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Raider track teams are off and running

Head boys track and field coach Gerry Uchytil and head girls coach Jamison Holum lead their teams through an exercise in the Hudson High School East Gym last Thursday. Track practice began on Monday, March 10. The first varsity meet is an indoor invitational at UW-Stout on Tuesday, March 25. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Randy Hanson)1 / 3
A drill at last Thursday’s (March 13) track practice had everyone high-stepping over hurdles. Clockwise from left are Sam Truhler, Ryan Reiter, Dominic Situmeko, Claire Zais, Britta Gerard, Erik Peterson, Jack Harkness, Andrew Spaight and Austin Graf. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Randy Hanson)2 / 3
Jordan Huber, foreground, prepares for the coming track and field season during a practice in the high school East Gym last Thursday. Huber, a multi-sport athlete, was a standout performer on the 2013-14 Raider girls basketball team. Next to her is Erin Weitzstein. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Randy Hanson)3 / 3

The prolonged winter has kept the Raider boys and girls track and field teams confined to the Hudson High School East Gym, for the most part, as they get ready for the coming season.

The after-school practices started Monday, March 10, in preparation for the first meet on Tuesday, March 25 -– an indoor invitational at UW-Stout.

About 90 athletes have joined the boys team coached by Gerry Uchytil. The girls team, guided by coach Jamison Holum, has about 80 members.

Uchytil says the boys team lost three tremendous athletes to graduation with Ryan Kromer heading off to the University of Wisconsin, Bryan Caffin to Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Brandon DeAndrea to UW-River Falls.

“But we have some very dedicated, talented athletes coming back and expect to compete very well,” said Uchytil, who is beginning his third season as head coach after being an assistant for 23 years. “We feel as if we have some great potential in the new athletes,” he said.

Both the Raider boys and girls finished runners-up to River Falls in the Big Rivers Conference last season. The teams sent a total of 25 athletes to the state meet at La Crosse.

Holum, in her 15th season leading the girls team, says she has a great group of returning athletes, plus a lot of new faces -– both freshmen and upperclassmen.

“It will be great to see how all of the new team members do as we get into the season over the next few weeks,” Holum said.

She said a number of the girls have the potential to return to the state meet.

The Raider assistant track and field coaches are Don Krupa (cross country head coach), Dennis Saathoff (head volleyball coach), Chad Chistianson (a former Raider athlete who played football for Bemidji State), plus Caleb Johnson, Josh Przybylski, Mike Congdon and Justin Coulson.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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