Despite small numbers, Aberdeen Christian is hoping for big results as the 2012 high school track and field season gets underway.
The season begins Friday for the Knights, who will participate in the Class A/B portion of the Al Sahli Indoor meet at the Barnett Center.
Girls' coach Christy Hulscher is in her fifth year at Aberdeen Christian and eighth year in coaching overall. Three new faces will highlight this year's girls' squad. Joining the team are Tabitha Schrenk, who transferred from Aberdeen Central, Alexis Boschee, who joined the school from Warner, and Carlie Appletoft, who transferred from Redfield. Boschee and Appletoft are both juniors, while Schrenk is a sophomore. Hulscher said Schrenk will compete in sprints and possibly hurdles, Boschee in distance and Appletoft will run sprint events.
They are new to our program, but familiar with track, said Hulscher. They are very strong, versatile athletes.
Also on the team is eighth-grader Amanda Williams (middle distance, throwing). Hulscher said while Williams may compete a few times at the varsity level, most of her experience would be at the junior high meets. With two juniors, a sophomore and the rest of the team being eighth-graders, the focus will be on gaining experience.
We have a small number of girls, but we'll let them compete where they feel strongest, Hulscher said. One of my goals is to put together a relay team. We will have good leadership from Carlie and Alexis, and that's good for our girls to have that.
Matt Scott is in his third year with the Christian program. Among those returning for the boys are Job Niewenhuis (high jump), Seth Lundeen (distance) and Tucker Iwerks (middle distance). Scott said that most of last year's team returns with seventh-grader Ben Williams joining the team.
We will have a total of 12 boys, which isn't bad considering the size of our school, said Scott.
Strong events for the Knights should be sprints and distance, according to Scott.
Sprints and distance will be primary. We will be improving in throws a little with sophomore Josh Holsing, said Scott. He was learning that event in his first year.
Events the Knights will try to improve in are the jumps, as Scott would like to see a few more athletes step up to fill those events. He said he has more athletes than he can use wanting to participate in some events.
I am having to juggle a few events around. I have a few where there are more guys interested than can actually compete, Scott said.
The Knights will have basically the same schedule as last year, Scott said. There were some region realignments which could provide some interesting turns to the season, however.
With the realignments of regions, it should be interesting to see if we can get some athletes to state that we were close on last year, said Scott.
In addition to Scott and Hulscher, the Knights are assisted by Christian alumnus Kendra Holsing, who works a lot with the hurdlers.
It's nice to have her come back and volunteer her time to help us, said Hulscher.
March - 30, Al Sahli Class A/B at Wachs Arena; April - 3, at Britton-Hecla Invitational; 10, at Sunshine Bible Invitational; 19, at Redfield Relays; 21, at Ipswich Tiger Relays; 24, at Groton Kiwanis Relays; 28, at Ipswich Invitational;
May - 1, Lake Region Conference Meet at Ipswich; 5, at Ipswich Invitational; 8, at Eureka Legion Relays; 17, Region meet; 25-26, State meet at Rapid City.