CORNELL — The first season of the Cornell/Lake Holcombe track and field co-op featured many highs, including conference and regional titles for the boys and an individual state qualifier.
Jake Ebner and Tim Sime’s squad will be aiming for more success for both teams in 2013 and look to have the talent to do it.
“We are expecting to have a good year from both the boys and girls teams,” Sime said. “We would like to compete for both the boys and girls conference championships.”
The team returns 10 sectional qualifiers from last year, led by Travis Anderson (200 and 400-meter dash and long jump), Thomas Sippy (1,600 and 3,200-meter run), Caleb White (3,200-run and 3,200-relay) and Eric Nedland for the boys and Lucy Sikora (800-run and high jump), Hannah Ash (100 and 200-dash). Bianca Winter, Thia Moreen and Danielle Gygi for the girls.
Also, Sikora, Winter, Moreen, Gygi and Jordon Dixon advanced to sectionals as a part of relay teams.
Cornell/Lake Holcombe does lose their lone state qualifier in Tyler Mataczynski as well as sectional qualifiers Jyle Jones, Phillip Winchell, Taylor Bauch and Jay Kent.
C/LH is scheduled to host its lone invite of the year on April 25 at Cornell.
The Cadott Hornets return four conference champions and one state qualifier for first-year coach Pat Rothbauer.
Ben Kyes (110-hurdles) returns after qualifying for state as a freshman last year. The boys squad also returns conference-champion pole vaulter Sean Sonnentag as well as a sizable amount of upperclassmen.
The team will have to deal with the loss of three seniors, including state-qualifying shot putter Michael Siverling, who now is throwing for the UW-Eau Claire track and field team.
“If the boys work hard and have a great attitude, they will improve over the course of the season and we will have a competitive squad throughout the season,” Rothbauer said.
The girls team returns 2012 state qualifiers Lexi Siverling (high jump), Lauren Manier (100-hurdles) and Amanda Bremness (pole vault) as well as Aquila Glomski, the conference champion in the 100-dash and others with plenty of experience.
They lose three girls to graduation including Ellen Sikorski, a state-qualifier in shot put and discus.
Cadott is scheduled to host the William DeJung invite on May 10 at Gilman.
Both Blackhawks teams deal with some key losses of state-caliber athletes, but both should once again figure into the title picture in the Heart O’North.
The boys lose four state qualifers from last year — John Vodacek, Levi Nayes, Garrett Sarauer and Craig Lundgren — and the girls lose one with Ali Olson.
But the young Blackhawks do return state 1,600-relay runner Ryan Buske as well as Brandt Bruxvoort, Matt Salm, Chase Faschingbauer and Cory Zwiefelhofer.
“We are a young team with only two seniors,” Bloomer boys coach Nicholas Schumacher said. “So we will have to have some young kids step up and make some big improvements this year.”
The girls team returns Kayla Ruff, a state-qualifier in the high jump from last year, to go with a bevy of sectional qualifiers that should have the Blackhawks girls in contention for their fourth straight HON title.
“Hayward and Northwestern have a very strong track program with many returning conference/state champions,” Bloomer girls coach Steve Krueger said. “However, we have many promising athletes.”
Bloomer is scheduled to hold a quadrangular on April 25 and an invite on April 30.
The Orioles were shut out from the state track and field meet last year, but have many talented athletes that could make it to La Crosse.
The girls team returns senior Amy Plechacek, sophomore Peyton McCauley, junior Shantel Hartzell and senior Abby Schmidt. Plechacek, Hartzell and McCauley were sectional qualifiers.
Those returners will combine with a large 11-person freshman class that Stanley-Boyd girls coach Kari Thorpe expects to make an impact.
“Several of these (freshmen) girls have made an impact on the volleyball and basketball season,” Thorpe said.
With that improved depth, Thorpe said she expects her team to be in contention in the conference with Cadott and Eau Claire Regis.
The boys squad returns sectional-qualifying pole vaulter Deontae Heuer, triple jumper Cody McCulluck and distance runner Jeff Milas. Also back is senior thrower Dave Kmeciak, junior sprinter Dusty Spaeth, junior Craig Mason and sophomore Brian Koch.
Stanley-Boyd will have to replace a trio of sectional qualifers as well with the graduation of Jack McLoone (throws), Jeremiah Reit (hurdles) and Dakota Nichols (dashes).
“We have 12 returning letterwinners from last year that are picking up where they left off,” boys coach Bob Seidl said. “I see our team being very competitive in the Western Cloverbelt Conference. Our strength will be in the field events and sprints.”
The Trojans bring back a large boys team led by a pair of sectional qualifiers from last year.
New Auburn is led by senior Alex Vaughn and sophomore Sean Rae, both members of the 3,200-meter relay squad that finished ninth at sectionals. The Trojans may not have the numbers to compete for a conference title, but fourth-year coach Brad Werner said his team should be able to compete for some individual conference crowns.
“We have a larger boys squad than ever with 20 boys,” Werner said. “Many new faces and some returners, even a few that took a year off of track last spring but were close to pushing through to state two years ago.”
Werner said he also expects seniors Jesse Sweeter and Cody Baldry to made an impact in sprints and mid-distance races, respectively. The Trojans will have to deal with the loss of two of their 3,200-meter relay runners in Tanner Nayes and Nate Jackson.