By PATRICK SLACK
With area fields and courses covered in snow, Little Falls, Pierz and Holdingford kicked off the spring season with indoor track and field meets, March 22.
Huskers sweep CMC indoor
The Holdingford girls tied for the top spot in the Central Minnesota Conference (CMC) indoor meet, while the Huskers boys won it outright at St. Cloud State.
The Pierz boys and girls each earned fourth place, with junior Tyler Millner pacing the Pioneers on the boys side by winning the 55-meter dash (7.11) and 200 (24.9).
Senior Jess Kasper added a runner-up finish in the high jump (6-feet).
Holdingford was led individually by event-winners senior Kyle Kolstad in the pole vault (12-feet) and sophomores Andrew Zachman in the 1,600 (5:04.9), Abe Skwira in the 3,200 (10:54.0) and Grant Bullert in the triple jump (39-feet, 0.5-inches).
Freshman Marcus Rick took second in the 800 (2:21.6).
In the girls competition, coming away with firsts for Holdingford were sophomore Hannah Warzecha in the pole vault (7-feet), freshmen Alli Ruprecht in the 3,200 (12:39.0) and Summer Storm in the 400 (1:08.0) and eighth-grader Arianna Vasilj in the 200 (29.43).
Eighth-grader Kailee Heinen earned second in the pole vault (6-feet, 6-inches).
Seventh-grader Beth-el Algarin took first in the 800 (2:44.5) and junior Bridget Bednar took second in the high jump (4-feet, 10-inches) to lead the Pioneers girls individually.
LF opens versus STMA
Little Falls opened with a dual against St. Michael-Albertville (STMA), with the Flyers boys taking four firsts and the girls picking up two.
Three of the Flyers boys’ wins came in the field, with senior Travis Spillum winning the high jump (5-feet, 10-inches), junior Dan Mushel winning the pole vault (12-feet) and junior Trysten Ross winning the shot put (48-feet, 9-inches). Junior Tim Infinger earned the other top finish with a time of 54.91 in the 400.
Turning in runner-up finishes were Infinger in the 200 (25.01), senior Jordan Petrone in the pole vault (11-feet), senior Garrett Horejsi in the 55 hurdles (8.97) and junior Mathew Massmann in the 3,200 (10:54.97).
In the girls competition, senior Amber Hines topped the field in the shot put with a mark of 33-feet, 2-inches, while freshman Melanie Dorn sped to first in the 400 (67.72).
Placing second for the Little Falls girls were seniors Mattia Hendrickson in the 800 (2:46.0) and 3,200 (12:40.57), Amanda Hanson in the pole vault (7-feet) and Emily Stark in the shot put (31-feet, 2-inches), junior Laura Moe in the 1,600 (6:15.25) and freshman Hannah Veillette in the 55 hurdles (11.29).
Holdingford season preview
Coming off a season in which it placed seventh at the state true team meet and finished as the Central Minnesota Conference runner-up, the Holdingford girls track and field team will look to finish near the top of its section and conference again this spring.
Holdingford’s top returners are senior Kaitlin Preusser, junior Abby Mokhtary, sophomore Emily Wolter, freshmen Ruprecht and McKenzie Schulte and eighth-grader Angel Rick, with sophomore Haily Koopmeiners and freshman Rachael Preusser among those expected to see increased action.
Seniors on this year’s team include Kara Fiedler, Kaja Vasiej, Preusser, Brittany Piwowar and Jordan Lindboe.
Graduating from last year’s team were Samantha Prokott, Teia Koopmeiners, Chelsea Gerads, Mariya Pierskalla and Katie Posch.
The Holdingford boys will look to move up from the middle of the conference pack to the front this spring, led by a strong group of experienced returners.
Among the key athletes coming back are Kolstad, juniors Brody Davidson and Zach Juaire and sophomores Matt Messman, Skwira, Logan Smith and Bullert, all of whom were either all-conference or advanced to sections.
Seniors Ben Burzlaff-Meyer and Dylan Scegura are also expected to step in and make an impact.
Seniors on this year’s team include Burzlaff-Meyer, Niles Corrieri, Ryan Hartung, Kolstad, Ryan Osterman, Scegura and Mathew Supan.
Graduating from last year’s team were Nick Lampert and Galen Piwowar.
The Huskers are looking to compete for one of the top spots in the conference, boys head coach Kelly Kobernusz said, along with in their regular-season meets.
Holdingford is scheduled to open the outdoor season at home, April 9.