By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Colfax track coach Ryan Krall says with 30 athletes out for track this spring, the girls’ team has “good top-end talent” and the boys’ team is “as open to coaching” as any group he has ever had.
“(The girls) are a little deeper in the sprint and jumps event this year than we are anywhere else, but we definitely have some good top-end talent in the other areas as well,” Coach Krall said.
[emember_protected] The Colfax girls’ track team finished fifth in the Dunn-St.Croix Conference meet in 2017.
“I think last year, since a lot of our key pieces were so young, we were a little naive about how big of a stage we were competing on at times. We won’t have that luxury this year with an added year of experience at the highest level,” he said.
“Our boys will need to continue to improve if we are to have any returners to the state meet this season,” Coach Krall said.
The Colfax boys’ track team finished sixth in the Dunn-St.Croix Conference meet in 2017.
“They are a great bunch of guys that work really hard every day in practice. They are as open to coaching as any group I have ever had, which bodes well for their ability to progress to the level of state qualifiers by the end of the season,” he said.
Coach Krall is entering his tenth season as head track coach at Colfax.
Assistant coaches this year are Brittany Rothbauer, Kelsey Daines, Dannielle Dachel, Tina Rothbauer, Jamie Buchholtz, Joe Doucette, Chuck Brown, Tim Devine and Kara Buchner.
Colfax High School’s last conference title in track was won by the girls’ team in 2010.
“Last season was one in which we were able to qualify a lot of kids for the state meet in relays but didn’t really perform the way we had hoped when we got there,” Coach Krall said.
“Our kids were excellent in being able to qualify, but we will be lacking a lot of the veteran leadership they provided as we move into this season,” he said.
“The hope is that our younger kids will remember how the older kids prepared themselves to compete last year and carry that over to this season’s competition,” Coach Krall said.
Six returning girls contribute to the overall positive outlook for the Colfax girls’ track team this spring.
“Jayna Bowe, Morgan Schleusner and Sam Pretasky all had an opportunity to run on the biggest stage last year,” Coach Krall said.
“We are hoping to build off of those experiences this year. The addition of Kameri Meredith to this year’s team provides us with even more sprint and jump depth, which we will definitely need this season,” he said.
“Mackenzie Jensen and Erica Kallstrom will have to carry the torch for our distance group this year,” Coach Krall noted.
“Both are coming off of great cross country seasons and have state meet experience. We are excited to have them both back with us completely healthy to start our season,” he said.
The girls’ track team has one freshman, eight sophomores, five juniors and one senior.
“Emma Hurlburt is another girl joining us again this year that will hopefully make a huge impact right away in the throws for us,” Coach Krall said.
“She is another one that has a boatload of natural ability. We are excited to see what she can become this season for us,” he said.
Adam Pretasky is the lone senior returning to the boys’ track team this year, although three athletes are returning all together.
“His leadership will be crucial in helping our younger athletes achieve what I believe they are capable of,” Coach Krall said.
“As a former state meet participant himself, he is hungry to return back to LaCrosse for his senior season. We all hope that we can help him make that happen,” he said.
“Jeremy Artist returns this year as well as our only boy state meet qualifier from a year ago, qualifying as a sophomore in the 100-meter dash last season,” Coach Krall said.
“Jeremy is another boy who continues to get better as he learns more about the training process as a whole. He has a chance to be really good again this year for us,” he said.
“Ed Hydukovich has a great shot at having a breakout season for us this year after a really strong freshman season last year,” Coach Krall said.
“He is blessed with a lot of natural tools to be a really good discus thrower for us, and he works really hard to continue to improve. He has a great chance at having a strong year,” he said.
The girls’ track team has lost four starters from last season: Bryana Buchanan, Ally Heidorn, Abbagail Schotter and Jezz Tweed.
“Ally and Abbagail were multiple-time state qualifiers, so their loss will affect us tremendously as we enter this season,” Coach Krall said.
“Those three had been leaders for us for their entire careers, so we have a huge void to fill on our team with their departures,” he said.
The boys’ track team lost five seniors from last year’s team: Rowdy Kadinger, Jacob Larson, Michael Lyrek, Napoleon Nosker and Matthew Reisdorf.
“These five were huge parts of our team last year in a variety of different areas. That diversity of talent will be difficult for us to replace heading into this season,” Coach Krall said.
The boys’ track team has two freshmen, 10 sophomores, four juniors and one senior.
Coach Krall is looking forward to seeing newcomer Kameri Meredith’s contribution to the girls’ track team.
“The addition of Kameri Meredith could mean great things for our girls’ team this season,” he said.
“She is an ultra-athletic kid who could help us in a lot of areas, despite the fact that she is very new to the track and field game. I’m not too worried about her catching on quickly to what it takes to be successful,” Coach Krall said.
Of the track teams in the Dunn-St.Croix Conference, Elk Mound is formidable.
The Elk Mound girls’ track team “always overwhelms us with their sheer numbers of really good athletes, making them tough to beat every year,” Coach Krall said.
The Elmwood/Plum City girls’ track team is a team to watch as well.
“Elmwood/Plum City will again be very good, but I think Elk Mound is the clear favorite again this year,” Coach Krall said.
As for boys’ track teams in the Dunn-St.Croix Conference, “Both Elk Mound and Durand return so many great pieces from last year that it is difficult to consider anyone other than them as the team favorites heading into this season,” Coach Krall said.
As always, the goal for the start of the season is a conference championship, Coach Krall said.
“Staying healthy and continuing to work hard will make that goal attainable,” he said.
“After that, you start to focus on qualifying for the state meet, but a lot of things needs to go right for us to achieve that goal,” he said.
The Colfax High School girls’ track team has 13 athletes this year: Juelia Berger (sophomore); Jayna Bowe (sophomore); Teagan Field (sophomore); Emma Hurlburt (junior); Abby Irwin (freshman); Mackenzie Jensen (senior); Morgan Jensen (sophomore); Erica Kallstrom (junior); Rachel Knutson (junior); Kameri Meredith (sophomore); Samantha Pretasky (sophomore); Hailey Prince (junior); Morgan Schleusner (sophomore).
The Colfax High School boys’ track team has 17 athletes this year: Noah Albricht (sophomore); Jeremy Artist (junior); Sawyer Best (sophomore); Eddie Doerr (sophomore); Dennan Fogarty (junior); Pierce Harvey (sophomore); Luke Heidorn (junior); Noah Heidorn (freshman); Trey Hovde (sophomore); Ed Hydukovich (sophomore); Remington Larson (sophomore); Brady Lawrence (sophomore); Nate Lee (sophomore); Adam Pretasky (senior); Mitchell Reisdorf (freshman); Trevor Rothbauer (junior); Dennis Sonnentag (sophomore). [/emember_protected]