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PL track team has quantity, quality

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The Pequot Lakes boys’ and girls’ track program has both quantity and quality.

The Patriots have almost 100 athletes participating at all levels of track and field. That group includes more than 30 letterwinners, and a dozen state qualifiers.

The Pequot Lakes boys have 15 letterwinners, including last year’s Class AA state pole vault runner-up Tyler Tappe. The senior, who will be competing for the University of Minnesota next season, finished first in the pole vault at this year’s indoor opener at Bemidji on March 25. Also at the opener, Patriots’ senior Travis Jacobson was first in the shot put. Jacobson was fifth in the shot put at state last year.

“With 20 juniors and seniors as our core, plus some outstanding sophomores, we are on track to have one of the most exciting years of track and field in the (34) years I’ve been coaching here,” said Pequot Lakes boys’ coach Dave Guenther. “With the quality of athletes, we should turn out some great performances. We have possibilities for many record-breaking events.”

Other returning letterwinners for the boys are seniors Isaac Allen, Cole Funk, Shawn Gerdes, Keegan Johnson, Erik Olson and Kale Wurdeman; juniors Jon Bocklund, Dalton Engholm and Dillon Nichols; and sophomores Chase Blaeser, CJ Borleis, Hunter Goerges and Levi Palmer.

Others who could contribute for the boys are seniors Ozzy Miller and Nick Lelfield; juniors Caleb Bermel, Jere Dischinger, Seth Golden, Matt Hanson, Del Ryan and Angelo Tweed; freshman Karl Brine-Doyle, Marty Fitzer, Tony Fitzer, Chris Foster, Kyle Hoffman, Cody Huss, Quintin Lubke, Joe Najjar, Haiden Rothwell and Jacob Tschida; and eighth-grader Reed Pierzinski.

Girls’ track

The Pequot Lakes girls return a talented lineup of 15 letterwinners, including eight 2013 state qualifiers. Among those hoping to return to state is senior Vanessa Lane, who won the Class AA title in the 100-meter dash. Lane also joined junior Rachel Allen, freshman Chloe Bermel and graduate Abby Palmer in winning the 4x100 relay at last year’s state meet.

Other letterwinners include seniors Ellie Erholtz and Sarah Rudlang; juniors Brianna Anick, Jackie Brine-Doyle, Debra Mitchell, Caitie Ryan and Colleen Tschida; sophomores Brittny Bzdok, Macy Dotty and Candyce Spielman; freshman Chloe Bermel and Ashley Kosloski; and eighth-grader Grace McGuire. Freshman Alyssa Golden should also contribute on varsity this season.

Assistant coaches for track are Taylor Stevenson, Rachel Schumer, Bud Bjornarra and Suzy Hurin.