COLFAX — With over forty boys and girls out for the track and field team, Colfax head coach Ryan Krall hopes his athletes can stay healthy and challenge for a conference title this season. Krall is beginning his seventh season leading the girls and will pull double duty by also serving as head coach for the boys this year. He will be assisted by Courtney Doucette, Tanya Fogarty, Eric Kyles, Lexi Burnikel amd Brittany Rothbauer.
Krall will have to replace some pretty talented athletes from last year’s squad including Heidi Lieffort, the school record holder in the pole vault and state runner up last year who also threw the discus at the state level and ran some hurdles, thrower Emily Halpin and mid-distance runner Allison Yingst. (Lieffort has already made a name for herself at UW-Stout, soaring to a personal best 10’7 in the pole vault and competing in the weight throw during the indoor season). From the boys’ side, sprinter Noah Pretasky graduated after making back to back appearances at the state track meet in the 100 m dash.
Leading the girls’ team this season are Dempsey Fogarty who is coming off a trip to state in the 400, 800 and 4X800 relay races, Dannielle Dachel, a member of that same 4 X 800 team and a three time letter winner, Courtney Dressel and Abbagail Schotter, the third and fourth member of the 4 X 800 relay and Katie Christoffel who gathered plenty of points in the hurdle events. Marianne Scharlau showed steady improvement throughout the season in the shot and discus throws and Ally Heidorn also returns with experience in the sprints and will compete in the triple jump.
The sprints should be a strong point for the boys’ team with Andrew Adix, Aliymu Davis and Brad Foyt returning from the 4 X100 relay team which ended its season at state a year ago. Thrower Ben Kragness hopes to cap off his senior year with a second straight appearance at La Crosse where he competed in both the discus and shot put, and Hunter Lieffort will be trying to match his sister’s effort and reach the state level in the pole vault.
“With only 15 girls out, we will be at a disadvantage as far as filling every event with high quality athletes,” Krall said. “Our boys need to translate some of their natural ability as sprinters into the jumps to earn us some points.Our goals always start with winning a conference championship and by staying healthy and working hard we can make that an attainable goal. After that, we focus on getting as many athletes as possible to the state meet and up on the medal podium,” he added.
St. Croix Central won both the boys’ and girls’ conference title a year ago and after this season, will move into the Middle Border Conference. The Colfax girls were the runner up to Central while the boys placed seventh. Krall expects Central to be a powerhouse again with their high number of athletes they come up with in both the girls and boys divisions. But he expects Mondovi, Elk Mound, Glenwood City and Elmwood-Plum City to also be strong in the girls’ division, and Mondovi, Glenwood City and Spring Valley to be contenders for the boys.
GIRLS’ ROSTER: Bryana Buchanan, Katie Christoffel, Dannielle Dachel, Courtney Dressel, Caroline Dworak, Dempsey Fogarty, Ally Heidorn, Mackenzie Jensen, Alyssa Miller, Erin Nellessen, Alexis Rudi, Marianne Scharlau, Megan Schleusner, Abbigail Schotter, Jezz Tweed
BOYS’ ROSTER: Andrew Adix, Zack Arvold, Aliymu Davis, Brad Foyt, Grady Gibson, Jon Hayton, Spencer Herrick, Tucker Hovde, Michael Hurlburt, Jacob Jensen, Jacob Klukas, Ben Kragness, Jacob Larson, Isaac Lee, Hunter Lieffort, Michael Lyrek, Napoleon Nosker, Adam Pretasky, Brett Prince, Kamdon Quast, Marcus Reisdorf, Matthew Reisdorf, Jelani Smit, Jacob Steinke, Treyton Teige, Tucker Teige, Jeremiah Wait.