in the 100 and 200, Taylor Grandgenett in the 300 hurdles and the 4 x 400 squad of Grandgenett, Anne Franta, Karli Olsen and Hassing.
Silver medals were won by Franta in the 200, the 4 x 200 (Paige Darrington, Miranda Johnson, Shayna Stevermer and Franta), and the 4 x 100 (Darrington, Johnson, Olsen and Bell).
Third placers included Hassing in the triple jump and Johnson in the long jump.
At State, Grandgenett won the 300 hurdles in a school-record time. She became the first ever female State track and field Champion in Blue Earth Area history.
Each Buccaneer competing at the State meet won a medal and All-State honors.
Last year, Nyla Anderson was selected as the Buccaneers most improved and Melissa Hagedorn was named the most outstanding rookie for the Bucs in 2013.
Hassing, Darrington, Franta, Grandgenett, Johnson and Olsen were all named Academic All-State and the team earned the gold level academic honor with a cumulative GPA of 3.94.
This year the Buccaneers' theme is celebrities.
"Each day we will honor one or more athletes by comparing them to a well-known celebrity and noting the quality which makes them famous as a Buccaneer track and field athlete," Plocker explains.
The Bucs will be led by six senior captains this year including: Emily Hynes, Mariah Mauris, Emma Olson, Jennifer Quintero, Jenna Stevermer and Zoe Thompson.
Juniors are: Amelie Bachmann, Rowan Hacken, Meredith Hagedorn, Kaitlyn Olsen, Signe Olson, Katrine Robertson, Cece Illa Romane, Mette Rostad, Frannie Tetzlaff and Mariah Twedt.
Sophomores are: Nyla Anderson, Paige Darrington, Anne Franta, Madalyn Gaydon, Taylor Grandgenett, Miranda Johnson, Karli Olsen and Shayna Stevermer.
Freshmen are: Samantha Barslou, Skylee Bell, Brooke Frandle, Mariah Halvorson and Samantha Ripley.
Eighth-graders are: Sofie Blair, Justina Gaydon, Melissa Hagedorn, Julia Hanson, Malorie Huber, Andrea Lawrence, Nicole Lium, Sammy Naumann, Allissa Norman, Lindsey Norman, Maddi Oelke, Lindsey Phillips and Lauren Schoenfelder.
Seventh-graders are: Katie Allis, Maddie Armon, Sidney Blair, Sable Fuller, Erin Hannaman, Amanda Jacobson, Hayley Jahnke, Hannah Johnson, Arianna Nagel, Christa Phillips, Alyssa Ripley, Callie Stevermer and Bailee Swanson.
"Hopefully we can win our ninth consecutive Section True Team Championship this year," Plocker says. "These girls are great. They work hard and really enjoy what they are doing."
So it's lights, camera, action for the 2014 BEA track and field season.