Watertown-Mayer track and field preview

Head co-coaches: Rich Winter (42 years) and Kyle Jensen (1 year)

Assistant coaches: Ryan Jepma, Pam Quarve, Andrea Raser and Nick Urban

2016 recap: Ailsa Gilbert, Tyarra Paulson and Hannah Truniger competed at the state meet for the Royals. Truniger and Gilbert were named to the All-Conference team, while Wyatt Tatge and Tyarra Paulson were honorable mentions.

2016 graduates: NIKLAS BERNDT, BEN ERNHART, KEITH JANIKULA, AUSTEN NEATON, JACOB OAK, CHARLES SAING, TROY SCHEUBLE, DUSTIN STIFTER, WYATT TATGE, JACOB TESCH AND HANNAH TRUNIGER.

“wE HAD TERRIFIC SENIOR LEADERSHIP,” wiNTER SAID. “tHESE ATHLETES’ CHARACTER WILL BE MISSED.”

Returning Letterwinners for 2017: 10 boys and nine girls.

Seniors – Blake Blackketter, Emily Carlson, McKail Hertzog, Corey Jobe, Cooper Murane and Tyarra Paulson.

Juniors – Wes Burns, Monica Czinano, Elizabeth Ernhart, Lukas Gilbert, Madyson Hoese, Jack Heun, Anarosa Oscarson, Kallie Unowski and Brevin Williams.

Sophomores – Nicolas Bloss, Ailsa Gilbert and Ben Hess.

Freshmen – Lauren Osborn.

Wright County West Conference outlook: “Both Watertown-Mayer boys and girls should be in the top four or five,” said Winter.

Mound Westonka and Glencoe-Silver Lake are the favorites for the boys, while Litchfield and Annandale are favorites for the girls.

Section 5A outlook and favorites: Girls – Holdingford and Mora are the favorites, while Watertown-Mayer should be fighting for a top seven spot.

Boys – Mora and Annandale are the favorites, while Watertown–Mayer looks to be in the top 10 teams.

Teams goals and expectations: Team balance – score in all events – find events for all the new faces and have fun.

Strengths: Girls and boys returning state meet experience and several new upperclassmen – younger athletes finished last season strong.

Final thoughts: “With the addition of several new upperclassman and younger athletes this should be a fun season,” Winter said.