Two years ago, the Holdingford girls qualified for true team state.
Last season, it was the Huskers boys turn.
This spring, both teams will eye getting back to the big stage, while moving up a spot after each finished as Central Minnesota Conference (CMC) runners-up last year.
The Huskers girls bring back a deep roster, led by reigning individual conference champion sophomores McKenzie Schulte (100) and Alli Ruprecht (3,200).
Additionally, the Huskers bring back all four members from last year’s state qualifying 4×200-meter relay team, junior Amanda Grebinoski, sophomores Rachael Preusser and Schulte and freshman Arianna Vasilj, as well as three of the four participants in the state qualifying 4×400 relay team in sophomore Summer Storm, Preusser and Vasilj.
Other top returners include senior Abby Mokhtary (distance), juniors Gabby Langerud (throws, triple jump), Haily Koopmeiners (jumps) and Emily Wolter (distance) and freshman Jo Merten (distance), with sophomore Taylor Winter (pole vault) and freshman Mary Van Heel (sprints) new athletes expected to contribute.
Seniors on this year’s roster include Mokhtary, Amber Thell, Anna Warzecha, Madison Vogt and McKenzie Dockendorf.
“I think we have a chance to finish in the top two at the conference meet, as well as the true team section meet,” Holdingford girls head coach Mark Alcorn said. “It is hard to tell how good some of the other teams will be and so setting a goal of a top-two finish at those two meets seems like a reasonable approach.
“Individually, I think if people stay healthy, and get healthy, I think we can have two or three relays at the state meet and possibly a couple of individuals.”
The Huskers boys spread their strength throughout both the track and field events, and will look to do the same this spring.
Top returners in the distance events will be the junior tandem of Abraham Skwira, the reigning conference champion in the 1,600 and 3,200, and Andrew Zachman, coming off an all-state performance in cross country in the fall.
Junior Grant Bullert, an all-around field and hurdles threat, is coming off a trip to state in the triple jump, while senior Brody Davidson, Skwira and sophomore Marcus Rick return from the state qualifying 4×800 relay team.
Seniors on this year’s roster include Chris Burg, Davidson, Malcolm Dewar, Ben Douvier, Aiden Gosiak, Nick Hiltner, Jeremy Springer, Zachary Juaire, Mitch Messman, Nick Catton and Carter Wohletz.
Holdingford opened the season at the Central Minnesota Conference indoor meet in St. Cloud, March 21.
The Huskers are scheduled to open their outdoor season at Sartell, Friday.