COLFAX — Colfax head track and field coach Ryan Krall has seen a lot of talented athletes come through his program but this year’s group of graduated seniors may be one of the best. Several of them have been named All Conference by placing first, second or third at one or more conference meets, and several ended their seasons at the state meet including one girl who was there all four years. And one boy is now a school record holder, while some of the competitors were newcomers to the team.
Dannielle Dachel, who holds the school record in letters earned by a female athlete with 14, collected four of those letters in track and field. Dachel excelled in the mid distance running events and as a member of the 4 X 800 relay team, competed at the big show all four years in the event. As a freshman, Dachel and her teammates were All Conference by placing second in the meet and moved through the regional and sectionals and claimed 14th place at the state meet. In her sophomore year, Dachel was fourth in the 800 m run at conference, fourth in the 4 X 400, seventh in the 400 m dash and ninth in the triple jump. Moving through the regionals, she qualified for state by placing second in the 800 m run and as a member of the 4 X 400 and 4 X 800 relay teams in sectionals.The 4 X 800 ended up taking fifth in La Crosse, 12th in the 4 X 400 and she was 14th in the 800.
Things just kept getting better for her and her teammates in her junior year as the 4 X 800 won the conference, regional and sectional meets and finished fifth again at state. Dachel also claimed a third in the 1600 m run at conference and a fourth in the 800 and was fourth in the 800 at the regional meet. Her senior year was another strong one for the 4 X 800 as she led off the relay which ended up taking second in conference and winning the regional and sectional meets. She was third in the 1600 run at regionals and sixth at sectionals but along with her teammates Courtney Dressel, Mackenzie Jensen and Dempsey Fogarty, the foursome ran a personal best time at state in 10:07.83 and finished eighth.
Andrew Adix set his goal a year ago to break the school record in the 200 m dash and did just that, several times in fact. The record was held by Dan Luer of 23.54 back in 1972 but Adix broke it for the first time in a meet at West Salem at 23.34. After placing second in the conference meet at 23.21, Adix moved through the regionals and sectionals and had his personal best time in the preliminary race at state in 22.87 before claiming third place in the finals in 23.06. Adix was also member of the 4 X 100 and 4 X 200 relay teams that ended up taking fifth at the sectional meet, one place from qualifying for state. As a junior at the conference meet, he was a member of the second place 4 X 100 relay and was fourth in the 200 m race, then was second at regionals and sixth at sectionals in the 200. His 4 X 100 relay team was third in the regional and sectional meet, and the team moved on to state where they did not make it to the finals.
Katie Christoffel was a speedster who eventually found her niche in the hurdle events and the sprint relays. As a sophomore, she ran a leg of the winning 4 X 200 relay at conference and the third place 4 X 100 relay and was eighth in the 100 m hurdles. Her 4 X 100 relay team was third in conference her junior season, the 4 X 200 was fourth and she took fifth in her hurdle event. Neither relay team made it through the sectionals however, taking ninth with the 4 X 200 and tenth with the 4 X 100. Christoffel earned a third at the conference meet as a senior in the 100 hurdles and the 4 X 100 relay, and after deciding to try another event, that being the 300 hurdles partway through the season, resulted in a big payoff. After working to perfect her technique, she surprised a lot of people by taking second at the regional meet and set a personal best record at 50.20 with another second at the sectionals to move on to state. Her 4 X 100 relay team claimed a third at regionals and fourth at sectionals allowing them to reach the state meet and although they ran some good times, Christoffel did not make it through the preliminaries in her hurdle event and neither did the relay.
Ben Kragness competed four years and began to make a name for himself in the throws. As a sophomore, he placed fifth at conference in the discus and seventh in the shot put, took second at regionals in the shot and fourth in the discus. At sectionals Kragness struggled and scratched in all three shot attempts and was 13th in the discus. He turned things up his junior year however, winning the shot put at the conference meet and taking second in the discus, won both events at the regional meet and moved on to state by placing second in the shot at sectionals with a personal best 48-10, and third in the discus. At the big show in La Crosse, he finished 12th in the shot put and 16th in the discus. Although it appeared he was preparing for a return trip after winning both events at the conference meet his senior year which included a personal best heave of 155-09 in the discus, Kragness struggled in the rain at the Boyceville regional and did not qualify for sectionals in the discus, but finished third in the shot. His career ended with a sixth place at the sectional meet.
Brad Foyt may be the unsung hero for the Vikings as he made his name as an integral part of the sprint relays for three years. He was an All Conference performer all three years starting with the second place 4 X 200 relay as a sophomore where he was also sixth with the 4 X 100. He and his teammates made it through the regionals and finished tenth in the 4 X 200 and 13th in the 4 X 100 at sectionals. He continued to improve on his speed and helped the 4 X 100 take second at conference his junior year and ran with the 4 X 400 for a change of pace and finished in seventh place. Things really picked up at the regional meet where his 4 X 100 took third and the 4 X 200 was seventh, then the 4 X 100 came in third at sectionals to advance to state. Along with Adix, Noah Pretasky and Aliymu Davis, the foursome did not make it through the preliminaries, thus ending their season. Foyt was a member of the winning 4 X 200 at the conference meet his senior year and third in the 4 X 100 and had high hopes of getting back to state in at least one of the races. But some bad exchanges at the sectional race resulted in a pair of fifth place finishes.
After playing just baseball his freshman year, Jeremiah Wait decided to become a two sport athlete in one season his sophomore year. He was All Conference in the 4 X 200 relay with a second place while his 4 X 100 relay was sixth.. He concentrated on those two relays and the 100 m dash the next two seasons and was a member of the 4 X 200 relay which won conference his senior year while his 4 X 100 was third. He was third at regionals in the 100 but didn’t make it to the finals in the sectional, and after both relay teams with Adix, Foyt and Jacob Steinke moved on to sectionals by running second in the 4 X 200 and fourth in the 4 X 100, as mentioned before they both placed fifth to end the season.
Alyssa Miller ran with several relay teams and as a senior was a member of the sixth place 4 x 200 team at both the conference meet and the regional meet.
Alexis Rudi after playing softball for two years, rested a year and came out for track as a senior. After running some short races, she concentrated on the throws and was ninth at the conference meet in the shot put and 13th in the discus. At the regional contest, she scored her first team point by placing eighth in the shot and was 14th in the discus.
Jon Hayton made his debut on the track team as a senior also and concentrated on the jumping events. He was tenth in the triple jump at the conference meet and 16th at the regional meet.
Coach Krall raved throughout the season about his seniors, not only about their talent but their work ethic.
“Whenever we have a small group of kids, they are asked to compete in several events and they get stretched pretty thin,” he said. “These kids did everything we asked of them for the good of the team and surprised a lot of people—even themselves– with their accomplishments. I know the work ethic they developed will carry over into their lives both in athletics and outside of athletics. They were truly a great group to coach and they had a lot of fun together,” he added.