Rachelle LeBlanc, senior, Little Falls
LeBlanc finishes off one of the best athletic careers in Little Falls history as the Record’s Athlete of the Year for the third time. LeBlanc proved a valuable point-earner in sprints and jumps, but her biggest impact was unquestionably in the pole vault, where she cleared 11-feet in placing fourth at the state meet.
Katie Yorek, senior, Little Falls
Yorek was stellar in both throwing events for Little Falls this spring, earning an individual title in the shot put (36-feet, 1-inch) and third-place finish in the discus (101-feet, 9-inches) to help the Flyers earn a repeat Granite Ridge Conference title. Yorek went on to place fifth at the Section 8AA meet in the shot put (36-feet, 6-inches).
Maria Hauer, senior, Little Falls
Hauer could be counted on to win just about every event she entered this spring for the Flyers, whether it was the 400, 800 or 1,600. She seized the Granite Ridge Conference title in the 800 (2:24.25) and later went on to earn top-five Section 8AA finishes in the 800 (2:20.37) and 1,600 (5:21.78).
Raychel Virnig, junior, Pierz
Virnig continued her ascension to becoming one of the elite throwers in the region with another strong spring, and one more still to go. Virnig seized the Central Minnesota Conference championship in the discus (99-feet, 7-inches), and placed in the top nine in Section 5A in both the shot put (32-feet, 8-inches) and discus (98-feet).
Bridget Bednar, senior, Pierz
Bednar wrapped up her career as one of Pierz’ all-time great all-purpose athletes with one final standout spring for the Pioneers. Bednar captured All-Central Minnesota Conference honors in the high jump, then later won the sub-section championship (5-feet, 2-inches), while consistently scoring big points in sprints, relays, hurdles and the long jump.
Abby Duevel, junior, Royalton
Duevel was the preeminent mid-range sprinter across the area this spring for the Royals, flashing past foes in the 200 and 400. Duevel earned a pair of third-place finishes in the events at the Prairie Conference meet, then went on to reach the Section 5A finals in the 200 and nearly eclipse the minute mark in taking fourth in the 400 (1:00.86).
Stephanie Koetter, junior, Upsala-Swanville Area
A season that looked like it may never get off the ground concluded at the state meet for Koetter. Shaking off knee surgery following basketball in the winter, Koetter came back midway through the spring to clear 5-feet, 3-inches at the Section 6A meet to qualify for state.
Amanda Rieffer, senior, Upsala-Swanville Area
Rieffer demonstrated superb versatility throughout the jumping events for Upsala-Swanville Area this season, repeatedly finishing near the top of the pack in the high jump and triple jump. Rieffer took sixth in the Prairie Conference at 4-feet, 8-inches and qualified for the Section 6A competition with a distance of 33-feet, 1.5-inches.
Emily Wolter, junior, Holdingford
After earning the Record’s Cross Country Runner of the Year Award in the fall, Wolter maintained her status as one of the top pure distance runners in the area during the track season. Wolter earned All-Central Minnesota Conference honors in both the mile and two-mile runs, later taking seventh in Section 5A in the 800 (2:30.1).
Summer Storm, sophomore, Holdingford
Storm was the quickest 100-meter hurdler in the area, but left her biggest mark in the 300 hurdles. After placing second in the Central Minnesota Conference in the event, Storm trimmed nearly three and a half seconds off of her time to earn runner-up honors in the Section 5A meet in 47.59 seconds and advance to state, where she took 14th (47.44).
Girls Honorable mention
Taylor Kunkel, senior, Little Falls
Melanie Dorn, sophomore, Little Falls
Julia Noyes, freshman, Little Falls
Chelsie Kurtz, eighth-grader, Pierz
Brooke Westrich, junior, USA
Gabby Langerud, junior, Holdingford
Rachael Preusser, sophomore, Holdingford
McKenzie Schulte, sophomore, Holdingford
Lizzy Solarz, sophomore, Holdingford
Arianna Vasilj, freshman, Holdingford
Our selection process
Results from the postseason meets of all five area track and field teams (Little Falls, Pierz, Royalton, Upsala-Swanville Area and Holdingford) were recorded. These meets included true team, conference, sub-section, section and state meets.
From these results, the top 10 boys and girls track and field athletes were determined and selected to the 2014 Record All-Area teams. Place, time, field marks, points earned, strength of competition, consistency and contributions toward team success were the primary considerations. Athletes excelling in multiple events were given stronger consideration. Head-to-head results were used when available. Results from regular season meets were also taken into consideration, but not weighted as heavily.
Athletes that were given consideration but not named to the 10-athlete teams earned honorable mention distinction.