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Laker coach Mike Labine (left) talks with DL pole vaulter Kyley Foster last year. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

Girls Track Preview: Girls talented and skilled for 2014

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The 2014 season is setting up to be a superb one for the Detroit Lakes girls’ track and field team, and the hard work being put into it is reinforcing that notion.

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After winning both the Section 8-2A True Team and Mid-State Conference last year, the Lakers are in very good position to defend both titles with a load of top-heavy talent coming back, along with serious depth in the younger ranks.

“We don’t just have good track kids, we have good athletes,” said DL head girls’ coach Mike Labine. “I have been pleased with the leadership shown by the upper classmen, they are setting the tone for each practice.”

If the Lakers were to be put under a microscope, there would be very little weaknesses on display.

Starting with the distance crew, experience is solid with the return of seniors Megan Ostlie, Sami Foltz, Rachel Wentz, Tanisha Perlmutter and Anne Holzgrove.

“They are all great leaders,” Labine said. “Megan and Sami will be near the front of the pack in most every meet.  Mackenzie Ostlie will also be a top performer for us as a ninth grader.”

In the mid-distance, contributors will include juniors Abby Ullyott, Lindsey Heinecke, Addie Kay Johnson, senior Karissa Berg and sophomore Sara Schumacher.

“(The 400-800) is definitely strengths of our program right now,” Labine said. “ We have so many kids who are very versatile and can do different distances each meet.”

Junior Shay Nielsen returns as an all-state shot putter, while also being a solid contributor in discus, as well.

The depth will be inexperienced, as depth is being created.

The jumping events have a good amount of talent, with juniors Allison Berg, Darci Molander, Sarah Halbakken and Hailey Jorgenson ready to score some big points.

“All are very talented jumpers who can also run the short sprints and our relays,” Labine said.

Junior Kyley Foster returns as a front of the pack hurdler, with several younger kids developing.

Foster also will be a leader in the pole vault, along with Schumacher and junior Katie Crawford.

“Kyley was third in the section last year and is hoping to improve on that,” Labine said. “Sara vaulted extremely well at the end of the year and will be even better in her second season.  We have several gymnasts who are learning the event and will be outstanding pole vaulters for us.”

The sprints will also feature elite runners in Heinecke and Johnson, with the majority also being able to compete in anything from the 100 to 800 races.

“We have an abundance of talent and the versatility to give us a lot of options,” Labine said. “We have a top performer in every event, now we just need to develop those second and third kids.”

The Lakers will be favorites entering the Section 8-2A True Team meet, but it will not be a given when the event is held at Mollberg Field May 6.

“This isn’t a time to stand pat,” Labine said. “We want to continue to develop our depth, because we don’t want to be caught not having someone in an event due to injury.”

The Lakers will open the season Friday in the Concordia College Indoor meet, then will host a meet April 1. They also will have the DL Invite May 1.

The 2014 Detroit Lakes track and field schedule:

March

28 at Concordia University Indoor Meet

April

1 Detroit Lakes Invite

8 at Fergus Falls

11 at Moorhead

15 at Park Rapids

22 at Thief River Falls

25 Elite Meet at Hamline University (TBD)

May

1 Detroit Lakes Invite

6 Section True Team at DLHS

8 at Frazee

13 at Pequot Lakes

16 at Ottertail Central

17 State True Team at Stillwater (TBD)

28 Section prelims at Rocori

31 Section finals at Thief River Falls

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Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN. 
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