The Roseville Area High School girls track and field team capped off the 2013 season with a 15th-place finish in the team standings at the state meet. The Raiders ended up with 21 team points and got most of those from a state champion and a third-place relay team.
This year’s squad might not have as much high-end talent as the team did a year ago, but head coach Greg Ueland feels the 2014 team is deeper.
“I feel like we’re going to be in a really good situation,” said Ueland. “We might not have those prototypical superstars that a lot of track teams use but we have a lot of depth. Our depth has greatly improved over the last couple of years.”
Part of the improvement depth-wise has to do with an increase in the number of girls out for the team. Over the past few seasons, the roster has been in the 80s but this year it is up over 90. Another factor helping out is that the team has strong freshman and sophomore athletes.
“I am cautiously optimistic,” Ueland said. “It’s just been a great group of girls with their work ethic and focus and positive attitude.”
Roseville will also use its depth to fill some holes left by some of last year’s seniors like Sammy Nielsen, who won the state championship in the 800 meters.
“Sammy and some of the other seniors from last year are just irreplaceable,” said Ueland. “That group of seniors really left their mark on the Roseville record book.”
The open running races and the relays look to be strong for Roseville this spring and there is some talent in the throws. The rest of the field events and the hurdle events are question marks as the season begins.
Some current athletes who could find their way into the record book include senior Carolyn Brisbois. She had solid cross country and Nordic ski campaigns and has one final track season with the Raiders. She went to state last year in the 3,200 meters and also runs the 1,600 and some relays.
Another returning state entrant from last year is junior Monica Burich, who qualified for state in the discus. Senior Katie Pascale came close to joining Burich at state but ended up third in the section in the discus.
Three members of Roseville’s third-place 4x100-meter relay team return and could challenge again at state with a new fourth runner. Seniors Khadijah Pierce and Emily Edman and junior Sophia Miliotis recorded the second-fastest 4x100 time in last year’s state meet.
Senior Tia McKinney is new to Roseville’s team but is a seasoned track veteran. She joins the Raiders after running last year at North St. Paul, where she won a Classic Suburban Conference title in the 200-meter dash. She is also a solid triple jumper.
As far as team goals go, Ueland listed three. He would like to see his team finish in the top half of the Suburban East Conference, finish in the top three at the section meet and get as many girls as possible to the state meet.
Roseville has a pair of outdoor events scheduled for this week. Stillwater is holding a scrimmage on Tuesday and Roseville is competing in a meet at Cambridge-Isanti on Friday.
Brian Meyers can be reached at email@example.com .