2012 Spring Preview: Either, Ickstadt lead East Ridge girls track team in openerEast Ridge High School’s girls track and field team already began its 2012 campaign, marching through two indoor meets in March before heading into Suburban East Conference competition at Mounds View in Arden Hills.
By: Sada Reed, South Washington County Bulletin
East Ridge High School’s girls track and field team already began its 2012 campaign, marching through two indoor meets in March before heading into Suburban East Conference competition at Mounds View in Arden Hills.
Seniors Nicole Ethier and Alicia Ickstadt helped jump-start the early season last Saturday at the All American Invitational in River Falls, Wis. Ethier finished second in the 400-meter dash (1 minute, 0.92 seconds) and Ickstadt took third in the long jump (15 feet, 9.5 inches).
A co-captain with seniors Nicollette Brown and Laura Johnson, Ethier returns this year after raking in top finishes at last season’s Section 3AA finals, including a third-place finish in the 200 (26.86) and 400 (58.83), and a sixth-place finish in the triple jump (34-5).
“Nicole Ethier and [boys track and field member] Nate Roese are already in mid-season form,” said coach Lloyd Ness. “They’ve already done really well in our first two meets.”
Leah Robinette and Brown ended their 2011 seasons with strong finishes at sections, earning sixth in the pole vault (9-1) and ninth in the shot put (35-1), respectively. Sophomore Bailey Ness also returns after leading the distance runners with a fifth-place sectional finish in the 1600 (5:22.97) and sixth-place finish in the 3200 (11:39.27).
But the Raptors’ most bountiful crop of returning talent may reside in its relay teams. Ickstadt, junior Jamila Joiner, and sophomores Jordan Weiss and Aubrey Dudley return after finishing seventh at sections in the 400-meter relay. Dudley and Ickstadt were also on the Raptors’ seventh-place finishing 800-meter team, as well as sophomore Brianna Schmitt and junior Megan Amend. Joiner, Schmitt, Amend and then-freshman Kiera Joiner took sixth in the 1600-meter relay, while juniors Sarah Nesheim and sophomores Sandra Gramer and Abigail Beissler led the Raptors to a sixth-place finish in the 3200-meter relay.
Lloyd Ness, who begins his third season at the Raptors’ helm, said the early season’s warm weather has aided the team’s training – something he hopes will result in improved times.
“We finished sixth for the girls and seventh for the boys at conference [last year],” he said. “We’re shooting to improve on that. We are in an extremely tough conference.”
Besides its SEC meet today at Mounds View, the Raptors will travel to Roseville on Tuesday.