WHS track teams have strong season

By Melissa Marohl, Sports Writer

It was a busy season for the Waconia boys’ and girls’ track and field teams.

The girls had a strong team all season that paid off with a Wright County Conference title. Also this season, the Wildcats won three meets including the Delano Triangular on April 16, the Annandale Invitational on April 19, and their home conference meet on April 30. Waconia was second at Orono on April 24, at Delano on April 26, and at True Team Sections on May 10 in Orono. The girls were third at Mankato West on April 10 and in their home invitational on May 3. The junior varsity girls team won its conference meet at home on May 7.

On May 17, the Wildcat girls defeated Annandale by one-half of a point to grab the conference title. A full team effort, the girls turned in solid wins and times to score their 121.50 points over Annandale’s 121.

Quick sprints and relays were the jewel of the team this season, consistently finishing at the top in each meet. But it wouldn’t have been enough without the solid backing of the distance and field events, which also gathered many points for the Wildcats throughout the season.

In the Section 2AA competition on May 30, the girls’ team was ninth of 15 teams. The team advanced junior Anna Pioske (400-meter run) and the 4×200 relay team of Pioske, Miranda Schultz, Kayla Christensen, and Stephanie Frempong-Longdon.

Pioske finished ninth in her event at the state tournament, held at Hamline University on June 8-9. She was sixth in her heat in the preliminary competition with a time of 59.54 seconds, and fell just shy of qualifying for the finals. The relay team was disqualified in the preliminary run of the event.

It was a tougher season for the Waconia boys’ team, which was plagued by illness and injury for most of the season and finished 10th (of 10 teams) in the conference. Finishing in the middle of the pack in most meets, the highlights of the boys’ season were its two second place finishes at the Delano Triangular on April 16 and the Orono Triangular on April 26. The team was third at Delano on April 26, and fourth at home on April 30 and May 3. Waconia finished seventh at an Annandale invitational on April 19 and seventh at True Team Sections on May 10.

The season ended for the boys’ track and field team at the section competition, where the Wildcats failed to advance anyone to state. The 4×800 relay team had Waconia’s highest finish of the day, seventh place in its event. The team was made of juniors Ryan Christensen, Adam Kirsch, and Ian Manske, along with senior Nick Carson.

The 4×100 team of juniors Jacob Fettig and Tyler Thomas, along with sophomore Cody Ellis and Tim Gray, was eighth in its event.