Out of the blocks
Martha Kupfer has the Marshfield girls track team off to a quick start
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — A strong group of middle distance runners and triple jumpers has Marshfield girls track coach Dan Akin excited for the 2015 season.
A year after qualifying for the WIAA state meet in the 400 meters, senior Martha Kupfer leads a group of Marshfield athletes that are off to a solid start during the indoor track season.
Kupfer began the season with a third-place finish in the triple jump and took sixth in the 800 at a very competitive Point Invitational at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point two weeks ago. She has followed that up with a second place in the 220 at the Tigers’ home indoor invitational and the meet’s top triple jump (33 feet, 5 ¼ inches) at the Tiger Girls Indoor Relays on Tuesday.
Kupfer, along with Courtney Brown, Meg Bryan, and Ashley Holubets, won the half-mile relay, and with Alexa Aumann taking the spot of Bryan, that team was second in the mile relay Tuesday night for the Tigers.
“I think we’re pretty strong with our quarter-milers and middle distance,” Akin said. “Martha, she’s a special kid—Ashley Holubets, Meg Bryan, Courtney Brown, some kids like Alexa Aumann, very talented.”
Bryan, a freshman, won the triple jump at the home invitational on March 26 with a jump of 33-7 ¼ and was second to Kupfer on Tuesday in the event.
Senior Olivia Tierney has excelled thus far in the sprints on an individual and relay level.
One aspect Akin is concerned about is the field events, other than possibly the triple jump. A number of young athletes will have to continue to improve in other events for Marshfield to compete at a high level.
“Our field events (are) a work in progress,” Akin said. “We have our work cut out for us in the shot put and pole vault. The high jump should be pretty solid when we get (sophomore) Stephanie Rhodes back next week. I’m excited to see what she can do.”
Marshfield will compete in its final indoor meet at the Wisconsin Valley Conference Indoors at UW-Stevens Point on April 14 before competing in its first of four regular-season outdoor meets at D.C. Everest on April 24.
With a short outdoor season that lasts only four weeks, Akin said the Tigers have to adjust quickly. The conference meet is May 19 with regionals and sectionals the following week. This year’s WIAA State Meet will be at UW-La Crosse on June 5-6.
“It’s been an exciting first third of the season,” Akin said. “We saw some good things (Tuesday) from a number of kids. We have some depth on the track. It’s the field we really have to work on.
“For the varsity it’s barely six weeks outdoors. We keep training when we don’t have meets, and we’re training through a lot of these meets. We have to be a little more creative (practicing around the city) since we don’t have a track. We try to get on some soft surfaces. We’ve been lucky this year with the weather so far.”
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email email@example.com.