Spartan duo marches to stateHorrible weather conditions forced creative practices for SHS track team
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
When it came to practices, the Superior High School track and field team had to get creative this year.
Instead of laps on the track, the team held workouts in the pool. Sprints and practices starts were replaced by weight training and bungee workouts.
And when the athletes really needed a distraction from the piles of snow delaying their season, the coaches would take them to Northern Lights Elementary School.
“We played games with a scooter and stuff that that kindergarteners do at Northern Lights,” said sophomore Lauren Magnuson. “That was always fun.”
It was a dreary and snow-filled season for the Spartans, but Magnuson and junior Carter Anderson now have reason to smile as the head to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 1 Track and Field Championships.
Carter will represent the boys team in the 110-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles, while Magnuson will represent the girls in the 200-meter dash. The state meet runs today and Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Kris Leopold, head coach of the boys track and field team, said having two athletes advance to state this year was “a blessing.”
The weather in April and May, on the other hand, was a curse.
“We had two good indoor meets, the Simpson and the Packy,” Leopold said. “We didn’t have those last year, and just to have those was huge. But then to go from that to two meets canceled for the first three weeks, it’s crushing to their momentum.”
Superior’s two state qualifiers came into the season with momentum thanks to their offseason work. Both Magnuson and Anderson ran for the cross country team in the fall and continued to work out in the winter.
“They came into the season in shape,” Leopold said. “It’s the pool workout and the weight training on their won and their diet. … That’s why they’re here.”
Anderson and Magnuson are both returning to the state meet after making their debuts last season.
Magnuson advanced to state in the 100-meter dash in her freshman season and ran with the 4x100 relay team.
This year she narrowly missed a state berth in the 100-meter dash, but she recovered to advance in the 200, taking third in 26.15 seconds.
“That shows some mental toughness,” said Phil Roe, head coach of the Spartan girls track and field team. “To not go in the 100 and then bounce back and break the school record in the 200; that was her final shot to make it to state, so that says something.”
Magnuson’s time in the sectional race broke the previous 200 record mark of 26.48 seconds set by Raya Kosey in 2009.
“Raya last year was like my rock,” Magnuson said. “She was always there to support me, and she really helped me get through last season.”
Kosey also helped Magnuson this year, giving her a pep talk after her sixth-place finish in the 100-meter dash at the sectional meet.
“She called me right after I didn’t qualify for the 100, and she really helped me,” Magnuson said.
Anderson is headed back to state after advancing in the 110-meter hurdles in his sophomore year. He’ll compete in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles this year.
“I was pretty nervous last year seeing all the people that came,” Anderson said. “I was surprised there were that many people.
“I think I’ll be a lot better prepared than last year.”
Anderson enters the 110-meter hurdles with the 13th fastest time at 15.19 seconds. In the 300 hurdles he stands near the middle of the field with a time of 40.41 seconds. Alex Sharrock of Kettle Moran holds the top time at 38.44 seconds.
Both of Anderson’s sectional times were personal bests. His time in the 300 hurdles topped his previous best by more than two seconds.
“That’s amazing,” said Chad Postal, SHS hurdles coach. “He’s really come a long way, especially with the really, really bad spring that we’ve had.”
Postal said Anderson’s time in the 110 hurdles is respectable, but the junior has made it his goal all season to break into the 14.9 or 14.8 second range.
“If he can get a 14.9, that will get him into the finals,” Postal said. “And if he can take a second off that 300 hurdles, I think that’s going to get him into the finals too.”
“I’m really competitive,” Anderson said. “Once you get that adrenaline flowing it makes it a lot easier to run your race.”
Both Anderson and Magnuson have made the best of a trying season, but their coaches want more for them than merely with a trip to the state meet.
“These two have a legitimate shot to make the finals,” Leopold said.
SPARTAN SPIN: Anderson and Magnuson went to the prom together in April. “It was kind of a mutual thing,” Magnuson said. “Neither of us was going, so we kind of like, ‘Hey, let’s go together.’” “We didn’t really like ask each other, we just decided we’d go,” Anderson said. … Evan Walpole, who just missed a state berth in the 1,600 with a fifth-place finish, planned to head to UWLC to support Anderson at the state meet.