Running towards victory: Rocket track team hopes to bring home the gold

After a high-ranking, state qualifying, and personal PR making season of last year, the runners of 2016 look to replicate this honorable achievement as a whole, with hopes of even advancing further than before.

The team has been practicing since November when the optional conditioning began. With mandatory training beginning earlier this March, the team is truly “kickin it” to prepare themselves for the season- a season with lots of promise to live up to. The season officially starts April 1, with members dedicating every day after school to lace up and practice.

First-year science teacher and former McNicholas runner and State Champ Cat Lest is taking on the role of first-year coach. “Taking on the role of a first year coach of both men’s and women’s track was a daunting task. However, I receive excellent support from my assistant coaches, all of whom are extremely experienced with the sport of track and field and have already taught me a lot about coaching.”

This year the Rockets are joined in staff by McNick Hall of Famer Jamie Roflow Wilmers coaching the distance team. For the first time in many years, McNick also has a high jump coach, Ryan Lest, husband of Cat Lest.

Coach Cat Lest said, “My main goal is to start a program that focuses on building up an individual’s confidence, character, and of course strength and speed. We have a lot of talent on this team another goal I have is to see some relays and individual events qualify to the Regional & State meets.”

Senior Jonathan Wenzel can second this. “So far the season has gone very well. Coach Lest has done a great job in getting us ready to compete. The guys have high hopes for our 4×100 and 4×200 meter relay teams. We missed qualification for the regional meet by one place in the 4×200 last year. We didn’t lose any guys on that team from last year so our chances of making it this year look good. My main goal for the season is to set a new school record in the 4×200. As of last year we were only 3 seconds off the school record and I have faith we can beat it this year,” Wenzel said.

Senior Emily Tekulve warms up for practice, taking a few laps around the field. Tekulve has dedicated the past four years to the track team, and her favorite memory took place sophomore year coming in first for the 4×100 relay at Districts and moving on to Regionals.


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