Rebels track off to a quick start
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Jake Disterhaupt is commonly known for his torrid touchdown runs on the football field and startling slam dunks on the basketball court.
Turns out, he hasn’t lost a step in track and field, either.
“This is my first year in the sport since back when I was in seventh grade,” said the Willow River junior Monday evening. “I don’t know a lot about track.”
That’s not a concern. In his first season returning to the springtime sport, the 6-foot-1, 187-pound Disterhaupt is one of a many athletes leading Moose Lake-Willow River’s depth-laden boys track and field team.
Disterhaupt runs the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes, and competes in the high jump. He said sometimes he also competes in the long jump, while other days, he’ll sport his speed on relay teams.
“You can only compete in four events at every meet,” explained Rebels Coach Tony Andres, “but if I could put some boys in six, I would.”
That roster depth is a problem Andres likes having.
“It definitely makes my job easy,” he said Monday evening. “I’m very lucky to have as many athletes as I do. It’s a nice situation.”
Senior Josh Cisar is another three-season athlete contributing to this year’s track team. Cisar can fly in the sprints, while his staggering strength makes him a contender in field events as well.
Add juniors Ben Moonen, Michael Pender and Isaac Coil to the list of contributors. Moonen is a returning state 800-meter run participant, Pender a hurdler who has yet to lose outdoors this spring and Coil is one who Andres said can do anything.
“I can put so many combinations together,” Andres said. “Unfortunately we can’t put everyone everywhere, but we’re building up as a team.”
With all the talent at hand, Andres said the focus this season will be a collective effort in an individual sport. Tuesday, Disterhaupt, Cisar, Pender and Coil all ran the 800-meter relay trying to set the school record in Two Harbors.
“I stacked it up to see how we could do,” Andres said.
Polar League nemesis Esko has traditionally been king of the boys True Team competition. This spring, Andres likes his boys’ chances, too.
“We sure have a lot of potential this year,” Andres said. “I think we have a good chance to make some noise in our section.”
While unfamiliar with how scoring works in the sport, Disterhaupt thought their likelihood of competing for a True Team title was a possibility.
“I’d say yes,” he said. “We have a lot of guys who are good at a lot of things they do. I run the 100 in 11.1 seconds. I can jump the high bar at six feet.
“But I don’t have any form at all,” Disterhaupt continued honestly. “I’m just jumping. I will definitely get better and we’ll get better as a team, too.”
Cromwell-Wright Coach Dave Foster sure isn’t second-guessing that.
“They are loaded,” the longtime Cardinals Coach said Monday evening about the Rebels. “Both their boys and girls teams are very nice.”
Andres said the ML-WR girls are paced by a string of sophomores in hurdlers Holly Mattison, Hannah Race and long distance runner Haley Radel. Eighth-grade football quarterback Mackenzi Louzek also runs well for the Rebels.
“We have depth and the girls are good,” Disterhaupt said. “Both are very good track teams. We really have some good athletes on our teams.”
At last week’s Barnum Invitational, ML-WR swept the boys and girls titles, while Cromwell-Wright claimed runner-up in both divisions.
Host Barnum claimed fourth in girls and fifth in boys, as Duluth Marshall, McGregor and Floodwood filled out the annual six-squad event last Thursday.
Foster said sophomore Allie Cahoon continued her dominance, winning the 800, while the Cardinals’ girls won the 400-, 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays.
“Our times weren’t the greatest,” Foster admitted, “but any time you can win all four relays, it’s a good deal.”
But he never hesitated to tip sis cap to the other winners, either.
“We placed second in both the boys and girls divisions over there,” Foster said. “We were happy with it. Moose Lake is tough to beat.”