2017 Indoor Track & Field Season Begins Friday At Macalester’s Kilt Classic

Posted on January 19th, 2017 by

ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s and women’s track and field teams are set to kick off the 2017 indoor season Friday at Macalester’s Kilt Classic. The meet begins at 5 p.m. at the Leonard Center and includes five Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference teams: Augsburg, Bethel, Gustavus, Macalester, and St. Catherine.


Gustavus Head Coach Dale Bahr, now in his eighth season leading the track and field teams, sat down this week to answer a few questions about the upcoming season. Bahr was asked about the individuals who will lead each event and what the general outlook is for the 2017 season. Here are his comments:

What can we expect from the Gustavus track and field teams as the indoor season starts tomorrow?

“For this first meet we’ll be shaking the rust off and getting people an opportunity to compete, especially those who have been training since school started in September. A lot of the kids who aren’t in cross country have been working out since then without much competition. This meet will give us a bearing of what we need to do and progress from there.

“The men’s team is heavily weighted with experience. We’ve got a lot of senior guys and that group did very well for us last year as juniors. We hope they continue scoring those points that we’re going to miss out from last year’s seniors. The women’s side is a little bit of a different story; we’re not heavily weighted with seniors. The freshman group of ladies has a good number and there’s a lot of talent there as well. It will be interesting to see how that talent from high school transfers to college.

“We start competing a little bit earlier this year because the MIAC coaches changed the conference meet to take place two weeks before nationals. That allows us to go after team points at the conference meet while giving the individuals an opportunity to compete another week later to go after national competition marks. Next year we’ll possibly start competing in December, which aligns with many other conferences in the nation.”

Can you tell us who you are looking at to lead each event for the men?

Sprints:Sean O’Connell (Sr., St. Peter, Minn.) has done really well for us when he’s healthy. Last year he kind of struggled with putting too much on his plate and not focusing on one particular thing. He was burning the candle at both ends, but he’ll help us out this year since he’s healthy again. Ed ReMine (Sr., Mantorville, Minn.) is a good hurdler for us and we expect him to do well. He’s looking really good in the short hurdles this year. Trevor Maxwell (Sr., Prior Lake, Minn.) is coming off a knee injury from football and he’s looking strong. Sam ReMine (Sr., Mantorville, Minn.) is going to help us in the long sprints. He’s in great shape and has worked really hard. Hopefully David Anderson (Sr., St. Michael, Minn.) can get back into shape and help us out in the longer sprints.”

Mid-distance: “Last week in our time trials I had a few guys go sub-two flat. That’s never happened before since I’ve been coaching. Kyle Fredrickson (Sr., Victoria, Minn.) ran a 1:56, his brother Alex (Sr., Victoria, Minn.) ran a 1:58, and Ryley Sandberg (Jr., Polk City, Iowa) ran a 1:58 as well. That’s the fastest we’ve had somebody go in our time trial. We’re looking good there. We’re going to have a strong middle distance pack and we’ve got some good numbers there as well.”

Distance:Thomas Knobbe (Sr., Decorah, Iowa) and Evan Jones (Sr., Pella, Iowa); we should see some really good things from those guys. Carston Dammann (Sr., Lake City, Minn.) is looking really strong right now as well. Alex Wischnack (So., Norwood, Minn.) is hurt so we’ll see how he bounces back when he’s healthy.”

Throws: “This is a pretty young group, which is atypical of what our men’s team is made up of. I think Michael Hensch (So., North Branch, Minn.) should fare well indoors in both shot put and weight throw. Keith Maxon (So., New Richland, Minn.) has done a great job during the offseason. He’s definitely bigger and is throwing with some power. Andrew Pruett (So., St. Michael, Minn.) came in bigger than when he left last year, so that’s exciting to see what he can do.”

