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Northwest Salmon



Webster Area tracksters look to thrive

off senior leadership

by Emre K. Erku

Webster Area varsity tracksters return 10 state qualifiers this season to give first year head coach Brandy Gangle some good tools to work with.

“I’m very excited,” said Gangle. “As first year as head coach, I have a ton of really good kids out. I’ve got a lot of young talent, and I’ve got a lot of great senior leadership. I couldn’t have asked for much more.”

Seniors leading the charge for the girls include state qualifying hurdler Haley Rithmiller, runners Emily Wiley McKenzie and Mariah Volesky and thrower Lindsey Schoenbeck. For boys, last year’s state qualifiers include senior middle distance runners Riley Reetz and Ty Dunse, senior thrower Chandler Day and junior distance runner Jacob Hernandez.

Gangle looks to use upper-class experience to help guide state qualifiers across the board.

“My goal is by regions and conference to put three athletes in every event,” said Gangle. “I want to fill every event. It’s depth that does it. It’s not one kid in a couple events that makes any progress. It’s filling out your team.”

Trying to fill out a couple state qualifying spots in the pole vault event, which was resurrected after a 13-year hiatus, will include eight Bearcat athletes.

“Right now, pole vault is very selective within our region and conference,” said Gangle. “If we can get one boy and one girl qualifying for state, we’ll be pretty ecstatic.”

Apart from her older competitors, Gangle hopes to churn some good production out of her younger sprinters and runners.

“Sprints, we’re really young,” said Gangle. “For the most part we’re at the freshman level.”

Gangle has 12 freshmen to mold in running events, which gives her plenty of “potential to see some of those younger distance event kids get in.”

As for jumpers, Gangle noted the strength of senior Mollie Rausch and Breske, while she hopes that 6’4” sophomore newcomer Jhett Prins rises above the competition.

“He is going to learn how to jump,” Gangle affirmed.

Tough challengers in the region, said Gangle, include Aberdeen Roncalli, Redfield/Doland and Milbank.

Assistant coaches include Adam Mines, Martin Looyenga, Scott Gangle, Kevin Duenwald and Aaron Keller.

Although there are some new faces on the coaching staff, Brandy Gangle says her athletes are taking it quite well.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on, but I think the kids are excited about a little bit of newness,” said Gangle. “Right now in practice there’s nothing but smiles.”

Lost to graduation are Noah Thurston, Evan McCreary, Jordan Bauer, Caleb Whitmyre and Devin Spindler.

This year’s female athletes include seniors Kayla Bremmon (jumper), Morgan Hanson (jumper), Aryn Looyenga (sprinter), Rausch (jumper), Wiley (runner), Rithmiller (hurdler, sprinter), Heidi Schneider (thrower), Lindsey Schoenbeck (thrower), Alecia Vogl (jumper), Mariah Volesky (middle distance, pole vaulter), McKenzie Volesky (middle distance, pole vaulter); juniors Olivia Breske (jumper, pole vaulter), Kendra Johnson (distance) Camilla Madsen (distance) and Brianna Mount (middle distance); sophomores Abby Nilson (sprinter), Gabby Snell (thrower), Liza Schoenbeck (thrower) and Samantha Wagner (thrower); freshmen Payton Sattler (sprinter), Georgia Duerre (sprinter), McKenzie Gruby (sprinter), Emily Kaufman (distance), Abby Richie (sprinter, pole vaulter), Tiann Snell (thrower), Kaelyn Somsen (distance), Janessa Storley (thrower), Brooke Vogl (jumper) and Brenna Wegleitner (sprinter); eighth grader Rana Hegg (distance); and seventh grader Annie Witt (distance, pole vaulter).

Male athletes include seniors Marcus Block (sprinter), Day (thrower), Dunse (middle distance), Alex Leschisin (distance), Bryson Premus (jumper) and Riley Reetz (middle distance); Christian vomSchemm (jumper) and Hernandez (distance); sophomores Ethan Ninke (thrower) and Prins (runner, jumper); Freshmen Matthew Block (jumper, sprinter, pole vaulter), Austin Moen (jumper), Brian Mork (distance), Coby Reetz (jumper, sprinter, pole vaulter), Jared Schlotte (distance) and Cade Shoemaker (thrower, pole vaulter); and eighth grader Max Kuecker (distance).

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