Two Harbors track and field team off to strong startThe Two Harbors High School track and field team is heading into the final weeks of the season with high hopes. Though the boys’ team is rebuilding after graduating the seniors that led them to a third-place team finish at the state meet last year, the girls’ team has grown stronger since last year.
By: Sonja Peterson, Lake County News-Chronicle
The Two Harbors High School track and field team is heading into the final weeks of the season with high hopes. Though the boys’ team is rebuilding after graduating the seniors that led them to a third-place team finish at the state meet last year, the girls’ team has grown stronger since last year. Both teams have athletes who are likely to qualify for the Section 7A and state meets.
The boys’ and girls’ teams have participated nine meets so far, and hosted two meets at Two Harbors.
“The girls’ team is doing well; they’re averaging second or third in most meets,” coach Anthony Altiere said.
Senior Steph McGregor was fifth in the state and set a new school record last year in discus and continues to be one of the top throwers in Section 7A. Madison Stroozas, a junior, recently had what Altiere called a “breakthrough,” throwing 108 feet in discus to move up to second in the section rankings. Together with Casey Cross and Kaley Peterson, the Two Harbors girls have swept the top three places in throwing events at several meets.
The girls 4x100 relay team of Leann Fynboh, Krista Keranen, Jessie Juenemann and Lacey Myrdal has been turning in strong performances, and Altiere said believes they have a good chance of qualifying for section and state competition.
Sophomore Ashley Lax is the team’s top high jumper. Lucy Bukowski, a senior, is competing in triple jump again after recovering from an injury that kept her out of competition last year.
“In the girls’ distance runners, we have some great senior leadership,” Altiere said. They’re also benefiting from younger talent: eighth-graders Marina Schreiner and Abigale Seipke have moved up from the junior high team to run the 1,600- and 3,200-meter events. Schreiner won the 3,200 at the Two Harbors Invite on April 24.
As for the boys’ team, “some people would call this a rebuilding year,” Altiere said. “But we’ve also had a number of seniors come out for the first time and make an immediate impact.”
Tyler McGregor and Nathan Craig, two seniors, joined the team for the first time this year and are making an impact in both sprints and relays. Drew Christiansen, a sophomore, also has been consistently in the top five in the 100-meter dash.
Kevin Thewis, another senior, has been racing well in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. At the Two Harbors Invite on May 1, he took first place and set a personal record.
Noah Alm, Dustin Cavallin and Mickey Smith are leading the boys’ throwing team. They all placed in the top four at the True Team Invite on May 8.
Parker Kausch, a senior, already has shaved two seconds off his best time last year in the 800.
It’s Altiere’s 13th year as head coach of the track team at Two Harbors, and he and the other coaches are trying out a new leadership style for the team. They no longer have captains.
“A lot of people view being a captain as an award. We don’t. We view it as a job,” Altiere said. “Being named captain before the season even starts is like being paid before your job is done.”
Instead, the athletes were invited to attend a meeting at the beginning of the season if they were interested in contributing to the team’s leadership. Twenty athletes showed up to talk about what good leadership is and to come with ideas for improving the team. Leadership meetings have continued throughout the season.
At the end of the season the team will be asked to nominate team members for Leadership Awards by writing a paragraph about why that person deserves the award. To win an award, an athlete must be nominated by 25 percent to 30 percent of the team.
It’s a work in progress, but we know we’re definitely moving in the right direction,” Altiere said of the initiative.
Altiere also credits some of his program’s success to the hard work of the junior high track coaches, whose teams prepare athletes for varsity competition in high school. The combined seventh/eighth-grade boys and girls track teams both took first place at the Polar League Junior Varsity Championship Meet. They are coached by Matt Bovee, Chad Brelie, Matt Houdin and Amber Hoffman.