Century girls look to keep up track and field program's strong tradition

Apr. 1—Head coach: Kris Allen. Assistants: Kassi Brown, Brent McGrew, Emma Christiansen, Megan Girtman, Toby Hatlevig, Christ Whitfield, Lindsay Benson, Reid Pierzinski.

Key returners: Megan Lund, sr., 100, 200, relays, jumps; Mary Amusan, fr., shot put, discus; Kaia Berry, 100, 200, jumps; Sophia Comfere, jr., 400, 800; Addy Crow, sr., 1,600, 3,200.

Outlook on the season: Century has had one of the top girls track-and-field programs in the state for years. That should continue this season with such stars as sprinter Megan Lund and middle-distance runner Sophia Comfere. Lund, a senior, is one of the top sprinters and long jumpers in the section. She was third in the 200 last year. Comfere is a budding star. The junior won the 400 (57.15) a year ago at the section meet. Addy Crow gives Century one of the top distance runners in the section. "We hope to cultivate our new athletes while maintaining a high level of performance for our varsity athletes," Century coach Kris Allen said. "Century's ability to score in a wide range of events has been our strong suit and we hope to find new talent to fill in the holes left by graduation."

Head coach: Dakota Hiller. Assistants: Brandon Stanek, Lucas Fisher, Justin Rein, Sam Sonnabend, Kyle Riggott, Hayden Ashworth, Shai Nichols.

Key returners: Abi Tri, fr., 1,600, 3,200; Ryana Mathis, sr., 800, 1,600; Maysen Pettengill, so., high jump, 400, relays; Lauryn Brady, sr., 200, relays; Bea Hoyme, sr., shot put, discus.

Outlook on the season: John Marshall's returning athletes from a year ago are already hitting their marks from a year ago, according to coach Dakota Hiller. JM's best individual performer is Abi Tri. The freshman distance runner was third last year in the section meet with an 11:25.78 time in the 3,200. She finished this fall as the section's cross country champion. Rhana Mathis is a strong 800 (2:25.22 last year) and 1,600 runner (5:31.42). "Our strength comes from our numbers and coaching staff this year," Hiller said. "With similar athlete numbers to last year, but a bunch of new faces, we are excited to help athletes grow in their love for track and field and allow them to show us what they are capable of."

Head coach: Pete Gilman. Assistants: Demonte Nelson, Joe Lonzo, Rachel Simon.

Key returners: Anna Shedivy, jr., 100, 200, relays; Ella Shedivy, jr., 100, 200, relays; Mariah Brooks, sr., 400, 800, 4x800 relay; Abby Oxentenko, 1,600, 3,200, 4x800 relay; Anna Peikert, jr., 400, 800, 4x400 relay, 4x800 relay.

Outlook on the season: The Eagles have the makings of an outstanding team. They especially look strong in the sprints led by junior twin sisters Anna and Ella Shedivy. Anna Peikert is one of the section's top 800 runners. A year ago, she was second in the race at sections with a 2:24.22 time. Abigail Oxtentenko is a strong 1,600 and 3,200 runner and Madi Schwirtz has lots of potential in the high jump. Lourdes started this season by winning the Northern Badger indoor meet hosted by UW-Stout.

Head coach: Jered Smiley. Assistants: Matthew Olson, Jeff Schlichter, Kristie Kinneberg, Jeff Ubinger, Cory Urban, Bob Sheehan, Kevin Kirkeby, Donny Holcomb, Anh McGeeney, Braedon Mengis, Helnsarah Penda, Leah Speltz.

Key returners: Jadyn Lester, sr., high jump; Claire Siems, sr., 200; Willemijn Leiner, sr., 1,600; Shannon Chen, sr., 400, 800.

Outlook on the season: The Spartans graduated one of the school's all-time best track-and-field athletes, Hannah Hanson. But there remains plenty of talent here led by Big Nine Conference high jump runner-up, Jadyn Lester. Lester has cleared 5-feet-3. Claire Siems gives Mayo an excellent returning sprinter and the Spartans have an incoming sprinting star, freshman Taylor Kurtz. Kurt, who attended Dover-Eyota last year, was first a year ago in the 200 (25.47) at the Class 1A state meet and second in the 100 (12.48). Senior Willemijn Leiner was second in the 1,600 in the Big Nine Conference meet and senior Shannon Chen was a state participant in the 4x400 relay. "This year, led by some key returners and some exciting newcomers, I believe Mayo track and field is ready to step up the competition at both the conference and state level," said Mayo coach Jered Smiley, who has a whopping 189 girls out for the team. "I believe we have athletes who are coming into the season more prepared than ever."