Park boys and girls track preview

Posted 4/14/21

Park’s boys and girls track and field teams will be breaking in a brand new track this season, but ever so gently. The Wolfpack boys have just a single home meet this spring, on May 6. The girls …

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Park boys and girls track preview


Park’s boys and girls track and field teams will be breaking in a brand new track this season, but ever so gently.

The Wolfpack boys have just a single home meet this spring, on May 6. The girls host two meets, the first on April 29 and a second on May 20.

The track was refurbished for last season but obviously didn’t get used.

“It’s brand new to us and the paint job looks good and there’s no holes in it,” said longtime Park boys head coach Mike Moran with a laugh. “It’s kind of a step up for us.”

Because of Covid restrictions in place this season, the Park boys and girls teams will compete separately this spring, up to and including the conference meet, which will be held at White Bear Lake on separate days. Teams will be limited as to the 50 competitors in each meet and a maximum of four per team in each event.

Athletes won’t be required to wear masks when they’re competing.

Park boys track preview

“We don’t have numbers, having a year off killed some of that,” said coach Moran, now in his 37th year directing the Park track program. “We have some experienced guys, not a lot.”

Senior Matt Boche will run the 200 and 400 and will try the jumps this season. Senior Justin Stachowiak will compete in the hurdles and jumps.

Distance runners senior John Ohmann and junior Parker Hahn return.

“We’ve got some older throwers,” Moran said. “But especially with discus being so technical, to have lost a year is hard. Hopefully we can get back into there.

“We’ve got some older ones and a handful of young kids, we’ve just got to start rebuilding,” Moran added.

Boche and Hahn are likely to be Park’s top scorers this season, but with so many young athletes in the fold, it’s hard to judge who might be a breakthrough.

“Track is 14 individual events and four relays and we’ll be mixing and matching a lot all the way through the year to see what their best will be when the time comes for conference and section,” Moran said.

Park’s boys open the track and field season Thursday, April 15, at Irondale, starting at 3:30 p.m. There’s just a single home meet for the Wolfpack this season, Thursday, May 6, when Park hosts East Ridge, Forest Lake, Mounds View and Woodbury.

The conference finals this season are June 1 at White Bear Lake.

Park girls track preview

With a year off because of the pandemic, the Wolfpack will field a very young team of 26 athletes – mostly freshmen and sophomores with just three seniors — this spring.

“With this Covid season we’re limited in the number of people who can be at each meet, each event, so with those numbers we’re hoping to find events for everyone and get everyone competing in every meet,” said head coach Brad Narveson. “That would be one of the bonuses for having a smaller team this year.”

Senior Briahna Hensel, Park’s top cross country runner, returns to anchor the distance events. She’ll compete in everything from the 800 to the two-mile.

Junior Kylie Dahm returns in the pole vault. She was 16th in the conference event two seasons ago.

Much of the rest of the lineup is unsettled.

“We’re looking forward to seeing what everyone brings,” Narveson said. “With a lot of freshmen and sophomores we didn’t get to see them last year. We’re trying to get them to try different events and see what they’re good at, what they like and go from there.”

The Wolfpack will open the season at Roseville on Thursday, April 15. The first home meet for the Wolfpack will be Thursday, April 29, against Cretin-Derham Hall, Irondale, Mounds View and Woodbury starting at 3:30 p.m.

The girls half of the Suburban East Conference finals will be Thursday, June 3, at White Bear Lake.