Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
By Dennis Abernathy, Coach
The 2009-2010 EV-W-K girls' Track & Field team has successfully pulled off a repeat of Conference Champions. For those who do not know, the success of the track and field program over the past four years has exploded. The girls' program has been a Sub-Section Runner-Up along with two Conference Championships. This is due, in part, to an increase in participants program-wide. Just four years ago, Kimball was contributing about 20 kids to the cooperative with Eden Valley and now averages more than 60. The most recent success came last Tuesday (May 18) at Pierz High School, when the girls held off the likes of Maple Lake, Holdingford, and Pierz to bring home their second consecutive conference title.
Before last year, the last time a conference title was in the hands of a Kimball track team was 1978. Co-Head Coach Jason Mortenson said, "I am very proud of all of our athletes, they earned it. We weren't expecting a conference championship this year, but a few surprising performances can change the entire outcome of the meet." Foreign exchange student Larissa Anthofer took first in both the 800m run and mile, with the pole vaulters Macki Nelson, Nicole Klein, and Sam Stuve taking first, fourth, and sixth respectively, with Macki setting a new conference record, Sarah Messer placing third in the discus and shot put, Tiffany Kuechle placing second in the 100m hurdles, and the relays placed first in the 4 x 100, 4 x 200, and 4 x 400. Coach Mortenson also mentioned, "It is really nice to see the Kimball numbers up, Eden Valley used to have twice as many athletes out for track than we did, but now Kimball has the majority of athletes." This is a great feat, seeing that the co-op is the only team in the CMC without a functioning track. Eden Valley has a dirt track located at the elementary school and Kimball's track is asphalt, not usable for track meets, and was constructed about seven meters short of a regulation track. This makes it very difficult to accurately practice hurdles and nearly impossible to practice starting blocks without a rubberized surface. High Jumpers also have a difficult time practicing as they have to jump in the grass and the throwers are commonly in line waiting their turn, because of the lack of throwing circles and agri-lime. The athletes commonly train in the grass because of the harsh impact their shins would endure with constant pounding on the asphalt. "Kimball could be the ideal place for a track facility, right in the middle of the CMC. If constructed correctly, we could be the host of the conference championships, sub-sections, or the section meet someday," Mortenson said. The boys' team also became a lot more competitive over the past four years, moving up from nearly last in the conference to placing fourth this year. Senior Alex Mies, junior Tyler Loch, and sophomore Danny Lochen all earned All-Conference Honors Tuesday. Seeing that Kimball itself currently has five athletes on the state honor roll, and have broken three school records so far this year, there is no doubt that track and field has made its mark in Kimball.
Upcoming Meets: Sub-Sections at B-B-E May 25; Sections at St. John's University June 2.
UPDATE: After the May 25 subsections, 20 EV-W-K athletes will advance to Sections June 2: Tyler Loch, Trevor Baumann, Alex Mies, Joe James, jake Linn, Ryan McCann, Danny Lochen, De'Angelo James, Nathan McCann; Rachel Arnold, Molly Hesse, Larissa Anthofer, Brittany Hesse, Liz Kastanek, Morgan Meyer, Sam Stuve, Shauny Kramer, Amber Besonen, Macki Nelson, and Sarah Messer.