By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
The STMA Knights boys track team looks to build on a successful season. Consistency has been the name of the game during head coach Curt Hahn’s near-decade tenure, with the team finishing in second place in the Mississippi 8 during each of his years except one.
2013 was certainly no exception as STMA once again finished second in the conference. The Knights went on to finish second in the section meet and send several athletes to the state meet, including Josh Tracey in the 800 meter event and the 4×1 relay team.
With key athletes Brendan Sage and Brian Ferry gone to college (SDSU and NDSU, respectively), coach Hahn knows he has to find out what he has in some of his younger kids.
“We lost a couple of stud athletes with those kids graduating. It hurts,” he said.
Hahn says he thinks the early season will be a time of experimentation as kids try new events to find a comfort area on the team.
“Right now we’re not really even sure who’s going to be where at this point.”
Hahn said a track athlete needs both mental and physical toughness in order to succeed at a high level. He said there are not too many track athletes who have had success without working really hard for it. He stresses these aspects of the sports as a coach.
Hahn also said he learned early in his career at STMA that a team needs depth to have the most success.
“You can’t just have one good 100 runner; you need five. You can’t have one stud 800 runner to be good; you need the same thing, four or five.”
Hahn’s favorite part of coaching is figuring out how to place kids where they need to be to achieve success. He also likes how athletes have potential for improvement in every single meet.
“Even if you’re the fifth best 800 runner, whenever they go to a meet, they’re competing against themselves to be better.”
Ultimately, Hahn said the team will need to improve a lot during the season. Last season, the Knights knew what they had early in the year, and it is completely different this season, he said.
“I think this year is really going to be a year of improvement for kids and kids who haven’t been out for track and field before just to do the best job they can do and see where they fit in and see where they can help out the program.”
The Knights open the season Friday, March 21, against Anoka in an indoor meet at STMA.