Crestwood girls’ track team features stout experience, numbers


CRESCO - The weather in March in northeast Iowa isn’t always great for outdoor activities, but when the snow does melt and the temperatures rise, look out for the 2018 Crestwood girls’ track team this spring.
The girls’ squad will include 47 total students from grades nine through 12 this season, including 25 returning letterwinners. The squad includes six seniors, 16 juniors, 17 sophomores and 10 freshmen.
Seniors on the team include: Danielle Ahern, Sami Bigalk, Brynn Bodermann, Autumn Forcelle, Ellie Friesen and Emily Friesen. Bigalk is the only senior who is not a returning letterwinner.
Juniors include: Sam Balk, Abbie Bergan, Amiah DeWolf, Hope Dohlman, Trista Foster, Hallie Frohn, Destiny Hodges, Cassidy Ihns, Noel Lloyd, Sarah Mashek, Annie Mast, Cassie Ollendieck, Aly Reicks (manager), Kristen Reicks, Emily Reinhart and Katie Saner. Returning letterwinners include: Balk, Bergan, DeWolf, Dohlman, Foster, Frohn, Hodges, Mashek, Mast, Ollendieck, Reicks, Reinhart and Saner.
Sophomores include: Keelee Andera, Jenna Bolson, Katlin Born, Madison Brace, Emma Cotant, Sydney Erickson, Sharon Goodman, Libby Labosky, Angel Lebherz, Cameron Ollendick, Krista Riley, Emma Rissman, Mattie Slavin, Rachel Steffen, Kelsey Stortz, Michaela Walton and Hanna Ward. Returning letterwinners include: Andera, Born, Cotant, Goodman, Rissman, Slavin and Steffen.
Freshmen include: Ashley Ferrie, Rachel Ludeking, Hailley Mittelsted, Amelia Nelson, Madison Nolan, Lexi Hoppe, Mikayla Lane, Emily Blaess, Ivy Tangen (manager) and Mary Turnbull.
During the 2017 season, the Cadet girls’ team qualified for the State Meet in eight events and all the qualifiers are back for the 2018 season. The distance medley relay team of Ellie Friesen, Katie Saner, Annie Mast and Brynn Bodermann finished second at State last year. Friesen took second in the 800 and 1500, and she placed third in the 3000. Goodman placed 18th in the discus. Saner placed 15th in the long jump, 13th in the preliminaries of the 200 and 18th in the preliminaries of the 100.
Crestwood Head Coach Jim Obermann is excited to not only have good overall numbers for the team but also many experienced athletes coming back.
“We’ve got a lot of experienced athletes back as well as girls with State experience back,” Obermann said. “We lost six seniors (from 2017) to graduation, including Megan Ryan, who was a good discus thrower, and Shaunna Erickson, who was a good sprinter.
“We’ll have a lot of kids with talent and experience coming back. We’ll have our entire distance medley team back, which is led by Ellie Friesen. Ellie and the whole squad had a good year last year. We finished strong at the conference meet and the State Qualifier last year. We hope to be even better this year.”
Obermann said there will be only 10 freshmen competing, but he noted they will make contributions.
“Our freshmen numbers are not huge this year, but we knew that would be the case because there weren’t many eighth graders last year,” the coach said. “Overall,  the numbers are strong with 47 total girls, and we feel good about that. Our numbers have been in the mid-40s for several years, which is what we hope for.”
Obermann said he anticipates the distance events should be strong.
“We’ll have one of our top distance runners (Ellie Friesen) coming back,” the coach said. “She’s also one of the top runners throughout the state of Iowa. Ellie’s coming off of a fantastic basketball season, and she needs a little time to recover, but if she stays healthy, the sky is the limit for her. We are very fortunate to have her doing what she does for us, and she loves track. We hope she has a fantastic year, and she will lead our distance runners.
“We also have several other quality athletes coming back. Katie Saner had great success last year qualifying for four events at State. She has great talent. We’re hoping that another year of experience will make her even more competitive. She also ran cross country last fall, which was a good base-builder for her. We’ll also have Sharon Goodman back in the discus event, and we expect big things from her this year as well.
“We’re happy to have Annie Mast and Brynn Bodermann back, who both ran in the distance medley. It’s great to have so many experienced athletes back, and we’re looking for another great year. Of course, there are always intangibles for the season, such as staying healthy.
“Junior Cassidy Ihns is also joining the team this year. She ran cross country for us last fall, and we’re hoping she can be a factor in the mid-distance events as well. We’re happy to have experienced athletes back across the board,” Obermann said.
He noted all of the girls who threw the shot put last year are back, and he anticipates they will show improvement. He also expects the freshmen, sophomores and juniors to make big contributions this spring.
While the squad will have only six seniors, Obermann said he expects them to compete well.
“Emily Friesen is back, and she will have great versatility for us,” Obermann said. “Emily is a mid-distance runner, but she can also run the 400, 200 and the hurdles. Brynn is another girl who has versatility. She can run anything from the 100 to the half-mile. Those kind of kids are great to have on the team because they are so versatile.
“We’ll also have Autumn Forcelle back. She will be a sprinter for us. Sami Bigalk will be back this year after missing last season because of an injury. Danielle Ahern, who is a four-year athlete, will be a great mentor for some of the younger kids. She knows a lot about throwing, and she can share that knowledge. We’ll have a good senior group, and they will lead us,” the coach said.
Obermann noted the juniors and sophomores also have solid experience coming into the season.
“We’re always hoping that kids can make good progress from one year to the next,” Obermann said. “Our conference will be very, very good again. Decorah will have a lot of returning kids, and we expect them to be tough in the conference. Waverly, New Hampton, Charles City and Waukon always have good athletes. Up and down the board, our conference will be very good.”
The coach said all the athletes will work hard to make this a great season.
“I know Ellie Friesen wants to finish her high school career with even more success this year,” Obermann said. “We have a lot of girls that have ambitions to not only do well in the conference, but also in the State Qualifier Meet.
“We want to get a lot of girls down to Des Moines to try to score even more points than we did last year when we finished sixth in Class 3A. Being in Class 3A is a challenge, but we want to finish even higher at State this year. We are looking forward to good things this year. We have a lot of kids who have put in time working out on treadmills. We’re ready to compete. We just need some cooperation from the weather,” Obermann said.

Cresco Times

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