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Paynesville Press - June 29, 2005

Tracksters end season with seven victories

By Michael Jacobson

The Bulldogs girls' track team won seven meets this spring and placed seventh in Class A at the true-team state meet in May.

The Dogs recorded their 17th consecutive winning season in 2005 with a record of 70-10, according to coach Dave Randgaard.

"The girls' track team had an outstanding season," Randgaard said. "We finished first or second in nine meets this spring. We did reach all three team goals: we won the true-team sectional and advanced to state; we finished second in the conference; and we had a lot of fun this season, too."

Highlights for the spring track season included:

*Placing seventh at the true-team state meet. The Dogs made their third appearance at state, finishing sixth in 1996 and ninth in 2004.

*Setting or tying four school records this spring.

Junior Tara Schmidt tied the indoor school record in the 55-meter dash again. This record of 7.5 seconds was originally set by Sara Realdsen in 1986 and was also matched by Schmidt in 2004.

Ninth grader Kaitlyn Frenchick set a new school record in the triple jump, leaping 33' 11 3/4" in April at Melrose and breaking the school record of 33' 5" set by Sabrina Hollander in 1993.

The 800-meter relay (senior Kendra Johnson, eighth grader Bri Jaeger, eighth grader Kally Felling, and Schmidt) broke the school record in April at Melrose and then lowered it two more times this spring. Their record is now 1:47.93, set while finishing second at the Section 5A meet in June.

The 1,600-meter relay team (Jaeger, Felling, Frenchick, and Johnson) set a new school record in winning the Section 5A title in June. They shattered the old record by eight seconds in advancing to state and then lowered their record to 4:07.77 in the prelims at state. They finished seventh at state and earned medals and All State honors.

*Johnson also advanced to state individually in the 300-meter hurdles. After finishing third at the Section 5A meet in 2003 and 2004, she took second this year to advance to state but did not place.

*Seven girls earned All Conference honors this spring in the West Central Conference North: Johnson, Schmidt, sophmore Kacy Nehowig, sophomore Randi Schaefer, Felling, Jaeger, and eighth grader Anna Kotten.

*Randgaard was named the Girls' Track Coach of the Year in Section 5A this spring. (See story on page 2B.)

Following the season, the team held a banquet and distributed the following awards. Johnson was named MVP for the third consecutive year. The five-year varsity letterwinner, four-time All Conference winner, and team captain "might be the best leader I've ever had," said Randgaard. Not only did she set a great example in practice, like many captains past and present, but she was also vocal and a tremendous leader, according to Randgaard.

Schmidt and Nehowig, also captains this year, won the team award this spring. Felling and Kotten were chosen for Most Improved. Nehowig won the Will-To-Win Award. And Jaeger won the Rookie of the Year Award.

The Dogs will lose two seniors to graduation: Johnson and Rachael Wendlandt, a first-year trackster who ended her varsity career by taking sixth in the long jump at subsections.

"We will be a strong team again next season," predicted Randgaard, "and should be among the top teams in the area."

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