St. Croix Central track teams encouraged by home meet performanceThe track at St. Croix Central was swirling with activity last Thursday as 12 teams anxiously took advantage of the spring weather to take part in one of the first outdoor track meets in the area this season.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The track at St. Croix Central was swirling with activity last Thursday as 12 teams anxiously took advantage of the spring weather to take part in one of the first outdoor track meets in the area this season.
The meet was greeted especially warmly by the Central athletes. While many of the teams in Thursday’s meet had already competed in indoor events, Central is one of the few area teams that refrains from competing indoors.
The Panthers performed successfully in both halves of the meet. They took third place among 12 teams in the boys and girls sides of the home meet.
Central co-coach Amanda Webb said there is plenty of anticipation for the season. Both Panther teams return a talented group of veteran athletes and they both have promising freshman classes to help build the depth on the teams.
The Panther girls were winners in two events while the boys took first place in one event. Sophomore Kayla Pabst was the champ in both throwing events, throwing beyond 34 feet in the shot put and 105 feet in the discus throw to win both events.
The win for the boys was logged by senior Korey Jacobson in the 100 meters. Jacobson showed he’s in mid-season form, running an 11.2 to win the race against some strong competition.
The boys team has good balance. The coaches didn’t run their strongest lineup, trying to work younger athletes into the limited entry meet. The Panthers were able to place in the top four in 10 different events. On the track, Cody Nyhagen took third in the 400. Stephen Brunshidle was third in the 1,600 and fourth in the 800. Three of the Panther relay teams ranked in the top four, led by a third place finish from the 1,600 meter relay team.
The field events were equally productive. D.J. Haas ranked second among the pole vaulters and Aaron Delander took second in the long jump and third in the triple jump. Jag Johnson, still recovering from an ankle injury suffered during the football season, was able to place third in the long jump.
“The boys should continue to improve and the freshmen will help,” Webb said.
The girls didn’t have quite as many high-end finishes as the boys. Many of the running events were filled by younger members of the team, as the coaches wanted to know how quickly they can contribute. The best performances by the Panthers on the track were fourth place finishes by Jessi Johnson in the 100 hurdles and the 1,600 meter relay team.
The field events have been the base for the Panthers’ success in recent seasons and they remain a strength. Laura DeSmith took second place with a long jump of 14 feet, 10 inches. Jenna Ganther went to state last year in the triple jump and showed she’s a threat there again, placing second by bounding 31 feet, 9 inches.
All the Panthers will have the chance to compete this week. The junior varsity will compete at Elk Mound on Thursday, while the varsity takes part in the Rice Lake Invitational this Friday.