On March 25 the North Branch boys and girls track teams competed in an informal indoor track and field meet.
“Due to the lingering snow cover, we were happy to be able to participate at the indoor meet at the University of St. Thomas,” said coach Norm Nagel. “The meet was the first of the season and a good opportunity for the kids to compete at an indoor facility. Because of spring break, many of the freshmen and sophomores were able to compete. By some of the times and distances, I was impressed with the performances due to the fact the kids haven’t seen a track this season due to the snow.”
“We tried some girls in new events and as usual, Rhianna Rinke ran a nice leg in the 4×800 and a nice 3200 meter run,” Nagel said. “She is coming off a great cross country season as she participated in the state cross country meet. We are setting her goals very high this season.”
Coach noted Maddy Kunshier ran the 400 meter dash in 1:03. “This is a nice start to the season for Maddy since she was our only state meet participant last year,” he said.
In other events, Crystal Letexier and Cassie Kunshier ran some nice times in the 4×400 relay, while Gina Amundson reached 4’8” in the high jump and SherahLynn Linkert ran the 55-yard meter hurdles in 8.2 seconds and a leg in the 4×200 relay.
“I’m really looking forward to SherahLynn having a great year and making it to state in the hurdles since she was ill last year,” Nagel said.
Also participating were freshmen Elise Brasel, Madison Tetzlaff, Crystal Letexier and Hope Jenson in the 4×200 and 4×400 relays. “I’m proud those girls stepped up and ran two relays,” coach added. “Overall, I am very pleased with the first meet and really looking forward to the first outdoor meet.”
Nagel said the team’s middle distance runners of Levi Kolke, Jack Klun, Brandon Thauwald and Jacob Souther had some nice 400 meter dash times in the open and 4×400 relay.
“Kolke surprised us in the long jump by jumping 18’4”,” Nagel noted. “Klun had a nice showing in the triple jump, and Thauwald had a nice effort in the high jump.”
“Max Southbloom had a nice triple jump effort and ran a great leg in the 4×200 relay. Matthew Marrin, who had ACL surgery in the fall, surprisingly ran an impressive leg in the 4×200 and the 200 meter dash. Tony Denn also had a great effort in the 4×200 and the 200 meter dash.
“Freshmen Devin Grode, Aaron Irvin, Thomas Steele and Sam Peterson stepped up and ran their first-ever 4×800 relay. I’m very impressed with their first outing of the season. Arik Steele and Riley Jacobson ran well in hurdles events and the 4×400 relay.
“The boys and girls pole vaulters were finally able to jump into a mat the first time this season since there was no pole vault competition that day. We used it as a practice session. It was nice for the kids to get in the air. I’m really excited to see what the vaulters can do this year.”
Nagel said the team’s first outdoor meet was canceled due to the weather, “so we are a little behind on our preparation for the season. The kids are getting anxious to get outside for practice.”
The North Branch boys and girls track teams are scheduled to compete in a meet at St. Francis at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 11, followed by a meet at Chisago Lakes Area at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 16.