By Craig Marx, Editor
The 2017 girls track team is up in numbers from previous years, fielding 25 girls this season. While the Lady Robins lost a few seniors that consistently scored points for the team, Antigo is returning a handful of young ladies that excelled last year in the conference and in various qualifying levels.
Kimi Robertson qualified for sectionals last year in pole vault, where she continues to improve this season. Last year’s Great Northern Conference champion for the triple jump, Morgan Hotchkiss, has also returned and is continuing to show improvement after a stellar season.
Hannah Zenkovich returns to the team after recovering from an ACL injury last season. Zenkovich was a 2015 state qualifier in the 100 m high hurdles, a sectional qualifier in pole vault, and member of the 4 x 400 m relay team before her injury.
“Our team is made up of mainly underclassmen and inexperienced athletes,” girls coach Andrea Kohler said. “With that, we’ve found success in new areas and events and are showing potential for points to be scored in upcoming meets.”
Lakeland and Medford topped the standings last year in the GNC, and Coach Kohler projects they will likely be difficult competition again this season. Making the transition to Division II, the Robins will have the chance to face new teams and competitors this season.
“We have the potential for unprecedented success and we are looking forward to competing at the Division II level,” Coach Kohler added. “With such a large team, we can have all events covered. That helps give us an opportunity to score more points.”
The Antigo boys are also fielding approximately 35 young men, having lost Collin Koss from 2016. Koss was a defining force for the Robins, qualifying for state in the 1600 m, anchoring the 4 x 400 m relay team, and consistently finishing in the top spots of the 800 m run.
“We have a lot of boys in the distance events this year compared to previous years. I am looking forward to seeing what the 4 x 800 team is able to do this year. We have a lot of depth in the distance runners as well as the 800 meter run, 1600 meter run, and the two mile,” boys coach Amber Damitz said.
Qwan Bussey, Austin Arlen and Mitchell Schroepfer return to the throwing events this season, while pole vault is looking strong once again under the leadership of Thomas Nelson, Zach Reineke and Mark Seidl. Will Dixon, Drew Hohensee and Riland Baker make up the strong senior corps of sprinters for the 2017 team.
“The team has a really good mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen. As a whole, the senior boys are all great leaders in each of their events. I also have a few juniors who have really stepped up as leaders as well. With 35 boys competing in 17 different events, I need a lot of leadership and help from the athletes. I am really looking forward to seeing what the season has to offer. The boys have worked really hard so far and their hard work is paying off in their performances,” Coach Damitz added.
2017 AHS Track Schedule
(Schedule as of April 1st; All events are both boys and girls teams unless noted.)
Tuesday, April 4 – at Northland Pines Invitational – Northland Pines High School (4:30 PM)
Tuesday, April 11 – at Wittenberg-Birnamwood Invitational – Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School (4 PM)
Thursday, April 13 – at Medford Invitational – Medford Area High School (4:30 PM)
Tuesday, April 18 – at Colby Invitational – Colby High School (4:30 PM)
Thursday, April 20 – Dale Peterson Invitational – Listle Field and Track at Antigo High School (4 PM)
Tuesday, April 25 – at Medford Invitational – Medford Area High School (4:30 PM)
Tuesday, May 2 – at Three Lakes Invitational – Three Lakes High School (4 PM)
Friday, May 5 – at Merrill Invitational – Merrill High School (5 PM)
Tuesday, May 9 – at Shawano Invitational – Shawano Community Middle School (4 PM)
Tuesday, May 16 – GNC Meet at Mosinee – Mosinee High School (4 PM)
Monday, May 22 – WIAA Regionals – Colby High School (TBD)
Thursday, May 25 – WIAA Sectionals – Medford High School (TBD)