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BEA warms up for a new season

By Staff | Aug 24, 2014

Each day of the 2014 Blue Earth Area Cross Country season, one runner will be matched with a Beatles hit song.

“One of our athletes will be likened to a particular Beatles hit song, highlighting the particular attribute that he or she brings to the team,” explains head coach Tom Plocker.

This will be Plocker’s 27th season as head coach. He hopes that “a long-lasting, fun-filled and positive” atmosphere will yield a true passion for the sport in athletes, friends and family alike.

Dan Ristau and Stacie Hassing, both Buccaneer alumni, will also be returning for another season as assistant coaches.

The girls team will be led by senior captains Rowan Hacken, Meredith Hagedorn, Madeline Jenkins, Signe Olson and Athena Peterson.

Taylor Grandgenett, a junior at BEA, was the team’s No. 1 finisher at each meet last season and she will return this season as the top runner. Classmate Shayna Stevermer was chosen as Most Improved for 2013 and Plocker expects that she will have another strong season.

Other returning veterans for the 2014 season are sophomore Mariah Halverson and freshman Melissa Hagedorn. Freshman Justina Gaydon and Lexi Waddell are contenders for a varsity spot.

“A talented group of eighth-graders will have a big impact on the team as well,” said Plocker.

Incoming eighth graders include: Mariah Albertson, Katie Allis, Amanda Jacobson, Hayley Jahnke, Arianna Nagel, Callie Stevermer and Gabby Weerts.

The boys team will be led by senior captains Mike Ankeny, Alex Benson and Nick Shure. Ankeny is a former All-Conference runner and is expected to have another solid season.

Juniors Zach Vaske, two-time Most Improved and?All-Conference runner in 2013, Adam Buseman and Jordan Stelter were 2013 varsity letter-winners.

Veterans returning for the season include: juniors Jaxx Jacobsen, John Lindsey and Jack Nimz; sophomores Seth Becker and Gabe Johnson; and freshman Sam Welker.

Juniors Alan Davids and Jared Mensing, newcomers to the team, will be vying for varsity positions. Other beginning runners include: senior Santino Diaz; sophomore Jesus Quintero; eighth-graders Eric Becker and Blake Townsend; and seventh-graders Thomas Lindsey, Brady Olsen and Grant Strukel.

Runners and spectators can expect to see competition from top squads in the Big South Conference including Waseca, Fairmont, Luverne and Martin County West.

Blue Earth Area will host two meets this season. The Buc Invite will be held Tuesday, Oct. 8, and the Section 2A Championship will also be held in October. Each meet is hosted at the Riverside Town and Country Club in Blue Earth.