Cold weather doesn’t stop Cloquet track and field teamWith temperatures in the low 30s and the wind chill hovering into the low 20s, Aaron Peterson was quick to admit Monday afternoon’s track and field captains’ practice was a record-setting day at Bromberg Field.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
With temperatures in the low 30s and the wind chill hovering into the low 20s, Aaron Peterson was quick to admit Monday afternoon’s track and field captains’ practice was a record-setting day at Bromberg Field.
“It was probably the coldest day that I have ever run track,” said Peterson, a Cloquet High School junior. “I dressed warm, though.”
“I would have to agree with him; I had to wear two sweatshirts,” added CHS senior Jolynne Denman. “But we’re pushing it this year. Everyone is really giving it their all and the hard work is paying off.”
Never-say-quit attitudes such as Denman’s and Peterson’s are perhaps the foundation of the Cloquet track and field team this spring. Already a handful of meets into the season, Lumberjack Coach Tim Prosen said his athletes are always working to get better – freezing or not.
“This is just a very good group of hard-working kids,” Prosen said Tuesday night after an unpleasantly cold meet at Duluth Denfeld. “It was cold out, but these kids will do anything I ask of them.
“They will help me out during the day, too,” continued the Cloquet High School teacher of his baker’s dozen-worth of captains. “Their job goes far beyond just running at a track practice or meet. They are a real great group.”
They are talented, too. According to Prosen, more than 100 students in grades 9-12 came out for the team this spring.
In addition to the meet at Denfeld Tuesday, Prosen said they have competed at the University of Minnesota Duluth last week, along with Bemidji before that.
In his eighth year, Prosen said both the boys and girls teams are looking as good as ever.
“There is so much talent on both sides; both teams are so balanced,” Prosen said. “We’ll have a pretty darn good team as the season progresses. The girls have a lot of depth and this is the strongest boys team I’ve had.”
Prosen highlighted seniors such as Landen Straub, Sean Ferrell, Kyle Woodward, Cody Myllymaa and Carter Hallfrisch, along with juniors like Peterson, Erik Swanson and Thomas Udenberg. All eight track enthusiasts are listed as captains according to Prosen.
“We have sprinters, long-distance runners, hurdlers, throwers, everything,” Prosen said of the boys. “In every event, we’ll have kids.”
“We have a lot of younger kids, but this team has experience,” added the 6-foot-4 Peterson, who participates in the 3,200-meter relay, 800-meter run and high jumps for fun. “I think we’re going to do very well this year.”
That confidence comes from dedication. Peterson said both teams aren’t afraid to spend extra hours perfecting their skills, styles and finishes.
“I think our team is willing to put in the time,” he said. “All around, both the boys and girls teams are talented. Both will be really good and I think will have a chance to go to state this year, too.”
On the girls’ end, Prosen noted seniors such as Denman, Amy Campbell, Mikaela Dunaisky, Carri Zeadow and junior Emily Rikkola will all serve as captains. Junior Emily Wangen and sophomores Maija Doran and Kaitlyn Knutson will also contribute greatly, Prosen said.
“Our sprinters and long distance runners are really holding their own,” Prosen said. “The girls are balanced and pushing each other hard at practice.”
“I couldn’t have asked to be on a better team this year,” added Denman, a long distance competitor in the 3,200- and 1,600-meter runs.
Although she said wrestling is her favorite sport, Denman said she’s excited for her last year of track.
“It’s the one thing I look forward to after the wrestling season,” Denman said. “I don’t know if I can make it, but I expect us – and the boys – to have some kids going to state this year. We’ll be shooting for the stars.”
No matter what the temperature.