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Track and Field

Christian track and field squads feature experience, depth

Ipswich’s Dylan Owens, center, leads Aberdeen Christian’s Abe Kretchman, left, during a boys 55 meter dash prelim at the NSU Fuller Invite. In the background in the heat are Warner’s Carter Moen, back far left and Alex Pudwill, back right, and Estelline/Hendricks’ Colton Hendricks. Photo by John Davis taken 3/25/2021

It has already been a memorable athletic year for Aberdeen Christian and now the Knights will be hoping to add more memories during the track and field season.

Christian set a school record for volleyball wins, the girls finished runner-up at the State B cross country meet, the girls’ basketball team reached the SoDak 16, and the boys just finished runner-up at the State B boys’ basketball tournament.

“There’s a lot of momentum going forward,” said Christian Coach David Rohrbach.

Many of the athletes involved in those other sports are out for track and field.

That means that the distance runners will be the cornerstone of the girls’ track and field squad.

“The distance girls are really good. They really set a good tone at practice. They’re pretty versatile. A lot of them can run different races,” Rohrbach said. “They’re definitely experienced and coming off a good cross country season. We kind of expect them to have a good track season.”

That group features the likes of Hailey Moeller, Kira Goldade, Rachel Beaner, Kathryn Steger and Grace Steger.

“All of them can run,” Rohrbach said. “They’re all really good distance runners, but they can all bring something different. They all can get points in different races, too, which is kind of cool.”

Christian will also count on points from Faith Nell in the shot put.

The boys will be led by Ben Rohl, who won three individual events last week at an indoor meet at the Barnett Center.

“We knew he was fast,” Rohrbach said. “He was good as we thought he’d be. He’s actually better.”

Rohl will also likely be part of a relay squad or two as well.

“We’re really excited to put together some relays, too. We think we have some fast boys there,” Rohrbach said. “We think we can really get some extra points there.”

Another key member is Abe Kretchman, who can score in multiple events.

“He’s a really good jumper as well. He’s very versatile,” Rohrbach said. “He’s a really good runner in his own right. I’m sure he’ll be a part of our relays as well. He’s a really good track athlete.”

Most of the boys’ basketball members are also out for track, which should give the Knights some added depth in addition to individuals who bring a variety of skill sets.

“It’s a very athletic group. They just love to compete,” Rohrbach said.

One of those athletes, Andrew Brennan, has a background in an event that the Knights have very little experience in.

“He’s a good pole vaulter. We’re going to have to look into that,” Rohrbach said. “I know that he’s fast.”

Rohrbach liked what he saw in the team’s initial outing a week ago.

“I thought it went really well. That first meet you’re never completely sure what to expect,” Rohrbach said. “I thought across the board that our kids really competed well.”

The number of participants is up for both the girls’ and boys’ teams this spring and so are the expectations. The Knights have had some state placewinners in the past, but are now looking at being able to make some noise as a team.

“We definitely had some good individuals,” Rohrbach said of past seasons. “ I think this will be our most well-rounded team our school’s ever had.”

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