Cross Country: Pierz season preview

Senior Kyle Becker has done just about everything in his Pierz career.

Earning letters? Been there, done that, all five years.

He’s also been first team All-Central Minnesota Conference (CMC) and the Pioneers’ unquestioned leader from a young age.

Now fully healthy, his head coach Rey Zimney believes he can push himself even further in his final season.

“He struggled at the beginning of the year as he had mono, which drastically affected, or kept him out of, several of the early meets,” Zimney said. “He never was able to completely recover from this as his inability to train put him behind. We feel Kyle has the talent to compete for a top-five finish in the CMC and make a run at qualifying for the state meet.”

Other returning letter winners for Pierz include senior Daniel Tautges, junior Matt Janson and freshman Bryce Hoheisel, with freshmen Vitaly Dahmen and Drew Dieterle and eighth-grader Jake Andres also expected to contribute.

“We will again be very young, but should be much improved,” Zimney said.


Girls preview

The Pierz girls team also will have veteran leadership to turn to, with long-time lineup fixtures in seniors Maggie Gruber, Arre Langer and Dana Hennen returning, as well as a consistent varsity contributor in sophomore Lilly Guck.

Looking to compete for varsity slots will be senior Tyler Dembouski, sophomore Tayiah Kasper and seventh-graders Brenna Andres and Grace Marshik.

“If they stay healthy, this will also be a much improved team with more depth,” Zimney said.

Pierz is scheduled to open the season at Milaca, Monday.