Spartan relay teams smash school recordsSomerset’s girls 400 and 800 meter relay teams broke school records last week. In fact, the 400 meter relay team broke the school record in both of the Spartans’ meets last week.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Somerset’s girls 400 and 800 meter relay teams broke school records last week. In fact, the 400 meter relay team broke the school record in both of the Spartans’ meets last week.
The Spartan track teams competed in a large field of talented teams at Osceola last Tuesday. They went up against another top quality group of opponents on Friday at the annual Hudson True Team Meet.
The Spartan girls knocked off several team records during the two meets. The 400 meter relay team of Gina Hanzlik, Lauren Westerdahl, Tasha Kandakova and Alicia Potting broke the school record in both of last week’s meets. The record had stood since 2006, when Hanzlik was part of the relay team along with Christina Flandrick, Brianna Johnson and Roxi Martin.
The 800 meter relay team was the winner in both of last week’s meets, including breaking the school record at Osceola. This year’s 800 relay team includes Flandrick, Westerdahl, Potting and Kandakova. The 2006 record was set by Hanzlik, Johnson, Martin and Kellie Ring.
Flandrick also broke one of her own school records on Friday. In 2006 she became the first Spartan girl to clear 10 feet in the pole vault. On Friday she became the first Spartan to ever clear 10 feet, 6 inches in the event.
Flandrick earned a third title on Friday, winning the 100 high hurdles.
Potting topped that achievement, being part of four winning efforts on Friday. In addition to the relay wins, Potting was the champion in the 200 meter dash and the high jump. Potting also won the 200 and high jump at Osceola last Tuesday. In both of her 200s last week, she recorded a new personal best time.
The Spartans competed very favorably in the team aspect compared to the large schools they faced last week. They placed second among nine teams at Osceola on Tuesday, finishing behind Hudson. They took third place in the Hudson True Team Meet behind Hudson and Red Wing.
While the top Spartan girls continue to establish themselves, young members of the team are finding their way to contribute. On Friday freshman Sara Henry took second place in the high jump behind Potting. She was also Somerset’s top finisher in the 400 meters, finishing with a respectable 1:05.63 time.
On Tuesday it was freshman Elizabeth Vanasse who took a big step forward. Vanasse cleared a personal best 8-6 to take second place in the pole vault. She also tried the triple jump for the first time and came through with an impressive jump of 31 feet, 8 inches.
“Lizzie is really starting to come around, I think she’s figuring it out,” said Spartan girls coach Dave Praschak.
The Spartan boys finished seventh at Osceola. They put together a number of finishes that show the team is moving in the right direction.
Sophomore Dylan Rivard came through with his best race of the season thus far, winning the 400 meters in a time of 52.37.
The field events produced several big efforts. Cole Cloutier took second in the high jump, clearing the 6-foot barrier.
Michael Meyer was able to clear the 11-foot mark in the pole vault to take fourth place. The shot put looks to be an event where the Spartans can consistently score points, with Darrin Emmeck taking third place and Rob Wendt eighth place.
The boys are also finding the talent to put together some point-worthy relay teams. The 800 and 1600 relay teams both took third place at Hudson and the 400 relay team finished in fourth place.
Boys coach Diane Belter said she saw a number of personal bests in last Tuesday’s meet at Osceola that had her feeling the boys could stand up well against the bigger schools.
Senior Alex Praschak continues to emerge as one of the better hurdlers in the area, winning the 110 hurdles on Tuesday.
Belter said it was some of the improvements that had her most upbeat about Tuesday’s meet. She pointed to Cloutier’s personal best in the triple jump and an improvement by Eric Walczak in the 200 as examples. Other examples were Ben Martell showing promise in the 800 and Dylan Breault doing the same in the 3,200.
This Thursday the Spartans will compete at their home away from home, Park High School in Cottage Grove. This will be the second of four meets at Park for the Spartans this season.