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Track: Teams open up at indoor scrimmage

Both Brian Helmstetter and Tom Hart came away pleased with their teams' first performances of the season at last Friday's indoor track scrimmage at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

No official scores or times were kept, but the coaches still got a chance to see both their veteran and returning runners go up against competition from other area schools.

"I love this meet because you get a chance to introduce track to all of your new faces," Helmstetter said. "We had a number of first timers perform quite well and were excited/nervous to get the first meet out of the way. We now have times that the athletes can use to set goals for our next scrimmage we are hosting on April 6."

The girls team also got some promising performances from its returners and first-timers.

"The meet went very well for the ladies. Our relays looked very strong, we had a number of field event performances that exceeded early season expectations, and our veterans and newcomers all got some valuable experience," Hart said. "We are looking forward to our upcoming meets over the next few weeks."

The Farmington girls relays picked up where they've left off in years past, turning in several strong performances. The 4x800 team of Bailey Opsal, Devyn Alberts, Maria Kiminski and Nicole Clifton easily won in a time of 10 minutes and the 4x400 team of Opsal, Clifton and Maria and Amy Kiminski clocked in with a time of 4:18. Hart said the sprint relay runners and hurdlers also looked pretty good for this early in the season.

In the field events the Tigers were led by three long jumpers who cleared 15 feet -- Amy Kiminski, Erin Hickey and Nadia Lorencz -- and two shot putters who turned in personal bests -- Katie Habeck (35-3) and Meredith Gulsvig (29-4).

The boys also got a personal best in the shot put when Logan Hussung moved within three inches of Trey Davis' indoor school record with a toss of 56-7. John Schimmel added a toss of 46-4 and Ross Heintz threw 43-7.

"The throwers have all worked hard this year and we should have a number of throwers throwing over 40 feet and challenging for the second and third spot," Helmstetter said. "Awesome start."

Helmstetter was also pleased with the performance of hurdlers Jordan Keller, Matt Shutey and Tyler Beckett -- who he said all looked to be in mid-season form -- and his middle distance runners. Andrew Thomas and Levi Freetly turned in strong splits in the 400 and 800 and Nick Arenberg and Carl Elmer both ran well in both the mile and two-mile.

Other strong meets were turned in my newcomer Tyler Lerbakken, Kurt Atkinson and Chad Retterath.

Adam Wallenta added a personal best in the mile and Alec Wilson had his best time ever in the two-mile.

The 4x200 relay of Shayne Benjamin, Tyler Grubb, Thomas and Keller also looked strong, according to Helmstetter.