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Four placers return for Kernel track team

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The Kernels had four girls place individually at the state track and field meet last season.

The four placers — Senior Emma Schmidt and juniors Ellie Rew, Abby Sudbeck and Taylor Volesky — all return this season for Mitchell High School.

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Last season, Schmidt took seventh in the 400-meter run, Rew was eighth in the 100-meter hurdles, Sudbeck took fifth in the discus throw and shot put and Volesky finished sixth in the triple jump.

“We’ve got experience and a lot of other girls who are knocking on the door, too,” Mitchell track and field coach Geoff Gross said. “It should be an exciting girls year. We’re very young still and have some relays that we’re hoping to put together and get a lot of people involved.”

Schmidt will run for Augustana College next season, and Gross said Rew and Sudbeck have aspirations of competing in track and field in college as well.

“They are driven and looking to have good years,” Gross said.

Mitchell is set to open its season today at the Aberdeen Invitational. The meet begins at 11 a.m. at Aberdeen Central High School.

The Kernels began practice in early March with three to four practices per week. Gross said the team has been able to practice outside several times since it began.

“We’ve gone outside quite a bit in this rollercoaster of a winter,” he said. “We’ve had to pick and choose what days we go out but we’ve accomplished what we need to at this point.”

On the boys side, the Kernels did not have any state placers in 2013, but Gross is hoping that turns around this season.

“The boys are fairly young and unproven at this point,” he said.

Last season, Ben Prill and Mason Carpenter were the closest individuals to placing for the Kernel boys. Now a senior and sophomore, Gross said they are capable of placing with the experienced they gained last season.

Gross added the main goal of the season is continual improvement.

“Track’s kind of a unique sport,” he said, adding there are around 60 students out this season. “You’re competing against yourself, so if you’re always improving, you can focus on going against the other jerseys. There is always something to compete for in track and field.

“If you can’t find a positive to take away from somebody, it’s a bad day.”

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Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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