One year ago, Kettle Moraine's girls track team had some talented seniors in the likes of Erin Zajc, Brea Perron, Alyssa Skrove and Claire Stuart. Those girls scored a ton of points for the Lasers, but the 2017 season will bring a new challenge to coach Steffany Jewell and her KM team as they try to replace those talents with a solid group of younger ahtletes ready to move on to the varsity level. The Lasers have 65 girls out for track this season.
"This year will be challenging for us after losing Erin, Brea, Alyssa and Claire," Jewell said. "However, we still have a lot of young depth coming back this season, and we have some rookies coming out as sophomore and juniors that will add some additional depth. We had six freshmen receive varsity letters last year, five of which are returning this year as sophomores."
In the jumps, KM will have some good depth with Meaghan Holub, Laura Stuart, Emily Stuart, Alena Hester and Maddie Culhane. Lexi Nate returns in the high jump.
Three girls are back in the distance events: Mara Bajic, Anna Kroll and Hannah Suarez.
In the short sprints, the two Stuart sisters will compete, as well as sophomore Bri Dubrey. In the long sprints, the Lasers will be led by Alyssa Pausha, Culhane and Laura Stuart. Returning in the hurdle events are Kelsey Wedl and Molly Lecher.
"We are hoping to put together some solid relays again this season," Jewell said. "We are also looking to continue our success in the various field events, especially the horizontal jumps. As always, there is a lot of strength in our conference. I am hoping that we can be either third or fourth in the conference by the end of the season if we can keep our athletes healthy and continue to grow our young talent."
Last year, the KM girls finished fourth at the Classic 8 Conference outdoor meet.
KM competes at Nelson-Daniel
Competing in Whitewater at the annual Nelson-Daniel Classic to kick off the season, the KM girls took 14th of 21 teams. Pausha took sixth in the 400 (1:03.91), Bajic took eighth in the 1,600 (5:31.01), and Kroll took 11th in the 800.
Laura Stuart took fourth in the long jump (16-01 3/4) and Holub took fourth in the triple jump (34-07) to lead field-event finishers.
The 4x400 crew took ninth with the team of Pausha, Culhane, Laura Stuart and Kroll.