BHS girls track team young and promising

A young but highly promising Bemidji High girls track team is looking forward to the new season with a banner turnout of close to 65 on hand and more expected.

A young but highly promising Bemidji High girls track team is looking forward to the new season with a banner turnout of close to 65 on hand and more expected.

It will open its four-meet indoor season today at BSU, defending its title at the Lions Invitational.

The 10-team event will open at 3.

The team will have some major holes to fill, however, from a team that won two indoor and two outdoor titles and finished in the top five 11 times, taking fifth at the section and sending three competitors on to the state.

Graduation cleaned out nine seniors including the team's top three scorers, Becca Hougen (326), Ashley Brown (170) and Kelly Bittner (158).


The remaining six contributed 164 more points including 97 points by Missy Graves.

But there are 28 letterwinners back among the junior and sophomore classes with a solid background to form another winning team around.

Chris Lehman starts his second season at the helm, assisted again by Sue Hendricks and Steve Sneide and aided by members of the boys staff.

Unfortunately there were only three juniors who lettered in 2005 combining for only 99 points. None of the four returned, one switching to softball this spring.

The only seniors on hand this spring are a pair of foreign exchange students from Hong Kong.

Lehman will build the team around his strong junior contingent with Dani Paris and Liz Judkins elected to serve as captains.

Among this group is Kelly Frost, the third state entrant with Hougen and Brown last spring. She will be a threat in the pole vault.

Frost is recovering from a knee injury that wiped out her gymnastics season this winter. But she was back working out before that season ended and is expected to be back at full strength shortly.


She scored 102 points last spring and Frost 105.

Hannah Wangberg will lead the middle distance group.

Winter injuries have taken Carma Huseby and Kim Nielsen out of action this spring with HAmong the sophomores, Lexi Gauwitz and Ashley Erickson will provide depth in the sprints. Steph Marsh will be a quality 800 and 1600 performer.

Gauwitz led the team with 118 points in 2005 and Marsh hit 110.

There are 26 freshmen moving in from the Middle School with eighth graders Abby Hendricks and Kelsey Heisler advanced to the varsity, Hendricks in the hurdles and triple jump and Heisler in the 400 and 1600.

Lehman has added meets this spring to give the younger runners more opportunities to perform, taking JV teams to both Little Amik indoor meets at BSU.

Bemidji will also host its first home meet at the new complex with Detroit Lakes and Fergus Falls joining Bemidji April 11. He hopes to add more in coming years.

Among the major meets Bemidji will run in are those at Moorhead, Detroit Lakes and Grand Rapids.


The True Team section will be at Moorhead this year with the sub-section and section meets at Alexandria.

Due to construction at Blaine, the state has been switched to Hamline University this year.

The letter winner's group includes 12 juniors and 16 sophomores with only one missing from last year.

Other juniors include Erin Daniels, Kristie McKinnon, Amanda Yourd, Brynna Nelson, Jenny Lovering, Jill Smith, Melissa Detschman and Pearl Walker.

Sophs who lettered last year include Alison Hougen Amanda Spaulding, Bailey Herried, Becca Richards, Crissy Guimaraes, Dacia Barrett, Grace Robia, Jenny Freer, Laura Wagner, Michelle Frees, Nadine Swartz, Tessa Comstock and Stephanie Lehmann.

Several of the non-letter winners were squad members in 2005.

The squad is loaded with two and three sport athletes.

The season opens March. 24 at the Lions Invitational, a meet where Bemidji will defend its title.


The outdoor opener is April 7 at Sartell.

Lehmann will run en masse at today's Lions meet with as many as 17 entries in the 200 down to Smith as the lone en try in the 3200. He will field four relays in the 4 x 2 and 4 x 4 and two in the 4 x 8.

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