High School Track & Field: Oconto Falls ready to get season rolling

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Ericka Havemeier hoping for another run at state

Oconto Falls’ Ericka Havemeier, right, sprints towards the finish line during the 200-yard Division 2 finals at the state meet last spring. Havemeier is hoping to make state again and improve her finish when she is there. (Times Herald file photo)

With several returning boys and girls athletes, the Oconto Falls High School track and field team is eager to get its season underway.

Despite the cold air and large amount of snow still on the ground, track and field teams around the state have already been practicing for a week. Many teams, including Oconto Falls, will take part in their first invitationals of the season this week.

A season ago, Ericka Havemeier represented the Panthers at state in the 200-meter dash — marking her second state appearance. Now a junior, Havemeier hopes to again make state, where she will try and improve on her ninth-place finish from last year.

“My start during the 200 finals at state really set me behind,” said Havemeier, who will also compete in the 100 and some relay teams. “I’ve been doing some offseason block work in order to make my starts faster and more consistent. During the season I plan to continue to work on my starts.”

Havemeier was a part of the sectional-qualifying 4x200 relay team last year, which also returns senior Katie Kurth and sophomore Autumn Magnin.

Kurth and Magnin will also compete in the 100 and 200.

Junior Autumn Canavera qualified for sectionals in the 400 last year and will also take part in the 800 and triple jump.

Senior Breanna Sadowski also made it to sectionals last year, competing in the 1,600. She will likely also run the 3,200 and possibly the 800 this season, while also serving a leadership role.

“As a senior, I want to make sure everyone is working hard every practice to make themselves better and their teammates better,” Sadowski said. “I want the girls team to bond as much as possible and to cheer on our teammates during races at meets.”

Also returning for the girls team — coached by Marissa DeMoulin — is senior pole vaulter Catt Moeller and junior hurdler Kari Albrecht.

For the boys — coached by Lon Ludemann — while athlete numbers are up, experience is down.

Senior Brent Wolf returns after making a sectional appearance in the 300 hurdles last spring. After missing out on state by one place, Wolf’s goal is to make it to state this spring, along with attempting to break the school record in the 300 hurdles.

For a young boys team, Wolf also hopes to be a leader.

“Being a senior, I plan on leading primarily by example,” Wold said. “If I show them what hard work looks like hopefully they’ll follow in my tracks. Team camaraderie is something I’m going to push for this season. As long as we all get along and push each other to be the best we should have no problem.”

Senior Dakota Carriveau competed in shot put at sectionals last year. Along with helping lead the team’s throwers, he also will compete in sprints. Senior Keeshawn Katers also is a thrower and sprinter.

Senior Brody Schindel is a mid- to long distance runner for the Panthers, while junior Evan Roberts will mostly compete in mid-distance events.

Seniors Alec Kokko-Ludemann (pole vault) and Aaron Gonnering (sprints) will also help provide leadership.

The Panthers will open the indoor portion of the schedule competing in an invitational at UW-Oshkosh on Thursday. Oconto Falls is scheduled to host meets on March 18 and 26, along with an invitational April 25.

The North Eastern Conference Meet will be at Denmark High School on May 11.

Oconto Falls will also host a Division 2 regional on May 20, with any qualifiers advancing to the Freedom Sectional on May 23.

The state meet will be held on May 31 and June 1 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse.