Area track and field preview: Bagley-Fosston hopes to continue state success
BAGLEY - The Analisa Hueschle era has ended at Bagley-Fosston and winning another state team championship probably won't happen this spring.
But the Flyers do expect to have a few individual success stories.
"We are young but we do have some talent coming back," said Sean Peterson who moved up to the head coaching duties after serving as Doug Carlson's assistant. Carlson retired after last year's state title run but he remains involved with the program.
"How we will do with both the boys and the girls programs will depend on some talented ninth and eighth graders to fill in and contend."
Peterson expects Bagley-Fosston to be strong in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
"At least one of them should contend for a state berth again," Peterson said.
"Individually, Courtney Cosca and Marissa Carlson should place high in the section and have a shot at the state meet if they work hard and avoid injury."
Cosca is a junior and Mary Helen Berntson returns as a sophomore. The freshmen letterwinners include Gina Balstad and Carlson while Hayley George, Jamie Hueschle, Camille Merschman, Hannah Molitor and Mercedes Pemberton are the returning eighth graders.
"On the boys side, Patrick Thompson, Tommy Ubert, Wes Davies and Logan Thorson should also contend for state," Peterson said.
Ubert placed at the section meet last spring in the 100 and 200 as did fellow senior Dylan Fjerstad in the 100 and the relays.
The returning juniors include Wesley Davies, Patrick Thompson, Wyatt LaFriniere and Roman Bode.
Thompson set a school record last year by leaping 6-8 in the high jump. Davies did very well at the 2011 section meet as he placed in the 1600 and 3200.
Completing this year's cast of returning letterwinners are sophomore Alexi Bode, Jared Gabrelcik, Erik Paulson, Landon Peterson and Logan Thorson plus eighth graders Walker Cage and Louis Larson.
The boys track and field program at Northome-Kelliher-Blackduck returns 13 athletes including seniors Arthur Wirkus, Butch Strand, Scott Pierson and Tyler Hughes.
The juniors who are back include Brandon Schmid, Caleb Schneider, Cyril Weidenborner, Keith Shaughnessy, Matt Jedlicka, Tim Jourdan, Travis Olafson and Tristan Williams. Completing the cast is eighth grader Matthew Jourdan.
The strength of the girls program is its underclassmen, including junior Carrie Carrigan who competed at the section meet last year in the shot and discus.
Among the other juniors who should contribute this spring are sprinter Justine Frenzel and Katey Lutz who can do well in the relays, the middle distances and the field events.
Sophomores Kelly Heck and Kristi Mills can also run the middle distances along with freshmen Jeanette Frenzel and Kelsie Murray.
The Mustangs open their outdoor season today at Deer River.
Only four letterwinners return, including junior Logan Cloud on the boys team. The girls squad returns three athletes including freshman Amanda Wright and eighth graders Andie Jones and Cassie Wright.
"We have many new kids this year and they are still trying everything in practice and figuring out what they want to compete in," said Panthers coach April Westlund.
"I see potential. We have a fairly young team and hope to make progress this year."
Joining Cloud on the early-season boys roster are sophomores Denis Adams, Garrett Headbird and Kyote Windom plus freshman Justin Rock Fairbanks.
The other girls on the squad include sophomore Courtney Morris plus freshmen Meghan Brun, Kandis Davis LaRose, Reia Lucio and Mariah Reyes.