A new beginning: Dickinson will rely on a strong field events presence this seasonThere’s no mistake that the Dickinson High girls track and field is going to miss Jess Herauf this year.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
There’s no mistake that the Dickinson High girls track and field is going to miss Jess Herauf this year.
The Midgets have a young, untested group, but are optimistic about their season, which starts at 1 p.m. today at the Western Dakota Association Preseason Meet at Bismarck Community Bowl.
“We are very youthful in the girls side,” Dickinson co-head coach Dave Michaelson said.
Herauf, who is now a freshman for the University of Minnesota track and field team, won back-to-back javelin titles and won the 100-meter hurdles. She was a state placer in other events in her career.
“It can be summed up in four words, ‘We lost Jess Herauf,’” Michaelson said. “She scored a lot of points for us.”
Dickinson senior Melissa Sipma knows the loss of Herauf is going to tough to replace, but the seven seniors are going to do their best.
“I think that she was huge part of our team last year and I think that it helped having her,” Sipma said. “We’re just going to have to try to step up as seniors this year and try to help to replace her.”
The other six seniors are Leslie Beaudoin, Madison Deibert, Steph Dykema, Morgan Grosulak, Cieanna Levorsen and Hannah Lindley.
Sipma said having Herauf’s leadership last year should bode well this season.
“I think it’s really important, because we’ve got a lot of freshman here,” she said. “I would just like to show them what she (Herauf) showed us.”
The girls’ strengths this season should be in the field events, mainly in the jumps and pole vault. Levorsen, a senior pole vaulter, said she’s seen improvements in just the first couple weeks of practice.
“All the girls are really hard workers,” she said. “In the past two weeks, they have improved a lot.”
In the other field events, Michaelson said Lindley has a shot to qualify in the javelin.
“I think she could flirt with qualifying,” Michaelson said.
Juniors looking to have a good season for the Midgets are Rachel Schroeder and Abby Grove.
In the running events, junior Meleah Leiss looks to improve on her successful cross country season last fall.
“She anchors a lot of our long-distance relays,” Michaelson said. “She’s a good one. I look for her to have a good season.”
Dickinson has a host of seniors returning in the jumping events and Michaelson hopes that will be a strong suit.
“Madi, Leslie and Melissa are all good jumpers for us,” Michaelson said. “It’s definitely a strength of our girls is the jumps.”
Though today’s fortunately early outdoor meet will be the Midgets’ first test this season, Dickinson co-head coach Jay Schobinger told the team before practice on Wednesday, “I don’t expect you to be at your best, but I expect you to give it your best.”
The first meet is just a benchmark for how the rest of the season goes and Levorsen said it will be a work in progress.
“I think we will just keep improving and we’ll see where it goes,” she said.
As for running outside in the middle of March, Sipma couldn’t be more excited.
“It’s awesome,” she said with a laugh. “My whole high school career, it’s been so cold. I don’t know if we had days this nice any year even at the end of the year.”