Raiders on track to successIt’s a little ironic that the Raider track and field teams have been practicing mostly outside for over two weeks now, yet will have to go inside for their first two meets of the season.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
It’s a little ironic that the Raider track and field teams have been practicing mostly outside for over two weeks now, yet will have to go inside for their first two meets of the season.
The Raiders kick off the 2012 spring season this Saturday, March 24, at the Northern Badger Classic at UW-Stout’s Johnson Fieldhouse in Menomonie. A week later, they compete at the All-American Invitational at Knowles Center in River Falls.
Hudson’s boys’ and girls’ teams have been among the strongest in the state for years. The Raider girls’ have won seven straight Big Rivers Conference titles, seven consecutive WIAA regional titles and three WIAA sectional championships in the last five years.
The Raider boys have won three straight BRC and regional titles, and finished as either sectional champs or runner-up the last three years.
That success has translated into growing numbers, with 95 student-athletes out for the boys’ team this season and 65 for the girls.
“We have some really, really great kids,” longtime assistant and new boys’ head coach Gerry Uchytil said. “The whole thing so far has been super. The senior leadership is awesome and the kids are working hard.”
After spending 25 years as a head football coach, including 14 in Hudson, Uchytil takes over for Tom Klatt as the boys’ coach this season after serving as an assistant with both the boys’ and girls’ teams for years.
Jami Holum, the 2011 Wisconsin Track Coaches Association District 1 Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year, returns for her 13th season as Raider girls’ head coach after guiding the team to a sixth place finish at last year’s WIAA State Championships.
Uchytil said the athletes and coaches haven’t been used to practicing outside this early in the season.
“We almost always work a week or two inside,” he said. “You have to be careful you don’t beat up their legs when you’re inside, and when you’re outside you don’t want to push them too hard. It’s a balancing act.”
After competing in indoor meets the next two Saturdays, the Raiders will get their first competitive taste of fresh air Tuesday, April 3, at the Prescott Invitational. The annual Hudson True Team Invitational is scheduled for Friday, April 13, beginning at 4 p.m. at E.P. Rock Elementary School’s Newton Field.