Saturday, May 30, 2020

Senior spotlight: Triton track and field

There are eight seniors on the Triton track and field team that lost their last high school season. To do our part to help make up for that loss we are going to give each of them the spotlight one more time.

Kendra Petersohn

            Kendra competes in sprints, hurdles and relays for the Cobras and is a six-year letter-winner.

            She has been a multiple-time section qualifier, and holds JH school records in the 200 and 300 hurdles as well as the 4x400, and varsity school records in the 4x800 and 1600-meter medley relays.

            Her Head Coach Kim Swanson said her signature race has become the 300 hurdles, though she came into the season ranked in the top two for the Cobras in al sprint and hurdle events.

            “She has been a solid force and varsity contributor since her 7th grade year, and has been a consistent leader and role model on and off the track. Her teammates look to her and try to emulate her work ethic and drive for success. Her commitment to academics and athletics sets her apart from many, and will serve her well as she heads to Gustavus Adolphus next year and joins their basketball team,” she said.

            Her teammate Ethan Lau said, “Kendra is always very positive and will congratulate you after your race, she is a great leader for younger team members because of how she makes people feel welcome in the team.”

Adrian Martinez

            Adrian competes in sprints and relays for the Cobras and is a three-year letter-winner despite joining the varsity team as a sophomore.

            Swanson said Adrian’s primary events were the 100 and 200, as well as the sprint relays. He came into the season leading the Cobras in the 100 and second in the 200.

            “He proved to be an indispensable team member for the last few years. We were excited to see what he could do this spring as he came off a great soccer season in the fall,” she said. “Adrian has great athletic ability and always brought a positive attitude to track. He isn’t afraid to work hard to be ready to perform at his best. He’s ready to enter the work force after high school to explore career options.”

            His teammate Kendra Petersohn said, “Adrian is quick and uses his knowledge in other sports to be faster.”

Ethan Lau

            Ethan competed in hurdles and relays for the Cobras and is a six-year letter-winner.

            “He entered the season with great 110 and 300 hurdle marks from last year, and was poised to continue to drop those times as well as be a solid contributor to the sprint relays,” Swanson said.


            Before joining the team in seventh grade, she said he participated via community education for four to five years before that.

            “Ethan is one of the most hard-working members of the Triton track and field team,” she said.

            His years of hard work paid off as he made several appearances at the Section meet.

            In addition to demonstrating strong work ethic, Swanson said he was a leader by example.

            “He made his mark on our program with his drive and quiet leadership,” she said. “Ethan’s presence will be greatly missed, but we’re excited to see him pursue a degree in engineering at South Dakota State.”

Kiefen Link

            Kiefen competes in distance races and is a four-year letter-winner after joining the team in ninth grade.

Swanson said he quickly found his niche as a distance runner and team hype man.

She added that he and a few other athletes started a “Track Club” at school to work out together in the winter.

Those winter workouts paid dividends as she said he really developed as a runner over the past couple years.

“Kiefen really came on in his junior season and was poised to drop his mile time close to the 5:00 mark. He trained all winter after coming off a great cross country season, and went to a few USA Track and Field meets this winter to further prepare for a great spring,” she said.

When the team reconvenes next spring, she’ll miss his passion.

“We’re going to miss his energy and enthusiasm next year as he continues his adventure at St. Thomas to pursue a medical career,” she said.

Aydan Round

            Aydan competes in sprints, relays and throws and is a six-year letter-winner.

            Swanson said he tops the Cobra stat charts in the shot put, discus, and the 200. He’s second on the team in the 100.

            His “great success on the track and in the field”, she said, comes from a strong work ethic.

            “His work ethic is awesome, and he’s a kid who always seems to have a smile on his face,” she said.

            His positivity lends itself to being an unselfish and helpful team member.

“He’s always willing to step in and compete wherever he was needed. He has even helped coach some of his shot and discus teammates when a coach wasn’t available to be there at practice,” Swanson said.

            Lau added, “Aydan is a good teammate because he is always ready to do the workouts and improve. He also leads the stretches often and is a great example to younger teammates of correct form.”


            Aydan is off to Dakota Wesleyan and plans to continue his athletic career on the football field.

Tristin Stroebl

            Tristin compets in throws and is a six-year letter-winner for the Cobras.

            Swanson said he has worked his way to become a contributor in the shot put and discus and has increased his distances each year.

            Those annual increases, she said, are the result of the time and effort he’s put into becoming better.

            “Tristin isn’t afraid of hard work, and wasn’t afraid to encourage his teammates to develop that work ethic, as well,” she said.

            Due to that work ethic, she was eager to see what he would accomplish this season.

“His best distances in both the shot and disc came last year and we were excited to see those marks continue to improve his senior season,” she said.

            In addition to being a strong thrower, Lau said he’s a strong teammate too.

            “Tristin is a good teammate because he is a fun person to be around. He is a good role model for younger team members as he is always able to give advice and show the ropes,” he said.

Tristin’s leadership will come in handy as Swanson said he’s poised to join the Marine Corps after graduation.

Dakota Hackensmith

            Dakota competes in sprints and relays and is a three-year letter-winner after joining the team as a sophomore.

            “I have been incredibly impressed with his coachability and desire to improve,” Swanson said.

            His desire to improve has propelled him to becoming a much-improved runner.

“We have seen great strides in his confidence and athletic ability through his hard work on the track,” she said. “It was fun to watch him tackle challenges and drop his times – especially in the 400 – his junior season, and I couldn’t wait to see the improvements he would make this year.”

In spite of his hard work, Swanson said he always remained positive.

“Dakota is a young man that seems to always have a smile on his face and was excited every time that his personal records were improved,” she said.

Petersohn added that Dakota is a supportive teammate and wants the best for the team.

Swanson said he plans to stay in the community and join the workforce.

Cristian Munoz

            Cristian competes in throws and is a three-year letter-winner after joining the track and field team as a sophomore.

            “Though the first week of practice was really hard for the new athlete, he quickly took to the sport and has been a huge part of the Cobra track family ever since,” Swanson said.

Lau said he’s been a big part of the team due to his competitiveness and supporting his teammates.        

“Cristian is always trying to get better. If you don’t have a stretching partner, you can ask him. He is a great role model because he is always working his hardest,” he said.

Swanson agreed that Cristian’s strong work ethic was evident.

“I love Cris’ work ethic and his support of his teammates. I also loved that I could always count on him to be smiling,” she said.

She mentioned that his hard work and positive attitude paid off in the field.

“Cris had steady gains in his shot and disc techniques and distances during his tenure as a track athlete, and his presence will definitely be missed next year,” she said.

            After graduation, Swanson said he plans to attend barber school.


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