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Raider girls place high at last pre-season meet

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Last Thursday's track meet wasn't a scored meet, but the Raider girls would have won if it had been, head coach Greg Sandkamp said.

"This was a meet where I just asked kids to experiment," he said.

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The team is young, and many of the students are new to track and field, so Sandkamp wanted them to find their strengths. That means trying events they've never tried before.

"A lot of kids were trying new things," Sandkamp explained.

New or not, they performed well against Park of Cottage Grove and the Minnesota Math and Science Academy Thursday.

Freshman Nicole Hollar tried three new events and placed in the top five in all of them.

"We've got three brand new girls that are trying out the hurdles that are doing pretty well for us," Sandkamp said.

Those would be freshmen Ashley Bayne, Allie Nolan and Sarah Hughes, who took three of the top five spots in the 300-meter hurdles.

While senior Clarese Mancl took first in the 800-meter, second went to sophomore Kirsten Peterson and freshmen Marissa Nolan, and Abbie Williams took third and fifth, respectively.

"We've got some good young girls to go along with a couple strong seniors," Sandkamp said.

Thursday's meet, as well as two previous non-competition meets, was a good start for the season.

"We're not concerned about team scores (this time)," Sandkamp said.

The team's first official scored meet is Friday in Irondale.

"Now we can get into, you know, the meat of the season," Sandkamp said.

They're looking forward to being able to apply the things they've learned at the three un-scored meets to actual competition.

"We're getting excited now," Sandkamp said.

Top finishers

• 100 dash - Nicole Hollar, fourth;

• 100 hurdles - Emily Hughes, third; Allie Nolan, fourth;

• 1600 - Kelly Pechous, first;

• 3200 - Pechous, first; Bri Strandberg, second; Hannah Sieh, third;

• 800 - Clarese Mancl, first; Peterson, second; Marissa Nolan, third; Williams, fifth;

• 200 dash - Sophia Kneen, second; Rylee Pool, third; Amber Burns, fourth; Hollar, fifth;

• 400 dash - Alicia Alverson, first; Brittney Huneke, second;

• 300 hurdles - Bayne, second; Allie Nolan, third; Sarah Hughes, fifth;

• Pole vault - Mackenzie Klimek, first; Ashleigh Meckle, fourth.

• High jump - Johanna Kneen, first; Huneke, second; Hollar, fifth;

• Long jump - Alverson, first; and

• Triple jump - Huneke, first; Sophia Kneen, second.

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Katrina Styx
Katrina Styx has been a reporter for the Hastings Star Gazette since 2010. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. Prior to coming to Hastings, Katrina reported for weekly newspapers in Jordan, Minn., and River Falls, Wis.
(651) 319-4501
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