Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Al Rose
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Rebels track boys seek True Team title, girls grow in numbers


March 23, 2017

Al Rose

The Moose Lake/Willow River track and field team has been practicing daily. The first varsity meet is set for Saturday, March 25, at 9:30 a.m. at UWS.

Head Moose Lake/Willow River Rebels track and field coach Tony Andres, in his seventh season at the helm, has every reason to be optimistic for this year's team. The Rebels brings back a contingent of boys that led MLWR to its third consecutive True Team title and the girls' numbers have increased. Andres has all his assistants back and there are a pair of new volunteer assistants. Team managers are Brandi Bandel and Lily Westmoreland.

"Adam Whelan, also our cross country coach, had been with us for six years," recalled Andres. "It's three years for Joe McDonnell, two years for Noah Jurek and we also have Sarah Thompson returning. New to us as volunteers are Andy Wyman and Suz Petterson. Andy has been an assistant cross country coach and Suz will help us out with the pole vaulters. We've never had team captains since I've been here," said Andres. "I let the leaders lead and they take over," related the coach.

"Our number of boys have stayed even at 44 and we are very pleased to have our number of girls go up by 10 in grades seven through 12," Andres stated. "We have three state meet competitors returning. "Sam Coil placed fifth in the shot put as a sophomore and he placed third at state last year." Coil's throw of 51-00.50 earned him first place at the State Class A True Team meet. Coil's personal best of 52-02 was the top throw in the area. Coil did not qualify for state in the discus last year due to an injury, but his throw of 147-05 was the third longest in the area.

Ethan Olson placed sixth at state in the 3,200-meter run as a sophomore. Olson's time of 9:53.24 improved his school record. Olson also competed in the 1,600-meter at state, but did not place. His win in the 1,600 at the section meet improved his school record to 4:32.74. Olson also is the school record holder over a 3.2K cross country meet as he went under the 16-minute mark at a meet in South Dakota last fall.

Kennedy Bryant has already competed in the long jump for three years at state as she qualified as a seventh-grader, an eighth-grader and as a freshman. Bryant was just out of the medals last year as she leaped 15-10½ for 11th place. Her best jump is 16-02.

The MLWR long jump record of 16-07 was set in 2015 by Karina Cisar.

Bryant just missed going to state in the triple jump as she placed third at the section meet. The triple jump record is 34-3 and is also held by Cisar since 2015.

"Kennedy (Bryant) might be able to beat the long jump and triple jump records," said Andres. Bryant's best triple jump is 33-02.

"The shot put record should be well within Sam's (Coil's) reach," the coach stated. The shot put record of 52-09.05 goes back to 1979 and is by Kevin Tomczak.

"Ethan (Olson) already has the 1,600 and 3,200 records. Coach Whelan just might let him drop down to do some speed work and try to take a shot at the 800-meter record, but it's pretty fast," mused the coach. Ben Moonen's record from 2012 is 1:58.38.

Andres continued with the boys sprinters. "When Bryceton Butkiewicz gets done with hockey, he'll be a lead sprinter for us," stated the coach. "Colton Little is a returner, as is Anakin Oswald. Avery Kosloski is a new addition for us," he said. "Quentin VonRueden is a returning 110 and 300-meter hurdler for us. Ryan Barrett is another new guy for us. We might see him as a 110-high hurdler or he could be a sprinter. Our middle relays might be our best as we have all the returners to plug into those. There's Michael Olson, Ethan Olson, David Webb, Tan Dipman and Aaron Bode. Our staples for both the distance races are Ethan Olson as a junior and Joe Bustrak as a senior and we could have Tan Dipman in the 1,600-meter run. Drew Welch, Avery and Colton could be our high jumpers. Michael Olson will be a long jumper and triple jumper. Ryan (Barrett), Avery (Kosloski) and Connor Radel could be long jumpers. Our pole vaulters will probably be Quentin (VonRueden), Joe (Bustrak) and Aaron (Bode). Our top thrower is Sam (Coil). Jared Witkowski is a returning thrower as is Dilon Louzek. Aidan Szczyrbak will be a new thrower for us. Danny Lilya will be doing the 100-meter wheelchair race. In the past, he has competed in the 800-meter distance."

The coach summed it up for the boys. "It will be us, Esko with the strong sprints and relays, and Two Harbors in the Polar League," said Andres. "In the section, along with us, it's Esko, Ely, Two Harbors, Proctor and Eveleth-Gilbert. We have won three consecutive Class A True Team titles and we are looking forward to making that four in a row," the coach stated.

Andres was excited to talk about the returning and new girls on the team. "It's great to get the returners back and to have 10 newcomers give track and field a try," he said. "For our sprinters we have Kennedy (Bryant), Kiersten Evenson, Lauren Hartman and Skyla Thompson. Last year they were less than a second away from breaking the record in the 2x200-meter relay." the coach recalled. The record is 1:53.80 set by Faith Manty, Tara Carlson, Lynn Forse and Gigi DesLauriers in 1988. Bryant and Evenson, along with Hannah Race and Karina Cisar, were on the team that set a new record of :53.87 for the 4x100-meter relay in 2014. "Kennedy (Bryant) will be a sprinter in the 100-meter dash," stated Andres. Bryant's best time was 13.66. Bryant also competed in the 200-meter dash last year. She ran the 200 in 29.93 at the sub-section meet. "Kiersten (Evenson) and Lauren Hartman could be sprinters. Skyla (Thompson) can go anywhere from 200 to 800-meters. Lauren (Hartman) has been our 100-meter hurdler. We have some new girls that we'd like to see try the hurdles. Middle distance runners are Skyla (Thompson), Charis Blacklock and Meghan Granquist. For the distance runs, it's Savannah Gamst, now a freshman, and Lexi Tekippe," said Andres. Lexi Tekippe is the sister of Nicole Tekippe, the school record-holder in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs." The records are 5:20.11 and 11:35.15, respectively, set in 2013. "Those distance records are pretty fast," the coach stated. "Of course we'll have Kennedy (Bryant) in the triple and long jump," said Andres. "Skyla (Thompson) could be a good long jumper. Charis (Blacklock) has been our high jumper. The record could fall in the pole vault as it is only 6-02. Skyla (Thompson) or Lauren (Hartman) could top that. The top throwers are Steph Pasek and Kiersten Evenson in the shot and the disc. Kennedy Janke is a newcomer and she could be good in the throws and we also have Ellie Anderson with us for her first season," the coach related.

Andres talked about the teams to beat in the Polar League and at the section meet for the girls. "Cromwell always has good girls teams and there's Esko in the Polar League. With the numbers we now have, we should score more. In the section, it's probably Mesabi East, Cromwell and Esko. With the numbers, the girls should do better at the True Team meet," the coach concluded. That meet for both boys and girls is at Pierz on May 9 with field events beginning at 4 p.m. and running events beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The Rebels' first meet is a somewhat informal gathering at UWS on Saturday, March 25, at 9:30 a.m. No team points are kept and times are hand-held. Three official meets follow in quick succession. The Pine City meet is Friday, April 7, at 3:45 p.m. Esko hosts a meet on Tuesday, April 11, at 4 p.m. There is at meet an Ogilvie on Thursday, April 13, at 4 p.m. After a one-week break, East Central hosts a meet on Thursday, April 20, at 3:45 p.m. It's up to the Range for the Crosby-Ironton meet at 4 p.m. the very next day, before another one-week break.


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