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Boys Track Preview: DL brings back lots of seasoning

Sam Champa will be one of the Lakers’ key jumpers this season. DL Newspapers/Brian Basham

There will be a pair of titles the Detroit Lakes boys’ track and field team will be looking to defend, while doing it with some seasoned and skilled athletes.

The 2013 Lakers won both the Section 8-2A True Team championship and the Mid-State Conference title, with the majority of those same athletes back for the 2014 season.

“Our team is definitely a factor in both the Mid-State and Section 8-2A True Team meets,” said DL head boys’ coach Bill Kvebak. “Both of these meets are goals for our team. Improvement is the overall goal I have for each athlete in our program.

“If we have all of our athletes improve in their chosen events we will be successful and the conference and section championships will happen.”

The Lakers will be stacked in their running events, with Jake Fritz in the 400 and 800-meter runs, Isaac Clem (400-800), Zach Foltz (800-3,200), Jonathon Hallisey (100-200 and long jump), Richard Bellefeuille (400-800), Robert Johnson (400-800), Sam Champa (100-200, triple and long jump), Brady Labine (200-400 and pole vault), Ross Kalberer (high jump, long and triple jump and 100-200), John Wiebolt (100-200 and triple jump), Derek Gray (100-400 and hurdles) and Kirby Siewert (shot and disc).

“We are really strong in all of the jumping events, be it long, triple or high jump, with all of our performers returning and some newcomers who add depth and potential,” Kvebak said. “We will also be strong in our middle distance events, with a lot of returning runners anchoring our 400-800 meter events.”

Champa, Wiebolt, Kalberer, Clem and Hallisey anchor the jumping group, while Fritz, Clem, Robert Johnson, Richard Bellefeuille and Labine all return with experience in the mid-distance events.

The 1,600-3,200 runners will also be strong, with Foltz and newcomer Matt Lundstrom.

With the good experience the Lakers return, they still will need the young athletes step up to provide the valuable depth a team needs to succeed.

“We have a lot of experience on this team, with some openings for some of our young talent to fill some holes where we lost athletes to graduation,” Kvebak said. “We lost a staple in the hurdles with Austin Clem last year and look to fill those events with new runners.

“We are also looking for someone to fill the shoes of Montana Johnson, who was a huge factor in the 100 and 200 last year.”

With the season well under way, the positivity is ringing loud during Laker practices, which can only translate into a successful season.

“We have had a wonderful start to our season with positive attitudes from our kids working to the best of their ability at every opportunity,” Kvebak said. “I can’t wait to start the competitive portion of our schedule.”

That start is Friday, when DL travels to the Concordia College Indoor Meet, starting at 4 p.m.

The 2014 Detroit Lakes track and field schedule:


28 at Concordia University Indoor Meet


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)


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

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