In 2013, the Central track and field teams return six of 10 section meet participants, along with a host of other talented athletes on the 55-member squad.
“We have continued to increase our numbers to a point where we can compete at a consistent level,” said NYA head coach Gary Kosek.
Last season, the Raiders finished sixth (girls’) and eighth (boys’) in the Minnesota River Conference and were able to qualify nine athletes for the Section 2A meet in Mankato.
The girls’ team rallied late in the season to win two consecutive meets, while the Raider boys continued took the top three spots in the shot and discus categories.
Missing from this season’s roster are 2012 NYA graduates Bailey Cook, Chris Lagergren, and Adam Neubarth. Cook advanced to sections in three events and was the team’s overall leading scorer, grabbing All-Conference Honorable mention in the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, and the 4×100 relay.
Lagergren (800-meters) and Neubarth (All-Conference discus) both also advanced to the section meet and consistently placed high in each meet, according to Kosek.
In 2013, senior Lexi Erpenbach and junior Nicole Miller are expected to be point-earners for the girls’ team, both competing in the long jump, 200-meter run, and 4×100 relay. Erpenbach advanced to last year’s section meet in the long jump.
Junior Parry Larson returns to the 1600-meter run and the triple jump, after placing third at the section meet in triple jump last season. Junior Sami Jo Brinkman, who finished sixth in the shot put at last year’s sections, also returns this season and will compete in both discus and shot put.
For the boys, senior Cristian Perez will be a point earner in the 400-meter run, while fellow senior Trevor Groschen is expected to do well in the triple jump, long jump, and 4×100 relay. Junior Alek Bixby is also back in the triple and high jumps, along with the 4×100. Sophomore Alex Wishnack will run the 1600- and 3200-meter races.
Kosek said the coaches have been pleased with the efforts in early spring practices.
“It is exciting when your best athletes are your hardest workers; and that seems to be what we have going,” he said. “Hopefully that trend continues and each individual improves and works hard at their events, and as a whole we should see improvements on team success.”
Groschen, Erpenbach, Perez, and senior Jeff Worm will captain the team this spring. Kosek is assisted by Tom Doyscher, Jacob Schrupp, and Joel Brinkman.
The Raiders began the season at Mankato State University on March 23. Weather permitting, the Raiders’ will host their Chuck Halliday track meet on April 11, beginning at 4 p.m.
Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]