The 2016 Milbank Bulldog track and field season was one of the most successful in recent years, according to head coach Eric Townsend. “The team had nearly all of its best times at the last meets of the season,” he said. “They battled through injuries, illnesses, and themselves.”
Townsend announced the winners of several awards as tabulated by scores throughout the season. Taylor Thue was named the Most Valuable Girl Athlete and also was named Hurdler of the Year. Elisabeth Schwenn was named Sprinter of the Year and Molly Rick earned the Jumper of the Year award. Danica Schulte won Distance Runner of the Year award, and Shea Hooth was named Thrower of the Year.
Tanner Gauer was named Most Valuable Boy Athlete and also received the Sprinter of the Year award. Nolan Foss and Nate Bien tied for Hurdler of the Year, and Jacob Karges earned the Jumper of the Year honor. Kody Johnson was named Distance Runner of the Year; Caden Wollschlager, Thrower of the Year.
The boys’ team won the Northeast Conference championship title for the first time since 2005 and was also crowned Region 1A champions. The girls’ team narrowly missed the team titles in both events by finishing second at the NEC and region meets.
Twelve girls and 14 boys qualified for the state Class A track meet. At state, the boys 400-meter relay team of Kyle Montag, Cole Dockter, Jake Anderson, and Tanner Gauer placed second overall. The 800-meter relay team of Montag, Dockter, Derrick Aho, and Gauer captured fifth place. Nolan Foss earned an eighth place finish in the 110-hurdles. Taylor Thue placed fourth in the girls 100-hurdles and third in the 300-hurdles. The girls 1,600-meter relay team of Elisabeth Schwenn, Makayla Johnson, Danica Schulte, and Taylor Thue placed seventh.
Throughout the season, 10 performances cracked the top list on the MHS varsity honor roll and middle school record board. Thue set a new school record in the 300 hurdles with a time of :45.15. Gauer broke Ryan Conrad’s record in the boys 100-meter dash with a time of :10.70, and the boys 400-meter relay team set a school record with a time of :43.92.
Also joining the honor roll this season were Thue, second in the 100 hurdles; Molly Rick, fifth in triple jump; the girls 800-meter relay team of Mackayla Schuelke, Makayla Johnson, Elisabeth Schwenn and Taylor Thue, seventh; the girls 1,600-meter relay team, fourth; Gauer, second in the 200-meter dash; Jacob Karges, sixth in the long jump and a new ninth grade record in that event with a leap of 20-8, and the boys 800-meter relay team, fourth.
Athletes earning a Major M for the 2016 season were:
Seniors – Cara Berkner, Shauna Pauli, Morgan Schmitt, Nolan Foss, Dylan Johnson, and Kyle Montag.
Juniors – Brooke Fraasch, Mackayla Schuelke, Kaitlyn Rufer, Jake Anderson, Nate Bien, Caden Bjordahl, Cody Dockter, Tanner Gauer, Kody Johnson, Caden Wollschlager, and Riley Wollschlager.
Sophomores – Shea Hooth, Christina Lusk, Molly Rick, Sophia Seffrood, Katie VanderWal, Derrick Aho, Jonny Ash, Tanner Bock, Cole Dockter, Koben Huber, Preston Morton, and Luke Wold.
Freshmen – Kellie Christians, Gabbi Cummins, Jaden Hoeke, Makayla Johnson, Tonya Meyer, Elisabeth Schwenn, Taylor Thue, Kimberly Van Sambeek, Katie Wollschlager, Alec Bien, Gabe DeLaRosa, Ben Harstad, Jacob Karges, Jadus Medicine Crow, and Jake Sandvig.
Eighth graders – Jatana Grajczyk, Maddie Gustafson and Danica Schulte.
Seventh graders – Allison Leddy and Madi Thue.
“It was a successful season as many personal bests were attained, personal goals were reached, team goals were set and achieved, and other team successes were reached,” noted Townsend. “A huge thanks to all the athletes, parents, and fans of the track and field team. A very special thanks to the coaches that helped this season – Lane Lindquist, Joe Frederiksen, Ryan Conrad, middle school coaches Jeremy Tostenson and Melissa Bastian, and volunteer coaches Amy Thue, Josh Schmeichel, and Christine Townsend. Their hard work helped with many successes that were reached by this team.”
Six seniors were praised for their achievements throughout their high school careers. Wrapping up their final track season were Nolan Foss, Dylan Johnson, Kyle Montag, Cara Berkner, Shauna Pauli, and Morgan Schmitt. Townsend said, “These six seniors accomplished much throughout their track career, and their leadership will be greatly missed.”