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|Paynesville Press - March 31, 2004|
Tracksters open with meet at SJU
The Paynesville boys' track team opened their spring season on Saturday night, taking fifth place at a ten-team indoor meet at St. John's University.|
Osseo, a Class AA team, won the boys' meet at St. John's, with conference rival LPGE taking second and local rival ACGC taking third, and Class AA Alexandria taking fourth. The Dogs took fifth, edging Holy Family and Milaca.
"This was a very tough opening meet of the year, and I was happy with the job the team did. We placed in nine of 13 events and just missed placing in two other events, so we will have some balance," said coach Darrel Carstens.
Senior Lee Fuchs-Thielen led the Dogs by placing in three events. He took second in the triple jump, third in the long jump, and seventh in the 55-meter dash.
Sophomore Aaron Bachman also placed second in the pole vault, with senior Troy Fuchs-Thielen taking fourth in that event, too.
The Dogs also had two place-winners in the shotput, with senior Derek Burris taking fifth and senior Rick Magedanz taking seventh.
Junior Matt Mehr placed in both long distance runs, taking fifth in the mile run and eighth in the two-mile run.
Senior Scott Millner took fourth in the 55-meter dash, and senior Chad Wyffels took fourth in the 400-meter dash.
"We have a good number of athletes in 25 but need to improve the depth in some events as the season progresses. Our leaders did well and our young runners had a good first outing," added Carstens.
The boys' track team lost seven seniors to graduation last spring, including five who qualified for sections. "We lost a lot," Carstens admitted, "but we could say that every year for the past five years."
Since starting practice on Monday, March 15, Carstens has been pleased by the team's work ethic and positive attitudes.
Carstens said the team will focus on two big meets this spring: the true-team section meet and the conference meet. For true team, the Bulldogs' section no longer includes powerhouses Mayer Lutheran nor Concordia Academy, but for the conference meet the Bulldogs face stiff tests from LPGE and St. Cloud Cathedral. Last year, the Crusaders ended the Dogs' string of conference titles at three.
"We're fairly well situated," said Carstens of the team's prospects. "There are a couple of events that we've not got depth in, but we've got some young, athletic kids."
Senior co-captains this year are Lee Fuchs-Thielen, Troy Fuchs-Thielen, and Chad Wyffels. All three advanced individually to sections last spring.
Other returning letterwinners include seniors Derek Burris and Jon Scheierl; juniors Josh Binsfeld, Matt Mehr, and Chris Utsch; sophomores Aaron Bachman and Keith Klein; and ninth grader Dugan Flanders. Bachman, along with Lee Fuchs-Thielen and Wyffels, earned All Conference honors a year ago.
Assisting Carstens are coaches Kyle Nehowig and Todd Spanier.
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