Vikes eye lucky 13th crown
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 2:14 PM
Although they only lost nine athletes to graduation last year, the Decorah girls track team will have a wealth of talent to replace them this season.
Returning letter winners for the Vikings are, from left - Katie Dehning, Lydia Kleckner, Kylie Kerndt, Kayla Quandahl, McKinley Lillegraven, Josephine Berlage, Sylvia Betteridge. Second row - Cassidy Carolan, Emily Franzen, Brynne Valkosky, Hailey Nierling, Katie Nimrod, Sarah Mikkelson, Jenna Galligan. Back row - Rose Gullekson, Grace Syverson, Madison Sexton, Allie Hafner, Rylea Ranum. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
With 60 athletes wearing the Blue and Red uniform, Decorah will have a host of tracksters ready to qualify for state.
It will be a new duo leading the way for the Vikings. Taking over for Dana Hogan are Christy Nimrod and Brad Johansen, the head girls and boys cross country coaches, respectively.
A fine year
After finishing second in Class 3A in 2015, the Vikings of 2016 had their eyes set on a big showing at state. With 16 returning letter winners, the stage was set for a huge year.
Things came together at the conclusion of the year. For the 12th year in a row, the Vikings claimed the Northeast Iowa Conference title, winning by 75 points. A week later, Decorah picked up another banner. This time, it was the state qualifying title, again winning by over 75 points. In addition, 15 events qualified for the state meet.
It was a weekend to remember for the Vikings. The 4x400 of Katie Perez, Katie Nimrod, Kalle Solberg and Taylor Schuring claimed the 4x400 title. In addition, the distance medley relay of Kayla Quandahl, Solberg, Schuring and Nimrod took second overall. Nimrod claimed the silver in the 400 hurdles. The 4x200 of Rylea Ranum, Quandahl, Rose Gullekson and Solberg put together a bronze-worthy effort. The sprint medley relay (fifth), shuttle hurdle relay (sixth) and 4x800 relay (seventh) also earned points for the Vikes.
Overall, Decorah placed fifth in team standings with 41 points.
Graduating at the end of the season were Perez, Schuring, Solberg, Brianna Doyle, Sierra Grinna, Katelyn Ramstad, Olivia Sandvig, Alexis Steinlage and Monica Tappe.
For the complete story and additional photos, pick up Decorah Newspapers at one of the many convenient locations throughout Decorah and Winneshiek County. Or, for 34 cents an issue, subscribe to Decorah Newspapers by calling (563) 382-4221.
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