By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
All of the Lady Longhorns traveling to Cambridge on Saturday will be competing.
That’s the word from Head Coach Al Zuege, who is ready for some competition after three weeks of practice.
Due to injuries and another activity that will take several athletes away, Coach Zuege said they will be short of the 22 girls on the 2013 roster for Saturday’s opener.
Everyone going to the season’s first meet will likely be in a minimum of two events, Zuege said. The meet gets underway at 9 a.m. MT with field events. Running events are set to start approximately at 11:15 a.m. MT.
Being the first one of the season, the Cambridge meet is set up a bit differently.
All events are finals, there are no preliminaries. For the field events, each athlete has four attempts. On the track, events are run against time.
The 22 athletes on the Lady Longhorn roster this year is a bit lower than recent years, seven fewer than last year. That’s due, in part, to a small senior class overall. Just three seniors are out this season.
But, Coach Zuege isn’t concerned.
“Most everyone out is going to score for us and win medals,” he said this week.
And, it’s likely going to be temporary, with a large eighth grade class who’ll come in as freshmen next year.
Zuege didn’t point out any areas he believed would be weak ones on the squad this season. Most of the returners come back with good experience from last year.
Three of them are returning state qualifiers, including Kristen Jussel, who ran both hurdles and the 1600 meter relay at state last year. Others include Jodi Koellner, who competed in the discus at state, and Paige Spady, who ran the open 1600.
Jussel won’t be competing this Saturday, however. She continues to recover from a broken collarbone suffered late in the basketball season. Zuege said she’s been working out on the stationery bike, and is unsure when she’ll be cleared to return to competition.
The weather has been cooperative for practice so far, allowing the team to be outdoors every day, Zuege noted.
While both head coaches also are responsible for some of the individual events, there are a number of track assistant coaches who are working with the teams, some new this year.
Troy Hauxwell, the school’s A.D., is coaching the high jumpers, while his wife Mercedes is working with the long and triple jumpers. Bob Holman is handling the boys’ sprinters, hurdlers and relay teams. The other assistants returning include Chris Sander, pole vault, and Dan Lenners, throwers.
Zuege, in addition to his head coaching position, also oversees the girls’ sprinters, hurdlers and relay team members.
Head Boys’ Coach Carl Zuege also coaches the boys’ and girls’ middle and long distance runners.
Here is the full girls’ team roster.
Seniors—Morgan Fisher, Bethany Sorensen and Maddison Vaverek.
Juniors—Anna Bauerle, Kaycee Bubak, Ashlin Bussell, Mallory Coleman, Andrea Hogsett, Kristen Jussel, Jodi Koellner and Ally Vrbas.
Sophomores—Emma Bauerle, Mindy Castle, Valeria Cervantes, MaKenna Ketter and Paige Spady.
Freshmen—Makayla DaMoude, Shaylee Dorn, Cheyanne Kuhlmann, Jasmine Laird, Alyssa Moreno and Annika Swanson.