Raider track teams off and running at Northern BadgerThe Raider boys’ and girls’ track and field teams both finished third in the Large School division at the season-opening Northern Badger Indoor Classic last Saturday, March 24 at UW-Stout, and that was just fine with the coaches.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
Not a bad start to the season, considering half the team was still on spring break.
The Raider boys’ and girls’ track and field teams both finished third in the Large School division at the season-opening Northern Badger Indoor Classic last Saturday, March 24 at UW-Stout, and that was just fine with the coaches.
“It was a great start to the season, especially considering we had a good number of athletes missing,” girls’ coach Jami Holum said. “There is a lot of potential this year on the team, and it will be a lot of fun to see how they develop over the next few weeks.”
The Raiders will field a full squad when they return to action this Saturday, March 31, at the All-American Invitational at UW-River Falls’ Knowles Center.
Last Saturday in Menomonie, Hudson swept the shot put competition and the Raider girls totaled four first place finishes on their way to a third place score of 71 in the 10-team Large School competition. New Richmond took first with 94 followed by La Crosse Central with 93.
La Crosse Central won the 12-school boys’ Large School division with a score of 86.5, followed by Holmen with 63 and Hudson with 58.
A pair of Raider juniors dominated the shot put, with Bryan Caffin winning the boys competition with a throw of 50-feet, 8-inches and Taylor Steffen taking the girls’ title with an effort of 38-3.25.
Katie Wetzstein kicked off her senior season with a first place time of 5 minutes, 13.5 seconds in the girls’ 1600 meter run, nearly seven seconds faster than second place Paige Skorseth of River Falls, while little sister Erin won the 3200 meter race with a time of 12:26.55.
The girls’ 4 x 200 meter relay team of freshman Jordan Huber, sophomore Claire Zais, senior Martha Harrell and junior Erikka Haft also combined for a first place time of 1:53.93.
Huber added a third place time of 7.87 seconds in the finals of the 55 meter dash while three Raiders finished in the top eight in the 200 meter dash — Haft fourth in 28.74 seconds, freshman Dakota Carlson fifth in 29.11 and Zais eighth in 29.34.
Carlson also took fifth in the long jump with a leap of 14-8, and senior Racheal Knoke finished eighth in the 55 meter hurdle finals in 10.01 seconds, while senior Shannon Hartzell was eighth in the 400 meter dash in 1:05.15, and junior Sarah Krier cleared 7-6 to place eighth in the pole vault.
“A lot of girls were able to compete in the meet and it was a great way for the coaches to get an idea of where the team stands in training,” Holum said. “Overall, it was a great day, and it is always nice for the team to have one meet under their belt to work from.”
Boys’ coach Gerry Uchytil said he has high expectations for his team this season, and he got a glimpse of that Saturday in Menomonie.
“We’re not where we want to be, but it’s a good start,” he said. “Now with everybody back, I’m expecting us to be really competitive.”
The boys 4 x 200 meter relay team of juniors Brandon D’Andrea, Dan Kelly, Nick Jorgenson and Matt Iverson combined for a second place time of 1:37.68 while D’Andrea was second in the 200 meter dash in 23.41 seconds and Jorgenson was seventh in 25.03.
Senior Ryan DeCamp boosted the Raider boys’ team score with a fourth place leap of 19-5 in the long jump while senior Brett DuCharme finished fifth in the 55 meter hurdles with a time of 8.51 seconds. Kelly was also seventh in the 55 meter dash finals in 6.91 seconds.
Hudson’s boys had three of the top eight finishers in the pole vault. Seniors David Hernandez and Ryan Daulton tied for sixth place by each clearing 10-6, while Kelly was eighth at 10-0.
Uchytil said he likes the culture that has developed on the Raider track teams.
“We have a lot of kids who really like track,” he said. “They are just great kids who work hard and keep coming back for more. I’m excited about getting going.”