Jumps: “Everybody is new for the most part. We have a bunch of first-years. Alvin Onkware (Fy., Bloomington, Minn.) is leading the charge, especially with triple jump. He’s looking really strong and he also long jumps as well. Matthew Montplaisir (Fy., Buffalo, Minn.) is going to help us in the long and triple jumps. They’re young and in the few weeks that I’ve had to work with those guys, we have some things we can work on as far as strength and stability. Gregg Knaack (So., Burnsville, Minn.) is joining us for jumps as well as Nelson Finne (So., Elgin, Minn.), who is looking really good in the high jump. I think he’ll be able to start where he left off last year. We’ve switched him from a sprinter to doing the multis this year, and he’s excited about doing that.”

Pole Vault:Derek Huntley (Sr., Maplewood, Minn.) is looking really good. He just got back from Reno, Nevada doing a pole vault clinic. He’s going to help us out for sure.”

Can you tell us who you are looking at to lead each event for the women?

Sprints:Kristen Mertens (Sr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) is a good long sprinter for us. Kayla Stowell (So., Le Sueur, Minn.) is healthy again and looking sharp. Lily Anderson (Fy., Waterville, Minn.) was fourth in the state last year in both the 200 and 400, so she’s definitely going to help us out. Adonya Gray (Fy., Burnsville, Minn.) is a short sprinter for us. Lindsey Schmidt (Fy., Bloomington, Minn.) is getting over an illness, but once she’s healthy she’ll be able to help us out. Alex Anderson (Fy., Sioux Falls, S.D.) will be hurdling and high jumping. She is a very strong competitor and has good skill and technique over the hurdles. I see her being able to score at the conference meet.”

Mid-distance:Mikaela Algren (Sr., Prior Lake, Minn.) is a good competitor. She works hard and always wants to do the right thing. Sadie Klug (Jr., Waseca, Minn.) was our top runner in cross country and she is looking strong, and with the right mentality she’s going to be able to do some good things this year. Lydia Hayes (Jr., Decorah, Iowa) is gone right now but will be back next month. Abby Schnabel (So., Hamburg, Minn.) is running really well for us. We brought in several young ladies; Haley Anderson (Fy., Eden Prairie, Minn.) is going to be a tough runner for us and Sydney Hedberg (Fy., Apple Valley, Minn.) is going to help when she gets healthy. Megan Hill (Fy., Denver, Colo.) did not run cross country for us but she’ll be running the 400 and 800.”

Distance:Lotus Schifsky (So., Prescott, Wis.) will be able to help us out. Olivia Rosenow (Jr., Maple Grove, Minn.) is running really well. Emily Sands (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) was away last year and had some time off, so I think this senior year for her she’ll be able to do some good things. A few first years that are worth noting are Sarah Anderson (Fy., Roseville, Minn.) and Gabby Passmore (Fy., Mapleton, Minn.), those two both can put some pretty good times down.”

Throws: “It’s a very young group. Ande Gustafson (Sr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) will help us during the outdoor season in javelin, and Marisa Morgan (Jr., Rockford, Ill.) will also help us there. But otherwise, Tork [throws coach Tom Thorkelson] is loaded with first and second years. Bailey Van Den Heuvel (So., Mondovi, Wis.) has that possibility to help us out. It’s just tough to say right now because they are all so young. You don’t always know what’s going to happen with young throwers. Siri Olson (Fy., Northfield, Minn.) has what it takes to be a good thrower, but injuries have plagued her in the past, so we hope to keep her healthy. Maddy Carlson (Fy., St. James, Minn.), Courtney Erickson (Fy., Starbuck, Minn.) and Katie Keelin (Fy., Burnsville, Minn.) are all first years that have what it takes, but we just need to get it out of them. Casie Carlson (Jr., Hutchinson, Minn.) looked strong last year, so time will tell.”

Jumps: “Alex Anderson will be able to help us out in the high jump. Right now without Anna Neeser (So., Sartell, Minn.) we do not have anybody long jumping or triple jumping. We’re going to hold off until the outdoor season to get some of our sprinters in the jumping events. We don’t want to overwork them during the indoor season.”

Pole Vault:Jenna Rieth (Fy., Fargo, N.D.) also went to the pole vault summit as well and cleared just under her personal record. So she’s starting right where she left off, which is a good thing. Mallory Butchko (So., Elko, Minn.) will help us once she gets back. And Prabhjot Singh (So., Rochester, Minn.) continues to keep working hard and is getting better.”


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