Surprise! Spartan girls win meet titleSomerset girls track coach Dave Praschak wasn’t sure he should enter his team in the Northern Badger Indoor Track Invitational at UW-Stout on Saturday because he knew the Spartans would be competing in the large school division.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Somerset girls track coach Dave Praschak wasn’t sure he should enter his team in the Northern Badger Indoor Track Invitational at UW-Stout on Saturday because he knew the Spartans would be competing in the large school division.
Praschak was as surprised as anyone when the Spartans brought home the championship from the 2009 season-opening meet on Saturday.
“That was an unexpected surprise,” Praschak said. “Our intent wasn’t to win. We were there for a workout.”
Many of the Spartans maintained a steady workout schedule in the off-season. The veteran Spartans looked at mid-season form.
“It showed our kids wanted to compete that badly,” Praschak said.
He said he will likely step back a bit on their workouts so they don’t peak out too early in the season.
Only one Spartan took on a full complement of events on Saturday. That was junior Alicia Potting, who was given the option of not competing in her final event, the 200 meters. She chose to compete and took second place. Those eight points she earned were the difference between first and second place in the meet, with Menomonie finishing seven places behind the Spartans.
The meet showed how balanced the Spartans are at the start of the season.
“In every event it seemed we had someone with experience,” Praschak said.
Led by Potting, Christina Flandrick, Gina Hanzlik and Britni Weise, the Spartans have the experience to be a formidable challenger in the Middle Border Conference again this season.
That is a stark contrast to the Spartans boys team. The boys lost a large percentage of their point scorers from last season. New boys coach Diane Belter has limited experience to build around this season. There are nine seniors, a sprinkling of juniors and sophomores, plus a large freshman group out for the team.
The leading point scorers returning to the team are seniors Paul Fohrenkamm, Michael Meyer and Alex Praschak and sophomore Dylan Rivard.
Because Saturday’s meet came during Somerset’s spring break, the Spartans only had about half of their 30 athletes available. The only Spartan to place in the meet was Rivard, who took fourth in the 400 meter dash.
“Dylan has a boat load of potential,” Belter said.
Belter will coach the sprinters on the boys team. Nathan Klinger, who was also her assistant coach on the cross country team, will coach the distance runners on the track team.
Somerset’s track teams will continue their indoor schedule with a pair of meets in the upcoming days. On Thursday afternoon they will compete in a small indoor meet at UW-River Falls. They will be involved in a much bigger affair on Saturday, when they take part in the annual All-American Invitational at the UW-River Falls indoor facility.