Staying healthy will be key to success for MFL MarMac girls track and field

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Members of the MFL MarMac girls track and field team are (front, left to right) Emma Koether, Jerica Wille, Amelya Weigand, Hannah Bogdonovich; (middle) Danica Friedlein, Audrey Ruff, Maria Stavroplus, Lynn Bickerton, Brooklyn Tonn, Bayleigh Wood, Madelyn Keehner, Evelyn Ruff, Ariana Fish; (back) manager Mariahyn Fairchild, Melanie Ruff, head coach Kylie Sandstrom, assistant coach Jess Brehmer, Codie Luse and manager Jocelyn Schoeneman. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


MFL MarMac girls head track and field coach Kylie Sandstrom hopes her team can stay healthy this season.


“Last year, we struggled with injuries. I felt like somebody was getting injured each meet,” she said.


With a larger team this year, a majority of whom are freshmen and sophomores, health will go a long way toward sustained success.


“We’ve got quite a few sophomores, and the freshmen are a strong class this year. I’m looking forward to building on what we have now,” Sandstrom said.


Those athletes will join four returning upperclassmen in seniors Mel Ruff and Codie Luse as well as juniors Hannah Bogdonovich and Amelya Weigand.


MFL MarMac will focus largely on relays this year, according to Sandstrom. In fact, most runners only want to focus on those events.


“It shows me they want to be a team player,” she said.


Individually, though, the Bulldogs should be strong in the 400, led by Weigand. Freshmen Madelyn Keehner and Jerica Wille will be top contenders in the 100, and Ruff will compete in the 200.


“The only thing I’m struggling with is my distance—my 800s, miles and two miles. We don’t have a lot for distance this year,” Sandstrom said.


In the field events, the Bulldogs are loaded with shot putters, including Luse and freshmen Brooklyn Tonn and Danica Friedlein. Sandstrom likes that the athletes will play off one another.


“They are going to be pushing each other for that spot because it’s only two spots at every meet. You have to earn it,” she shared.


Sophomore Maria Stavroplus, who had a good season last year at high jump, will return in that event. She hopes to break the 4’ 6” mark in 2023. 


Freshman Ariana Fish will try long jump.


“Field events, I think we’ll have quite a few in everything,” said Sandstrom. “It’s nice because we don’t always get an opportunity to score points in the field events because we’re so short and use them all for the running events.”


Outside staying healthy, the coach said the team’s main goal is to be represented on the blue oval at state. Many girls have that as a personal goal as well.


“It will be exciting to see how much they push and get themselves there,” Sandstrom said.


MFL MarMac started its season last week at the Upper Iowa Conference indoor meet. The team will next compete in the Lady Pirate Relays at Postville on April 4.

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