Dickinson ready to runRunning events shouldn’t be a problem for the Dickinson High boys track and field team.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Running events shouldn’t be a problem for the Dickinson High boys track and field team.
It’s the field events that could be the surprise of the season.
The Midgets open up their track and field season at 1 p.m. today in the Western Dakota Association Preseason Meet at the Bismarck Community Bowl.
“We feel that we have a pretty good shot at being a top six or seven team, maybe higher,” Dickinson co-coach Dave Michaelson said. “We have some nice senior leadership.”
Six of seven Dickinson seniors will be competing on the track. The lone senior that returns with varsity throwing experience is Seth Leno.
“The biggest thing for me is to keep learning and keep building myself,” Leno said. “Then I can teach the younger kids that aren’t as experienced. As the season goes, hopefully they keep improving.”
A pair of seniors that had success during the cross country season were Vlad Kutka and Joseph Sickler. The two step on the track to finish out their high school careers.
“We know pretty well what our potential is,” Kutka said. “We’ve got a solid core of guys that know how to run together.”
The other four seniors are Brett Braunagel, Mason Frank, Michael Porter and Dallas Zastoupil. Porter is competing in middle-distance races, while the other three are sprinters.
“In the sprints and in the relays, I think we’ll be OK,” Michaelson said. “We’ve got some young kids and senior leaders.”
Braunagel will attempt a sport-juggling match by competing in both track and field and baseball. Michaelson said Braunagel should provide depth in the sprints and has batted leadoff in the past for the baseball team.
“He’s going to try to do both baseball and track,” Michaelson said. “We know he’s a good sprinter for us.”
The one athlete that Michaelson hoped would be able to compete this season is Austin Mack. The junior hurdler was a state placer last season, but injured his knee during basketball season.
“We hope that we get him back sometime this season,” Michaelson said.
Another junior that can make Dickinson better is Taren Staudinger, who mainly runs sprints. A couple sophomores the Midgets are counting on this season are Michael Cherwinski, Jace Dukart, Aaron Sayler and Levi Jordheim.
“We need the young kids to grow up and score some points at the varsity meet,” Dickinson co-coach Jay Schobinger said.
Michaelson said it will just be a waiting game to see where the freshmen are at the end of the season.
“It’s just too early to tell,” he said. “We really don’t know what we have there and we like the numbers. We have a nice big list of freshman.”
In a few days of practice, Leno said he’s seen something that has been a positive boost for the Midgets.
“Everybody is open to trying different things,” he said. “We have a lot of kids trying different events, so they are willing to try different things if they had a potential they didn’t know.”
Dickinson gets to experience one asset of track and field much earlier than in the last three seasons — an outdoor meet in March. Today’s meet was originally scheduled to be indoors.
“It feels good,” Kutka said. “I’m definitely an outdoor kind of running guy. It’s nice to have that outdoor experience on the track sooner.”