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Titan girls begin season with higher expectations

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson Trinity seniors Shannon Stockert, right, and Kelli Pavlicek, left, compete the 3200-meter run during the 2013 Class B state track and field meet on May 25 at the Bismarck Community Bowl.

Experience is one area where the Dickinson Trinity girls track and field team isn’t lacking.

The Titans have more than 10 athletes returning with at least one or more years of state meet experience.

Trinity’s cornerstone entering the 2014 season is its eight seniors. Two of them — Katelyn Grinsteinner and Shannon Stockert — said the team has set high expectations for this season.

“We are really excited about this season and we’ve set really high standards,” Grinsteinner said. “We are just going to work hard every practice and hope to achieve those goals.”

One strength for the Titans will be distance.

Along with Grinsteinner and Stockert, Trinity has seniors Katie Pavlicek, Kelli Pavlicek and Morgan Kuntz, who all have multiple years of experience on the track and with the Dickinson High girls cross country team.

“We have to push each other during practice because the workouts get long and hard, but as long as we push each other we get through it,” Stockert said. “We’ve had a lot fun together and we’ve learned how to push each other and run together as a pack.”

Trinity also has a number of non-senior sprinters with state experience. Sophomore Kennedy Keator qualified in the 100- and 200-meter dashes as a freshman. She also assisted the Titans in multiple relays.

Madison Hanson, a junior from New England High School, helped the Titans qualify in multiple relays.

With an added year of knowledge and experience, Keator wants to return to the state meet in open and relay events.

“I’m hoping that I can do the same thing and get faster,” she said. “There are a lot of us coming back and there are a lot of good runners on our team, so we should be good in relays and individual events.”

The Titans have not only had to deal with inclement weather during the early part of the spring, but the task of finding practice facilities.

On March 3, a fire forced Trinity High School to close its doors for the rest of the school year — including Knights of Columbus Activities Center, its gymnasium where the track and field teams practiced during inclement weather.

“We’ve had challenging weather,” said Andrew DesRosier, Trinity’s co-head coach and the school’s athletic director. “We’ve been working with challenging practice locations.”

The Titans begin their track and field season with the Carlson Booster Meet at 9:30 a.m. today at the Biesiot Activities Center. DesRosier knows the team is going to have nerves, but said he wants to use this meet as a stepping stone.

“We know our kids will be nervous and that’s true of all first competition,” he said. “We can really simplify things this meet. Our goal of this meet is a goal of discovery. We want kids to go out, work hard and we are going to discover our starting point.”