Bring on spring; Viking tracksters have sights on second straight NEIC crown
Thursday, March 16, 2017 2:39 PM
Attitude will be everything for the Decorah boys track team this season.
Returning letter winners for the Decorah boys track team are, from left, front row - Brendan Numedahl, Michael DeVore, Zach DeVore, Blake Schmelzer, Dawson Meyer, Shawn Shindelar, Jacob Roher. Back row - Logan Monteith, Jackson Varney, Dawson Holkesvik, Michael Bruening, Andy Lillegraven, Adam Hovden, Jarod Phillips, Tyler Vande Lune. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
With a good group of senior leaders ready to take over and a large collection of underclassmen ready to add to Decorah’s storied history, things look bright for the Vikings to repeat as Northeast Iowa Conference champions.
Leading the squad is Head Coach Joel Rollinger. He is in his 18th year as the head coach and 32nd overall with the program. He will be joined by Bill Post (37 years experience) and Dale Wilharm (36 years experience).
A year in review
With 25 returning letter winners and 15 seniors, experience was the key to success for the Vikings in 2016.
That experience proved important during the season, as the Vikings were battle tested by a strong schedule and a challenging spring weather-wise.
For the first time since 2013, the Viking boys rang the victory bell, winning the Northeast Iowa Conference title by 46 points. They scored in 17-of-18 events, winning the ninth title in school history.
At the state qualifying meet, Decorah came in second place behind Vinton-Shellsburg. In total, nine events qualified for state.
On the Blue Oval of state, Decorah came in 34th with four points. Senior Garrett Wise claimed fifth in the discus. Other results include: Adam Hovden, 10th in the discus; Andy Lillegraven, 17th in the shot put; Shawn Shindelar, 15th in the high jump; Andrew Larson, 18th in the 3200; shuttle hurdle relay (Cole Mincks, Jacob Roher, Jackson Varney, Lane Rahlf), eighth in 1:00.96; Gabe Varney, 21st in the 400 hurdles; the distance medley relay (Drake Bauer, Shindelar, Garret Hemesath, Bryce Hosting), 18th in 3:45.08; and Tim Meyer, 17th in the 800.
Decorah graduated 15 seniors at the end of the season, with 36 total track letters. Graduating were Wise, Hosting, G. Varney, Bauer, Rahlf, Meyer, Mincks, Larson, Hemesath, Robert Smedsrud, Thomas Pecinovsky, Dallas Matt, Ben Dugger, Brad Corrigan and Justin Adam.
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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