In just its second season as a sport at North Lakes Academy, the boys and girls track program more than doubled its number of athletes.
Head coach Chelsie Thielen said she is excited for her squad to be able to compete in every event except for pole vault.
“We got a lot of interest from the middle school, and then last spring we had a picnic, I set up some hurdles just to give the kids something to do, and they wanted to keep doing it I guess,” Thielen laughed.
The young Huskies team is utilizing space all over Forest Lake, from running around their high school, to jogging at the Central Learning Center, to practicing long and triple jump at the VFW sand volleyball court.
“Now that we have the equipment and the numbers, we’re having some fun,” Thielen said.
In the field events, sophomore captain Will Tiedeman returns as one of the strongest throwers for the Huskies and will be adding discus to his already-strong shot put throw. Junior Cassy Mathison is already showing improvement in throws for the girls.
Junior captain Alexandra Munkelwitz will be an asset for North Lakes in numerous events, including hurdles, sprints and jumps. Senior Laura Stolz comes back as a strong contender in the 400-meter dash, while ninth-grader David Christopherson is an up-and-comer in the 110-meter hurdles. Thielen said Christopherson will be a blast to watch progress.
“He flies over the them; it’s like there’s not even a hurdle there,” Thielen said. “It’s just fun to watch.”
Senior captain Danny McIntire brings speed on the boys side and may join cross-country runners ninth-grader Connor Hanson and sophomore Logan Haller in the 1600-and 3200-meter distance events. Senior captain Mckenzie Hale will run the 100-meter dash for the girls.
Thielen hopes to see improvement in all events.
“Our goal is just to get faster and for everybody to improve on what they’ve done before,” she said. “Just to run faster at the end than in the beginning and to build a sense of team and community while having fun. They seem to be having a pretty good time so far.”