BEA ready to be on the ‘fast track’
There are only three seniors on the Blue Earth Area girls track and field team. However, it would be a mistake to think that the squad is short on experience.
The Bucs return two relay teams and two individuals who competed at state last year. Furthermore, four school records were set last year by athletes who return from last year’s squad.
Last year’s state competitors include the 4 x 400 team of Anne Franta, Taylor Grandgenett, Karli Olsen and Shayna Stevermer. Their time of 3:58.96 in the state finals was a school record and earned them a second place finish at State.
Grandgenett also returns to compete in the 300 hurdles, an event she won at the State Finals in 2013. She established a new school record in the preliminaries last year at State before a fall in the finals landed her in ninth place.
Skylee Bell and Miranda Johnson joined Franta and Stevermer to set a school record in the 4 x 200 at the Section Meet and qualify to run at State. Bell also broke the school record in the long jump last year at the Section Meet.
The final State qualifier returning from last year is Karli Olsen competing in the 400.
All-conference athletes returning from last year include 1st place finishers Miranda Johnson in the 100, Franta in the 200, Grandgenett in the 300 hurdles, Nicole Lium in the pole vault, the 4 x200 squad of Paige Darrington, Johnson, Stevermer, and Johnson and the 4 x 400 team of Grandgenett, Stevermer, Sofie Blair and Olsen.
Silver medals were won by Franta in the 400, Grandgenett in the 100 meter hurdles, Bell in the long jump and the 4 x 100 relay team of Darrington, Johnson, Melissa Hagedorn and Franta.
Third place finishers included Olsen in the 400 and Madalyn Gaydon in the pole vault.
“We have a good strong core of veterans, both in performance and leadership,” says coach Tom Plocker.
Perhaps the success and depth of the girls track team can best be understood when one looks at the nine consecutive Section True Team Championships won by the girl’s team. Last year the Bucs placed fourth at the State True Team Championship.
“We have a good tradition in True Team,” comments Plocker, “so that is always an expectation.”
The girls also achieve success in the classroom. Darrington, Franta, Grandgenett, Olsen and Stevermer were named to the Academic All-State team. Theteam earned the gold level academic honor with a cumulative GPA of 3.94.
Three seniors return for their final season for the Bucs. They are Rowan Hacken, Signe Olson and Mariah Twedt.
Juniors are: Nyla Anderson, Emilie Benn, Andrea Boehmer, Paige Darrington, Laura Forup, Anne Franta, Madalyn Gaydon, Taylor Grandgenett, Miranda Johnson, Karli Olsen and Shayna Stevermer.
Sophomores are: Skylee Bell, Mariah Halvorson, Brittany Johnson, Samantha Ripley and Kenya Whitlow.
Freshmen are: Sofie Blair, Kaylee Callahan, Justina Gaydon, Melissa Hagedorn, Malorie Huber, Andrea Lawrence, Nicole Lium, Sammy Naumann, Alissa Norman, Lindsey Norman, Maddi Oelke and Lauren Schoenfelder.
Eighth-graders are: Katie Allis, Mariah Albertson, Maddie Armon, Sidney Blair, Emma Germain, Amanda Jacobson, Hayley Jahnke, Hannah Johnson, Arianna Nagel, Callie Stevermer and Marissa Waddell.
Seventh-graders are: Izzy Barnett, Heidi Hermann, Kaitlin Johnson and Macie Stevermer.