Track and Field: Nevis returns talented athletes looking to qualify for state meet
The Tigers return 18 boys and girls from last year's conference and subsection teams.
With 18 athletes back who competed at last year’s Northland Conference and Subsection 8A East meets, head coach Jen McNamee is counting on another successful season from the Nevis boys and girls track and field teams.Heading that list are two athletes who brought home medals from last year’s state Class A meet.
Senior Jade Rypkema returns to lead the Nevis girls after capturing Northland Conference, Subsection 8A East, Section 8A and state Class A titles in both the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs. Rypkema was also the conference champ in the 400.
Sophomore Ayo Ogundeji was the subsection champion and section runner-up while placing ninth at state in the 200 dash and was the conference champion and subsection and section runner-up in the 100 while placing 14th in that race at state.
Also returning from last year’s subsection meet for the Nevis girls are seniors Liddy DeWulf, Mallory Kowalke and Addison Lindow; sophomore Grace McNamee; freshmen Adeline Bjorklund, Clair Isaacson, Kendall Nelson and Amber Pyburn; and eighth graders Miranda Kowalke, Emily Lindow and Taylor Monroe.
Helping the Tigers win the conference title with winning efforts were McNamee in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles; Addison Lindow in the 800; the 4 x 200 relay team of McNamee, DeWulf and Addison Lindow; and the 4 x 400 relay unit of Addison Lindow, Nelson and Bjorklund. Taking second were Bjorklund in the 1,600; DeWulf in the shot put; and the 4 x 800 relay team of Miranda Kowalke, Mallory Kowalke, Pyburn and Monroe.
At the subsection meet, the Nevis girls took third with 85 points. McNamee was the runner-up in the 100 hurdles, placed third in the 300 hurdles and was eighth in the triple jump; Bjorklund finished third in the 1,600; Addison Lindow was fourth in the 800; and DeWulf was second in the shot put, seventh in the triple jump and 16th in the discus. Addison Lindow, McNamee and Bjorklund ran on the 4 x 400 relay team that took third while Emily Lindow, Nelson, Monroe and Pyburn comprised the 4 x 200 relay unit that finished seventh.
Also competing at the subsection meet were Nelson (14th) and Pyburn (16th) in the 100; Isaacson (11th) and Miranda Kowalke (15th) in the 800; Nelson (13th) and Monroe (20th) in the 200; and Emily Lindow (10th) and Nelson (19th) in the long jump.
DeWulf just missed qualifying for state in the shot put by placing third while Bjorklund finished fourth in the 1,600 at the section meet. McNamee was fifth in the 100 hurdles and ninth in the 300 hurdles and Addison Lindow placed eighth in the 800 while joining Bjorklund and McNamee on the 4 x 400 relay team that finished seventh. The Tigers placed eighth with 42 points.
Rounding out the girls roster are junior Sofia Mareugoui; sophomore Morgan Monroe; freshman Brenna Lindow; and eighth graders Kierra Andress, Karlie Frisch, Lindsie Reese and Leah Romosz.
“Jade will be looking to defend her state titles in the 1,600 and the 3,200. We are also looking for Adeline to run well in those events, especially after her successful cross country season. Liddy has started out her senior year with a bang setting a new school record in the shot put. She finished third last year in the section and has a goal of making it to state this year,” said McNamee. “Grace continues to improve her hurdles skills and started her season off with a personal best time in the 60 hurdles in Bemidji. She finished fifth in the section last year and is looking to improve on that this season. We have a few new freshmen and eighth graders out this year that are working hard and have some talent that will help our team.”
In addition to Ogundeji, seniors Evan Pohl and Jon Rice along with freshmen Eli Bergstrom, Ethan Buckholtz and Jeffrey Walker also return from the Nevis boys’ subsection team.
Rice was the conference champion in both hurdles races while Bergstrom ran on the 4 x 400 relay that took first and Pohl was a member of the 4 x 800 relay unit that finished first. Pohl also was the runner-up in the 3,200 while Rice and Ogundeji return from the 4 x 200 relay team that finished second. Nevis was the conference runner-up in the team standings.
The Tigers took fifth at the subsection meet with 60 points behind Rice (second in both hurdles races), Pohl (fifth in the 3,200) and Bergstrom (ninth in the 100, 14th in the 200 and 25th in the long jump). Also competing were Walker (17th in the 1,600) and Buckholtz (20th in the 800).
Rice finished sixth in the 110 hurdles and seventh in the 300 hurdles while Pohl was 11th in the 3,200 as the Nevis boys scored 39 points to finish in sixth place at the section meet.
Looking to contribute in various events this season are sophomores Blake Kowalke and Alex Lester; freshmen Karch Frazier and Tye Stanfel; eighth grader Tyler Ott; and seventh graders Brennyn Ott and Wyatt Wroblewski.
“Ayo is looking to return to state in the 100 and 200. He started the season off well with a personal record in the 60 in Bemidji. Jon has been working in the offseason to improve on his placement in the section in the 110 and 300 hurdles. Jon started out the year with a personal record in the 60 hurdles in Bemidji,” said McNamee. “Blake will throw shot put and discus for us. Alex is also a new member this year. He is a good athlete and we will try him out in a few different events to see what his niche is. We also have a few returning and new freshmen that look to help us in sprint and middle distance, long jump and relay events.”
April 13 – at Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Early Bird Invitational, 4 p.m. April 18 – at Park Rapids Invitational, 4 p.m. April 22 – at Pequot Lakes Invitational. April 25 – at Park Rapids Invitational, 4 p.m. April 28 – at Walker-Hackensack-Akeley May Day Invitational, 4 p.m.
May 2 – at United North Central Invitational at Sebeka, 4 p.m. May 4 – at Pelican Rapids Invitational, 1 p.m. May 11 – at Northland Conference meet at Walker, 4 p.m. May 18 – at Ada-Borup Invitational, 4 p.m. May 25 – Subsection 8A East meet at Walker, 12 noon.
June 2 – Section 8A meet at Roseau, 12 noon.