Night Hawks track takes off for girls

Potentially this could be a very good year for Night Hawk girls track team. Last year they finished third at the South West Track Meet with 111 points behind Trinity with 137 and Killdeer with 113. With eight of the nine girls who scored points last season returning and Brianna Robinson returns after missing last season with an injury the outlook looks good. The boys track team graduated three scorers and return only two experienced tracksters in Isaiah Kludt and Jaxon Mellmer. Mellmer also plays baseball which means he will miss some track meets. Head Coach Kelly Pierce informed me he as 62 athletes in grades 7-12 participating. That is really good numbers.

Head coach Kelly Pierce provided the following preview of the teams. His assistant coaches are Zeta Drolc, Lynn Brown and Don Smith.

“The goals are extremely high for this year’s Night Hawks Girls Track and Field team. We return a lot of talent in many events from a team that finished third in the South West Region and tied for ninth as a team at the State Track Meet.”

The following athletes are returning state qualifiers from last season:

“Taylor Hestekin finished 3rd in both the 400 m and 800 m runs last year at the state meet, she has the potential to be a state champion in both races once again this year. She was also the anchor for us in our state placing in the 3200 m and 1600 m relays. She also qualified in the 1600 m run and the 4 x 200 m relays but did not compete in these events at state because of state rule only allowing athletes to participate in 4 events at the track meet. Taylor has signed to run for the University of Mary next year.”

“Tayler Burwick is a returning state placer in the 3200 m and 1600 m relays. She will add depth to our sprint relays and compete in the open 400 and 800 as well. She is working hard to improve her times this season and will be vital in providing those extra points needed to compete for a championship.”

“Elizabeth Bartholmy returns after placing fifth at the state track meet in the triple jump. She also qualified in the long jump, 100 m dash, and 4 x 100 m relay. Sprints and sprint relays will be her strengths along with the triple and long jump. She has the ability to be a region champion in multiple events and will look to improve on her very successful sophomore season.”

“Molly Holt returns after finishing her sophomore season seventh at state in the javelin and as a member of the state placing 4 x800 and 4×400 relay teams. Molly also qualified in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 m relays. She is a vital member for the team in a sense that she is very versatile. She can compete in so many different areas and earn points for the team.”

“Alyssa Andress returns after being a member of the state qualifying 4 x 400, 4 x 200, and 4 x 100 meter relay teams as an eighth grader. Alyssa is a phenomenal athlete and one that can be successful in so many areas. She will once again be a sprinter for the Hawks and possibly add some other events, such as the jumps and javelin. She is willing to outwork people and will do what it takes for the team to be successful. I am expecting a breakout season for Alyssa.”

“Samantha Oase qualified for the state track meet last year as a seventh grader in the 4 x 400 m relay team. She is a developing athlete who just keeps working towards a very high ceiling. We will look to add a few events to her schedule so that we can maximize her talents.”

“Brianna Robinson missed all of last season with a knee injury, but she returns as a state placer in the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 relays as a freshman and sophomore. She has the potential to be a state placer in both the 400 and 800 m opens this year. The sky is the limit and she will bring so much talent to this year’s team.”

“This team has very good numbers on the girl’s side and we would like to compete for a region championship and a top 5 finish at the state track meet. We have a nice mixture of young and experienced athletes. Hopefully we can have some of these athletes have a breakout season for us. A weakness in the past is we have not gotten a lot of points in the shot, discus, or distance events. Our throwers are now starting to grow up a little and are no longer junior high and freshman trying to compete at the varsity level. I think we will see a major improvement in this area. We also have a few younger runners moving up that can assist us in the distance events. With improved performances in those two areas we can contend in this region.”

“This should be a fun year for the girls with many athletes capable of qualifying for and placing at the state track meet in May.”

“Last year was one of the more successful years we have had as a Night Hawks program for the boys. Our participation numbers were a little better and hence we had a better year. We lost some very key runners and jumpers from last season, so they will need to be replaced by younger athletes. The only returning athlete that we had that competed at the state meet last year is Isaiah Kludt. Isaiah competed in the 4 x 100, 4 x 200, and 4 x 400 m relays at the state meet. Isaiah is very quick on the track and will once again compete in the sprints. Another event he took up last season was the long jump. He just missed out on going to state in that event and will look to make his mark in that event this season.”

“The region on the boy’s side has many good teams, but Dickinson Trinity seems to be the cream of the crop. They always get all of their high school athletes to compete in track and field and consequently they have more depth throughout their roster than most teams. With baseball being a popular sport for the Night Hawks, we do not always have great numbers for the boys in track and field, which makes team points and placing at regionals as a team very difficult. We do have many athletes that are dedicated however and can compete at a high level in their individual events. Hopefully this group can build on last year’s success and help lead this program to a higher level.”