Janesville Parker girls track and field building experience
With the outdoor season set to begin Tuesday, Lehmann’s job is to get many of his young Vikings ready for their first Big Eight varsity meet.
“Our numbers are good at the sophomore and freshmen levels, but along with that comes the inexperience,” Lehmann said. “For many of our girls, Tuesday’s meet (Sun Prairie) will be their first chance to compete at the varsity level.
“I’m excited to see some of the younger kids perform, and to see where they might fit in best in the lineup.
“And for the girls coming back that have been with me, the first thing they’ll tell you is that practice gets old. Competition is what it’s all about.”
Parker has only three seniors, but all three will fill valuable roles. Kylie Simonson and Nequisha Kenerson will compete in the long and triple jump, as well as anchor the sprints and the relays. Senior Danielle Garber also is expected to contribute in the 400 and 800 relays.
Most of the returning varsity contributors are juniors. Paige Demos will be one of top high jumpers in the conference, and will also be the team’s top hurdler.
“Paige is the real deal,” Lehmann said. “She’s going to be one of the top-notch athletes in our conference.”
Juniors Jessica Heitsman and Sadie Johnson will anchor the 200 and 400, and will also run on possibly three of the four relay teams.
Junior twins Ashley and Brooke King are the top distance runners, while Frankie Larson and Bethany Moen will anchor the shot put and discus.
Lehmann also is counting heavily on junior Emily Mauermann, who ran at state last year but is battling a foot injury this season, to add depth to the sprints and relays.
Junior Sam Shelton is expected to compete in the hurdles, high jump and triple jump, while Erika Whitson will be used in the long jump, triple jump and short sprints.
Sophomore Bria Gorman will compete in the sprints, while sophomore Kristine Zeilinger is the top returnee in pole vault.
Lehmann has lost an abundance of talent to graduation the last couple of years, including last year’s Division 1 state high jump champion, Shelby Demos.
“You just don’t up and replace a state champion,” Lehmann said. “Those kids don’t come around very often.
“That’s why Tuesday’s meet is so important. It gives me a chance to see where we’re at against one of the best teams in our conference. I’m hoping a couple of the younger girls step up and can fill a hole in our lineup.”
Parker’s schedule, with home meets at Monterey Stadium:
APRIL: 13—Madison La Follette, 4:30 p.m.; 16—At Kettle Moraine Relays, 4:30 p.m.; 21—At Madison Memorial, 4:30 p.m.; 23—Parker Invitational, 4:30 p.m.; 27—Sun Prairie, 4:30 p.m.; 30—At Cougar Relays (Monterey), 4 p.m.
MAY: 4—At Verona, 4:30 p.m.; 7—At Burlington Invitational; 11—Beloit Memorial and Janesville Craig; 14—At Oregon Invitational, 4:15 p.m.; 18—At Big Eight Conference Meet (Mansfield).