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East Ridge sophomore Brenley Goertzen is back with the Raptors this season.

2013 Spring Preview: Six of eight All-State runners return to East Ridge girls track and field team in 2013

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This spring, the East Ridge girls track and field team hopes to build on a record-setting 2012 season.

A year ago, East Ridge sent three relay teams to the state meet and eight Raptors came away with All-State honors. Six of those eight athletes return to the squad this season.

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At state, East Ridge earned fifth-place in the 3200-meter and 1600-meter relays and an eighth-place finish in the 800-meter relay race at Hamline University in St. Paul.

In the 3200-meter relay, current sophomores Emily Betz, Brenley Goertzen and junior Sandra Gramer are back. Goertzen was also a part of the 1600-meter relay team, along with current senior Megan Amend and junior Kiera Joiner. Amend and current sophomore Raven Tittle return from last year's 800-meter relay team.

East Ridge, however, will need to replace 2012 graduates Nicole Eithier and Alicia Ickstadt this year. Either was a member of the 3200 and 1600 relays and Ickstadt ran in the 800 relay for the Raptors.

East Ridge also welcomes back its top two distance runners from 2012 - Bailey Ness and Betz.

Other key athletes returning to the Raptors' lineup this spring include sprinters Jamila Joiner, Jordan Weiss and Osereme Abulu, pole vaulter Sara Press, jumper Hannah Pignato and distance runner Taylor Jackson.

East Ridge is set to compete in its first outdoor meet of the year on April 11 with the White Bear Lake Relays at White Bear Lake High School.

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