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Paynesville Press - March 31, 2004

Girls win indoor track meet at St. John's

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville girls' track team won the ten-team indoor meet at St. John's University on Saturday to open their 2004 season.

The Dogs scored 100.5 points to win the meet. Alexandria and Pierz tied for second with 78.5 points.

"This was a great effort to start the season," said coach Dave Randgaard. "I was really pleased with our overall performance, but we do need to improve in our field events. We scored in all 13 events and showed good team balance."

Junior Kendra Johnson and sophomore Tara Schmidt led the Bulldogs, placing in three events apiece. Johnson took first in the 400-meter dash, second in the 55-meter hurdles, and fourth in the high jump. Schmidt took second in both the 55-meter dash and the 200-meter dash and placed fourth in the 400-meter dash.

Schmidt tied a school record in the 55-meter dash, an indoor event only. Her time of 7.5 seconds matched the record time first set by Sara Realdsen in 1986.

Sophomore Brooke Schmitz also placed in three events, taking sixth in the triple jump, eighth in the long jump, and helping the 1,600-meter relay take fifth. Other members of that relay team were seventh grader Kally Felling, eighth grader Melanie Koerner, and sophomore Megan Reeck.

Ninth grader Kacy Nehowig led three Dogs to place in the mile run. Nehowig won the race, ninth grader Tanis Beireis took fifth, and eighth grader Kaitlyn Frenchick took seventh. Nehowig was also third in the two-mile run, while Beireis also placed second in the 800-meter run.

The Bulldogs also placed three in the high jump. In addition to Johnson, junior Brittany Lieser and ninth grader Randi Schaefer tied for seventh. Lieser also took fifth in the pole vault.

Other placers for Paynesville were sophomore Tanya Whitcomb, third in the triple jump; eighth grader Natalie Leadem, sixth in the shot put; and junior Caitlin Mandigo, sixth in the pole vault.

The Bulldogs have 26 girls out for track this spring and high hopes for a strong season.

Top of the list is challenging for the true-team section title and advancing to state as a team. This year, due to realignment, the Bulldogs are no longer in the same section as three-time state champion Mayer Lutheran, to whom the Dogs have finished as runners-up the past three years.

Other team goals for the season, according to Randgaard, are to win the subsection title and to place in the top two at the conference meet. (Defending champion St. Cloud Cathedral is the conference favorite.)

While the Bulldogs' true-team section got weaker, its section for individuals got even tougher with the addition of Glencoe-Silver Lake.

Randgaard also said he wanted the team to work hard and have fun. The Dogs lost three seniors last year (Jen Berg, Mandy Mayer, and Morgan Martinson, all three All Conference performers) but have six All Conference performers back this year: Johnson, Lieser, Schmidt, Schmitz, Beireis, and Nehowig.

"It should be a good team. It should be strong. We've got plenty of talent," said Randgaard.

Senior co-captains for the team this year are Jessica Paul and Peggy Thompson. Juniors on the team are Johnson, Lieser, Mandigo, and Sam Moser. Sophomores are Katie Bertram, Maggie Frieler, Sheena Hoekstra, Ashley Lieser, Reeck, Schmidt, Schmitz, Kacie Wander, and Whitcomb. Ninth graders are Beireis, Tina Liestman, Nehowig, and Schaefer.

The team also has six junior high athletes: eighth graders Leah Felling, Frenchick, Koerner, and Leadem and seventh graders Kally Felling and Brianna Jaeger.

Assisting Randgaard are coaches Kyle Nehowig and Todd Spanier.

Team scores
1. Paynesville 100.5
2. Alexandria 78.5
2. Pierz 78.5
4. LPGE 72
4. Atwater-Cosmos-GroveCity 72
6. Osseo 32.5
7. Milaca 30.5
8. Sauk Centre 20
8. Morris Area 20
10. Holy Family 18

Individual Results
55-meter hurdles: Kendra Johnson, second, 9.3;
55-meter dash: Tara Schmidt, second, 7.5 (ties school record);
200-meter dash: Schmidt, second, 28.3;
400-meter dash: Johnson, first, 64.5; Schmidt, fourth, 66.6;
800-meter run: Tanis Beireis, second, 2:35.3;
1,600-meter run: Kacy Nehowig, first, 5:40.9; Beireis, fifth, 5:54.2; Kaitlyn Frenchick, seventh, 5:59.2;
3,200-meter run: Nehowig, third, 12:43.7;
1,600-meter relay: Kally Felling, Melanie Koerner, Megan Reeck, and Brooke Schmidt, fifth, 4:43;
Shot put: Natalie Leadem, sixth, 27' 3 1/2";
High jump: Johnson, fourth, 4' 9"; Brittany Lieser, seventh, 4' 6"; Randi Schaefer, seventh, 4' 6";
Long jump: Schmitz, eighth, 13' 1/2";
Triple jump: Tanya Whitcomb, third, 28' 2"; Schmitz, sixth, 27' 6";
Pole vault: Lieser, fifth, 6'; Caitlin Mandigo, sixth, 6'.

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