Track and field season preview


provided by Kraig A. Lungstrom

Owen Hoeft, University of Minnesota, Cross Country/Track- First year on Varsity: 8th grade, 2011. Favorite memory: Making and competing at Nationals as a team in his final season as a Royal.

Max Weesner and Alex Kim

The Hopkins track and field teams have high hopes this year after seeing their distance runners have such success during the cross country season. The team believes they have a chance to build on successful years last season.

“We feel really good about the season,” said Nate Johnson, junior. “You look at our team in all of our events, and we feel very confident and strong in all different sections.”

For track and field, there are two state meets. The Minnesota State High School League holds a state meet in early June for individuals who qualify during the section meet. Last year, the Hopkins boys team placed third overall at the meet.

The other state meet is called True Team State and is run by the Minnesota State High School Coaches’ Association. Last season, the boys failed to qualify.

“True Team measures the strength of your full team,” said Hunter Staack, senior. “Regular state measures the strength of your individuals.”

This year, boys’ head coach Nick Lovas wants his team to focus on making it to True Team. The last time the team qualified was two years ago when they got fifth place.

“[Coach Lovas] realizes the potential that we have with our depth, and he wants to take advantage of that,” said Eli Hoeft, freshman.

The boys expect to excel in the distance and sprint events but need good performances from their field events in order to have success as a team.

For the girls, the focus is also on True Team State. If they make it, it will be their first appearance since 2011, when they won the meet.

“As a team, our goal is to perform well but also to support each other and grow together,” said Bit Klecker, junior. “Our overall goal is to qualify for True Team State and do our best once we get there.”

Much like the boys, the girls expect to do well in distance events but are also strong across all events.

“We definitely have a strong distance team,” Klecker said. “All of [the distance runners] are very committed and have been training together since junior high. We have strong sprinters, throwers, jumpers, and hurdlers as well who contribute greatly to the team’s success.”

The first meet of the year for both teams is the Indoor Dual Minnesota High School Showcase at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse at 3:45 pm today.