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Senior girls finish successful Tiger track & field careers

    Six Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta girls can boast successful careers with the Tiger track and field team, capped off in 2013 with the West Central Conference trophy.

    It’s been 18 years since the Tigers last brought this one home. This season was also the first year that the conference included 10 teams.

    The Tigers had several other accomplishments this season. For the third straight year, the Tigers were runners-up at the true team meet. They were champs at the sub-section meet for the second year in a row. This season, the Tigers placed fourth at the section meet, after taking first last year. The Tigers took first at their home meet and at the Ortonville meet.

    “Overall, the girls did super,” said coach Mark Ekren. “Their attitude and work ethic was awesome.”

    The Tigers managed to have a good season despite the unusually long winter.

    “This was the weirdest track season in my 27 years of coaching,” Ekren explained.

    The Tigers practiced for six and a half weeks before they were finally able to compete in a meet.

    While the seniors had a big part in all of this success, they can also be proud of their individual accomplishments.

    “They came out and did their things,” said Ekren.

    MaKenzie Smith placed eighth in the 3200-meter run at the state meet this year, breaking the school record in this event with a time of 11:33.13.

    “She was a great leader for the young kids.”    

    In her two years in track and field, Katie Holzheimer made two trips to the state meet, missing the finals this year by a fraction of a second.

    “I like to call her the work horse,” said Ekren. “She was slowed down by an ankle injury in basketball, but it didn’t stop her.”

    Holzheimer and Smith were each all-conference in three events this season.

    “I appreciate everything they did for our program,” said Ekren. “I’m going to miss these girls and their smiley faces.”

    Cassey Hickman was on the team for three years.

    “She worked hard at hurdles,” said Ekren. “A lot of injuries really slowed her down.”

    Courtney Gades focused on the high jump this season.

    “She was very consistent,” Ekren said. “She worked hard.”

    Miranda Day ended her career with a personal-best shot put throw of 33-11.5, missing state by half of an inch.

    “She really progressed. She set her goals high,” Ekren said.

    Elizabeth Schneider was in the program all six years.

    “She was a great leader on and off the track.”