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Honkers open track season with 43 on roster...

Once again the Honker track and field team is blessed with adequate numbers on both the girls and the boys side.

4/02/19 (Tue)

Once again the Honker track and field team is blessed with adequate numbers on both the girls and the boys side.

That means the Honkers are going to score some points in their meets and head coach Kacy Keysor couldn’t be happier.

Keysor and assistant coach Owen Owens have 20 boys and 23 girls to work with. Twenty-seven of them are high school students and 16 are junior high students.

“We have lost a couple of kids to baseball but we have some new kids who are out for the first time,” Keysor said. “Our numbers are pretty close to what we had last year.”

According to Keysor, the biggest change since last year is that Jacob Rodin graduated and won’t be part of the boys relay teams.

“We lost Jacob on the relay team that missed going to state by 1 second,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, we’re going to have kids who are going to score in meets, we just won’t have one athlete to dominate.”

However, there are a number of athletes who want to be on the relays. Whether it’s because the Kenmare relay teams have had some good teams in recent years, or whether it’s friends hanging out with friends, he sees that competition within creating some strong relay teams.

It’s still early to see who is going to emerge as the leaders, and it seems like we deal with indoor practices too late every year. But the kids understand the weather and remain optimistic. And when they do get outside, they excel.

“The competition in practice is outstanding so far,” Keysor said. “This is probably the best first week we’ve ever had. The kids keep pushing each other to be better athletes. And having consistent numbers, certainly increases the competition level.”

The one caution Keysor keeps coming back to is he doesn’t want anybody on his team thinking state meet before the season even starts. If that’s the case, chances are their setting themselves up for disappointment. He said track is a team sport, but an individual sport as well.

“Our major goal is for these kids to get their personal bests,” Keysor said. “Getting these numbers helps the kids to realize they’re actually competing against themselves and nobody else. Our goal after the first meet is we want to do better than that next week.”

He said he’s still trying to figure out exactly where each athlete is going to excel. When that becomes established, he and Owens will hone in their best events and build them up from there.

“The expectation on this team is to get to the regional and place in those meets,” Keysor said. “A lot of that has to do with personal bests.”

He added, “Several years ago we weren’t scoring at meets. Now we’re putting on some points and it shows me as a coach that we’re getting better as a team.”

Three girls; Ciera Wahus, Marissa Jensen and Taylor Schoemer and one boy, Michael Schlosser are seniors. For Jensen and Schoemer, it’s their first year out and for Wahus and Schlosser, they’ve been around this program a few years and a productive year is expected of them.

Wahus will be involved in the 300-meter hurdles and long jump. Schoemer will do long jump, high jump, 400 and 800, Jensen will take on the 400, 800 and 300 hurdles.

Jordan Rodin and Jacie Ankenbauer are the only junior girls on this team and the bulk of the team is sophomore on down.

Rodin has lots of experience in the high jump and will run the 200 while Ankenbauer will once again work on discus and shotput.

Schosser’s expertise is the javelin and is undecided whether he will throw discus or not.

“Michael placed fourth last year and just missed going to state,” Keysor said. “He’s one kid with high expectations and he continues to grow.”

Reeve Froseth is a junior who was on the relay team that missed a trip to state by 1 second. Keysor said the expectations are there as well for Froseth and the other relay members. He’s also doing the 800 and 1600.

That puts a lot of pressure on the underclassmen to perform, but Keysor isn’t worried about that.

“The freshmen and eighth graders are putting up some points,” he said. “They know the drill.”

The Kenmare News sat down with several of the athletes to see what their own thoughts might be.

Wahus is in her sixth year on this team. Keysor said she has certainly stuck with it and gotten better every year.

There’s no doubt Wahus has a passion for the 300 hurdles, thus it will most likely be her most positive event.

Not only is she impressed with this team overall, she is happy the Bowbells contingent continues to grow. Seven are competing from Bowbells this year.

“We’ve definitely grown our numbers,” she said. “Since I started, we’ve gone up each year.”

Rodin gets her biggest thrill from the high jump and Keysor believes her experience will propel the other girls into being better in the event.

“I see a lot of girls ready to go out and compete,” Rodin said. “I think it will be good.”

Schlosser says his bright spot is indeed the javelin. Very calmly, Schlosser said he should make it to state this year.

Otherwise, he says there are a lot of bright spots on this team, but it’s a little early to make predictions.

For Froseth, it’s more about the level of competition, than it is losing Jacob Rodin.

“We have as good a chance as any school to make it to state,” he said. “Other schools graduated seniors too. “We need to get top three and we’ll qualify.”

For updates on the 2019 Honker track team, log onto the Kenmare High School website and click “Athletics.” ... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!