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COLFAX — In her first year as the head coach for the Colfax Vikings’ track and field teams, Kathleen Thorn seems to have the same problem many coaches around the area are dealing with – low participation numbers.
With the 2020 season a washout due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with a late start to this season, there is a shortage of athletes willing to compete due to various reasons. But of the 20 total competitors, several of them have experience at the varsity level and should be an asset to this year’s team.
Gone through graduation in 2019 and 2020 are hurdler Kameri Meredith, thrower Morgan Jensen, sprinter Trey Hovde and distance runner Dennis Sonnentag.
Returning for the boys are Noah Heidorn in the mid distance events, along with a strong group of sprinters which includes Max Knudson, Nathan Hydukovich and Ryan Albricht. All four will be asked to contribute individually and in relays and also in field events such as long jump or high jump. A pair of sophomores, Jadent Buchholtz and Ashton Yarrington, should be able to contribute in various events as well.
Of the six girls on the roster, Jasmine Best and Molly Heidorn both had successful cross country seasons and will compete in mid-distance and long distance races.
“Jasmine is a coachable young woman who has the potential to do whatever she puts her mind to,” said Thorn. “And Molly is not only talented, having competed in two state cross country meets, but holds herself to a higher standard which gives her a competitive edge,” she added.
Newcomer senior Tyler Noll competed in the shot put for Cuba City last year and hopes to continue her success with that as well as improve on her discus skills for the Vikings. She will be joined in the throws by freshman Jeanette Hydukovich who has great potential.
“Throwing is in Jeanette’s DNA,” according to Thorn. “Her older brother Ed was a successful thrower for Colfax and her dad works with the UW-Stout track and field throws program as well. And Jeanette is coachable and really listens to feedback she is given.”
A weakness for the team is the low number of participants which makes it hard to place athletes in all of the events. But, the team’s strengths are the number of coachable student-athletes who are excited to even have a track season.
Thorn believes Durand has a high number of good cross country runners which should make them strong in the distance events, but is unsure of what to expect from other teams in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference this season.
“My personal goal for the season is just to have a season,” Thorn said. “I am just excited to see our student-athletes push themselves and reach their goals. Anything else is just a bonus,” she concluded.
The first meet for the Vikings is at Boyceville, April 29.
Boys: Alex Swanson, Ashton Yarrington, David Lyrek, Jessie Lyrek, Julio Hernandez, Mark Sonnentag, Max Knudson, Nathan Hydukovich, Nick Jensen, Noah Heidorn, Ryan Albricht, Thomas Drees, William Ottinger, Jadent Buchholtz.
Girls: Anika Hallquist, Jasmine Best, Jeanette Hydukovich, Kennedy Shane, Molly Heidorn, Tyler Noll