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Paynesville Press - June 23, 2004

Girl tracksters end season with team awards

By Michael Jacobson

The Bulldogs girls' track team recorded their 16th consecutive winning season in 2004.

The team won five meets this spring, including True Team Section 5A and the West Central Conference North championship.

The girls' track team has now finished first or second in the conference for 13 consecutive seasons, winning five titles and having eight runner-up finishes.

This year, the Dogs also had five second place finishes. They finished third at subsections and ninth in the true team state meet, making their second appearance at that meet, having last qualified in 1996.

"The girls' track team had an outstanding season. We finished first or second in ten meets this spring. We reached our two team goals. Winning the true team sectional and advancing to state was our top goal," said head coach Dave Randgaard. "The team won the conference title by upsetting Cathedral, so that goal was accomplished, too."

Junior Kendra Johnson broke her own school record in the 300-meter hurdles. She had set the record last year and broke it at the first two outdoor meets this spring. At ACGC in April she ran the event in 47.59. Four days later, at NL-S, she lowered her record to 46.81.

Sophomore Tara Schmidt tied the 55-meter dash indoor record at St. John's University in April, running the event in 7.5 seconds to tie the record held by Sara Realdson since 1986.

Schmidt and ninth grader Kacy Nehowig advanced to state individually this June by taking second at the Section 5A meet. Schmidt was the section runner-up in the 200-meter dash, and Nehowig was the section runner-up in the 3,200-meter run.

Seven girls earned All Conference recognition this year: senior Jess Paul, Johnson, Schmidt, ninth grader Tanis Beireis, Nehowig, and eighth graders Kaitlyn Frenchick and Melanie Koerner.

Following the season, the team voted on awards. Johnson was named MVP for the second consecutive year. Sophomore Ashley Lieser, in her first year out for track, was named Most Improved. Nehowig was named Hardest Worker. Schmidt received the Dedication Award, Paul received the Team Award, and sophomore Sheena Hoekstra received the Spirit Award.

Captains for the 2005 season will be: Johnson, Brittany Lieser, Schmidt, and Nehowig.

The Bulldogs lose two seniors to graduation - Paul and Peggy Thompson. Of their 25 letter-winners this spring, 23 should return next year. "We will be a strong team again next season and should be among the top teams in girls track," said Randgaard.

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