Prep track and field preview: Veteran Rebels set their sights high
The Rebels' school record-setting 4 x 100 meter boys team returns this year after earning a seventh-place finish at last year's state meet, while the girls squad is dominated by veteran talent.
Head coach: Noah Jurek
Assistant coaches: Adam Whelan, Sarah Thompson, Jared Witkowski, Jon Morley and Jana Mundell
Returning athletes (boys team): "The boys return their entire 4x100m relay team that set a new school record and placed seventh at the state meet last year," Moose Lake-Willow River head coach Noah Jurek said. "Relay members are Jackson Thompson, Chase Clausen, Jaxsyn Schmidt and Kaden Robbins."
"Jackson Thompson also placed seventh in the pole vault at the state meet. Other returners are Daniel Mikrot, Jakob Mossberg, Elliott Wasche, Max
Petry and Matthew Bohnsack," he said.
Returning athletes (girls team): "Morgan Wigg is the only senior on the team that is heavily dominated by juniors," Jurek said. "Nine out of 11 juniors have been with the program since seventh grade. Those Juniors are Lexy Anderson, Elle Nielsen, Shannon Granquist, Jocelyn Mundell, Alivia Menten, India Johnson, Evelyn Johnson, Holly Chesbrough and Malea Jerry."
"That core group is supported by three talented runners in Amelia Olson, Olivia Jutila and Brooklyn Wasche," he added.
New faces (boys team): "JP Mesojedic and Luke Danelski are two seniors that will help score points in the throwing events," Jurek said. "Foreign exchange student Leif Windoffer looks to add depth in our sprints and mid-distance. Ninth graders Lucas Chesbrough and Micah Thompson will be contributors."
New faces (girls team): Tyler Orvedahl, Ava Menten, Khloey Schmidt and Danica Wyman.
Team strengths: Sprints, throws and pole vault are strengths for the boys squad, according to Jurek. On the girls side, sprints, jumps and distance running will be the team's bread and butter.
Biggest Challenge: "Per the usual in Northern Minnesota, weather will be a factor," Jurek said.
He said he would also like to see the boys team improve in jumps and hurdles, while the girls need more pole vaulters and throwers.
Goals and expectations: The boys team has a significant number of returning athletes, as well as talent, Jurek said.
"With a few new additions, the boys are already planning how they can cover all the events and make a run at qualifying for True Team State," Jurek said. "Rebel Track and Field continues to have dedicated, hard-working athletes. The results will reflect that hard work."
Jurek's hopes are high for the girls squad, as well.
"This year's team has the athletes and mindset to be the best team I've coached to date," Jurek said. "The veteran presence of this team will push them to train hard and compete even harder."