By PATRICK SLACK
What the Upsala-Swanville Area (USA) girls track and field team lacks in age it makes up for with speed and talent, as it returns a deep stable of sprinters and jumpers from a year ago.
Leading that group are last year’s 4×200-meter relay team of seniors Makenna Peterson and Marissa Evans and sophomores Danica Cheney and Brooke Westrich, who won the Prairie Conference and sub-section meets.
Peterson also excelled in the long jump and triple jump, with Evans, Cheney and Westrich supplying further points in the individual sprinting events.
Other returning point earners include senior Emma Guthrie (high jump/sprints), juniors Emily Mettler (hurdles/sprints) and Amanda Rieffer (jumps/sprints), sophomores Stephanie Koetter (jumps/sprints) and Danica Hanson (high jump/hurdles) and freshmen Hannah Mettler (distance), Kendra Lange (sprints/jumps/throws) and McKenzie Barth (throws).
Graduating from last year’s team were Sara Roerick and Dawn Evoniuk.
“(This) looks like another great year of mostly young athletes and some excellent experienced athletes in the specific areas of high jumping, long jumping, 200 meters and the 4×200 relay,” USA girls head coach Jim Drill said. “It will be exciting to watch how far the mature athletes go and how much improvement develops in our junior high squad.”
Returning with varsity experience for the Patriots boys are seniors Paul Fruechte, Travis Koetter, Cory Wensmann, Jake Goodell, Eric Frieler, Milo Koubsky and Jacob Opelia, juniors Leo Serna, Adam Swanson and Corey Poland, sophomore Joe Jensen, freshmen Noah Pundsack, Ethan McCoy and Sam Mettler and eighth-grader Matt Koetter.
New athletes looking to join them and compete for varsity action are junior Adam Bartkowicz, sophomores Connor Poland and Justin Schneider, freshmen Garrett Karnes and Carter Loven, eighth-graders Jarick Rieffer, Amando Perales and Cody Rahn and seventh-graders Andrew Prokott and Lawrence Mettler.
Callan Drill was the lone graduate from last year’s team.
“We have a hard-working group of athletes,” USA boys head coach Pete Swisher said. “I expect that we will improve throughout the year and get some good places at the conference meet and sub-section meet.”
USA is scheduled to open its outdoor season at Holdingford, April 9.