Mott/Regent Track kicks season off with nice spring weather

Thanks to a spring that has been warmer than usual, the Mott/Regent Track and Field team has had a few more outdoor practices than they have in years past.

Allison Gion throws Javelin at the 2014 State Tournament. Gion returns to the Wildfire this season as a senior.
Allison Gion throws Javelin at the 2014 State Tournament. Gion returns to the Wildfire this season as a senior.

By COLE BENZ | Record Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

Thanks to a spring that has been warmer than usual, the Mott/Regent Track and Field team has had a few more outdoor practices than they have in years past.

“We’ve been really happy to be outside quite a bit this spring,” said Ron Benson, head coach of the Mott/Regent Track and Field team.

Benson, with more than 20 years of track coaching experience, is returning two seniors, two state qualifiers and 18 letter winners from last year’s team. Ben Friedt, Abbey Honeyman and Alyssa Olin graduated after last season. Honeyman is on the track team at Dickinson State University, and Olin is throwing Javelin for North Dakota State University. Honeyman was also named Southwest Region Female Athlete of the Year.

In total there are 61 athletes out for the team this year, a number Benson said is comparable to last year’s total.

The season kicked off on Feb. 23, when the team was out for its first practice. Benson said the early practices see a smaller group of athletes coming out due to the crossover with the basketball season for boys and girls. Benson said that gives him and his staff the opportunity to give some athletes a little more one on one attention early on.

Benson said he puts his team to work on technique and form running during the opening practices. Then they move into the gymnasium for work on hurdles.

Hurdling and the triple jump have been a couple of the Wildfire’s strengths the past few years. Bensons said hurdling is one of those events that can make a difference in competition.

“That’s one event (hurdling) that you can get a lot of points in,” Benson said.

Javelin is another strength of the Wildfire, and this year Benson said that their discus throwing should be a improved from last year.

Out of all the events, according to Benson, distance running could use some improvement. He said that not many kids go out for the distance events and added that it is hard to get them excited about running lengthy races. Benson also said the fact that Mott/Regent does not field a cross country team hinders the track and field team when it comes to recruiting distance runners.

The senior class is smaller than usual, only having two on the team. When asked if other classes will step up when helping with the leadership Benson said “yeah, you hope for that.”

At this part of the season, so early in the year, Benson said they are trying to find out what the best events are for some kids.

Benson mentioned that some of the young kids are showing promise early.

“We’ve got a lot of good young kids,” Benson said.

One young athlete is sophomore Brady Wegh. Wegh was a two event state qualifier as a freshman last year, and he set the Mott/Regent school record for the Triple Jump with a jump of 43 feet, three and half inches. He qualified for state last year in the Triple Jump and the 110 M Hurdles.

Benson said his goal for the team is to take as many kids to state as possible, while also trying to gain as many points as they can at the regional meet, so they can improve on last year’s regional finish.

“As a team we like to peak in the region meet and score as many points as we can,” Benson said. “I’d love to be top three in boys and girls.”

The Wildfire open their season at the Carlson Meet in Dickinson on April 9, followed by a meet at Bowman Count on April 11.

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