Track team ready to field season

New England brought back track and field last year, and the student athletes are back at it, gearing up for the upcoming track season that will start next week.

By RACHEL BOCK

For The Herald

New England brought back track and field last year, and the student athletes are back at it, gearing up for the upcoming track season that will start next week.

Even though boys head coach Shawn Flaherty, and girls head coach Jordyn Mason would have liked to see the same kids back from last year, they are extremely pleased with the numbers they do have going into the season. The coaches have 21 kids in their junior high track and field program, and another 21 students in grades freshman through seniors making up their varsity track and field team. Even though they lost some kids, they have gained some new students, bringing high numbers and a full roster for the newly formed program.

“We have two new seniors out this year, and we have quite a few new kids this year which is awesome. Three of our foreign exchange students are trying it out as well. It is nice to see the second year that we continued with the high numbers, it didn’t drop at all. There are a few kids that didn’t go out this year that did last year, but we have 42 kids and it is good to see a full roster. It is exciting to see some new faces this year, and people trying it out,” Mason said.

New England lost one senior, Dakotah Mansfield due to graduation, and his experience and leadership are going to be big shoes to fill. Mansfield was the only person on the New England team last year to qualify for State.

For New England who remains fairly young as they only have two seniors on this year’s roster, and those two seniors are in their first year competing in track. New England does bring plenty of juniors who are stepping up as the leaders this year. Those juniors are Justin Cantwell, Denit Sorenson, Marquis Erickson, Hailee Kuske, and Paige Ehlis. Not only are the five juniors focusing on getting better themselves, they are all giving back to their younger teammates that are just starting out by helping them succeed in the different areas that they themselves excel in.

“Denit and Marquis are our throwing guys. Marquis specifically Javelin, but he does do other throwing events, and Denit does all three. They do a really good job helping the younger kids that are just starting throwing. They are really good leaders for the throwing events. Justin can run any distance, but he also is really good at the high jump. He has also been helping with the younger kids with that. Paige and Hailee mainly specialize in hurdles but they also participate in the relays and sprints and they are helping out as well,” Mason said.

Even though New England had only one State qualifier last year, two others were very close. Justin Cantwell was two inches away from qualifying in the high jump, and freshman Rachelle Kathrein was also close to qualifying in the high jump last year.

The last three weeks of practice has been going really well for the Tigers, and both Coach Mason, and Coach Flaherty are ready for the season to start next week and they are hoping to add more state qualifiers this season.

“Justin Cantwell and Shellee Kathrein they were very close in the high jump last year and have a good shot at qualifying this year. I think we have a shot in some of our relays, depending upon how the kids improve. We do have some new kids doing it this year which is encouraging,” Flaherty said.

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