Jirges, youth must spark Trinity girlsOptimistic is the key word used with the Dickinson Trinity girls track and field team this season.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Optimistic is the key word used with the Dickinson Trinity girls track and field team this season.
Trinity has a host of returning state qualifiers and thanks to favorable weather conditions this spring, extra practice outside should make for a very competitive season.
“I definitely think it’s going to help us in the long run,” Trinity senior Andrea Jirges said. “Usually these first few weeks, we are practicing indoors and we don’t practice at the track as early as we have. Even having this early meet is going to help better our times.”
The Titans will be relying on Jirges’ experience and leadership throughout the course of this season. As a junior, she qualified for state in seven events: the 200 and 400 meters, long jump, triple jump and the 400, 800 and 1,600 sprint relays.
“She’s going to be one our go-to people,” Trinity head coach Craig Kovash said.
Despite only having three seniors that competed in the first meet of the season last Friday in Hazen, the sophomore and freshmen classes aren’t lacking one bit. Trinity’s three seniors are Jirges, Kelbie Ficek and Maren Stegner. The juniors are Alyson Schieno, McKenzie Kostelecky, Kara Stegner and Lydia Brooke.
“It’s always nice to have young kids that are talented,” Kovash said. “You always know that there’s future out there and that’s going to be pretty exciting.”
One of those young runners is sophomore Kelli Pavlicek, who helped her the Titans to a runner-up team finish in Hazen.
“We know what can do and what we can get to,” Pavlicek said. “We have our goals and try to meet those together.”
Sophomores joining Pavlicek is her twin sister, Katie, Katelyn Grinsteinner, Morgan Kuntz, Hannah Nordby, Gabbi Hanson, Allison Steffan, Molly Schweitzer, Shannon Stockert and Katelyn Rummel.
Mott-Regent finished first at the Hazen meet, edging the Titans with 101 points. Jirges has become very familiar with the Wildfire throughout her track and field career.
“It can be intimidating,” she said. “I’ve been running with those Mott girls since I was a freshman. Not only is it intimidating, but good competition. I think they are part of the reason, I get better every meet.”
Trinity freshman who could be a key to grabbing points this season are Selina Kudrna, Madison Humleker, Kjersten Stegner, Brittany Berger, Allyssa Wittenberg and Katelyn Dockter.
With the amount of the young athletes on the team this year, Jirges knows her leadership will be important.
“When I was young, I had a lot of great leadership ahead of me,” Jirges said. “I’m hoping to portray that to the younger girls, because every year we try our hardest to get regional championships.”
Competing outside this early in the season is rare, but Pavlicek is relishing these early meets.
“That’s definitely helpful,” Pavlicek said. “Last year we were stuck and we didn’t get very many track meets at the beginning of the season. It’s good experience for us.”