Eric Townsend, head coach of Milbank’s track and field teams, announced the end-of-the-season awards for 2023 and gave a wrap-up for the Track and Field season.
The 2023 Milbank Bulldog Track and Field season was a very successful season for both boy’s and girl’s teams. The Bulldog track teams had
nearly all their season’s bests at the last meets of the season. The team battled through injuries, illnesses, and themselves throughout the
season. At the Northeast Conference meet, the girls’ team won their 3rd consecutive NEC team championship, winning by 72 points, and
winning their 4th NEC team title in 5 seasons.
The boys’ team won their seventh consecutive NEC team title, winning by 35 points. At the Region 1A meet, the girls’ team won their fourth Region team championship in a row, winning by 103 points and scoring 224 points. The boys’ team again won their 7th consecutive Region 1A team title, winning by 52 points and scoring 171 points. Throughout the season, both teams
qualified a number of athletes for the state track meet. Collectively, Milbank qualified 13 girls (Averie Engebretson, Laney Forrette, Ellie
Neugebauer, Maurina Street, Maggie Kruger, Isabella Anderson, Katie Kruger, Gemma Street, Siera Wenzl, Ashlynn Batchelor, Jacy Dexter,
Zayda Townsend, and Bianca Berry) and 10 boys (Sammy Femling, Max Lightfield, James Batchelor, Payton Brown, Jayden Johnson, Garrett
Mertens, Grant Van Peursem, Emmett Hanson, Bryan Meyer, and Sam Rick) to the State Track meet.
At the State Class ‘A’ Track meet, many individuals and relays placed. Jayden Johnson placed 7th in the pole vault with a vault of 13’ 0”. In the girls’ pole vault Jacy Dexter placed 3rd with a vault of 10’ 0’ and Maggie Kruger placed 7th with a vault of 9’ 0”. Siera Wenzl placed 7th in the 400 m dash with a time of 1:02.93. The boys’ 3200 m relay team consisting of James Batchelor, Bryan Meyer, Garrett Mertens, and Payton Brown placed 2nd with a time of 8:04.75. The boys’ 1600 m sprint medley relay team of Jayden Johnson, Max Lightfield, Garrett Mertens, and Payton Brown placed 7th with a time of 3:41.68.
The boy’s 1600 m relay team of James Batchelor, Garrett Mertens, Grant Van Peursem, and Bryan Meyer placed 7th overall with a time of 3:34.77. Overall, at the state meet, the boy’s team scored 14 points and finished in 17th place, and the girl’s team scored 9.5 points and finished
in 23rd place overall. Throughout the season, 27 performances cracked the top list on the Varsity Honor Roll and on the Middle School Record
Overall, it was another successful season for the Milbank Bulldog Track and Field Team as many personal bests were attained, personal goals
were reached, team goals were set and achieved, and other team successes were reached.
A huge thanks needs to be given to the all the athletes, parents, and fans of the track and field teams. A very special thanks needs to be given to the coaches that helped this season: Troy Gauer, Kelli Pillatzki, Ryan Conrad, John Trevett, Christine Townsend, Josh Schmeichel, Becky Johnson, and volunteer coach Amy Thue. Their hard work helped with the many successes that were reached by this year’s teams.
A special congratulations and thanks to the seniors on this year’s squad: Jenna Dexter, Averie Engebretson, Laney Forrette, Ellie Neugebauer, Ashlyn O’Farrell, Maurina Street, Camryn Wiese, Emily Wollschlager, Luis Berrones, Sammy Femling, Aidan Foell, Max Lightfield, Tice Mursu, and Zach Ringsaker. These fourteen seniors accomplished much throughout their track and field career and their leadership will be greatly missed.