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NTN Profile: Hopkins Girls TC

Published by
Scott Bush   on Jun 27 2010, 02:36 PM

Nike Track Nationals

Hopkins TC (MN)

Team Website / NTN Profile

Top Athletes: Taylor Anderson (sprints & jumps), Bridget Sweeney (sprints), Grace Gerring (hurdles & jumps), Lindsey Kaufmann (throws), Hannah Borowsky (distances) and Therese Bredemus (pole vault).

Team Strengths: Hopkins follows the lead of their big three of Taylor Anderson, Bridget Sweeney and Grace Gerring.  Anderson is a sprinter/jumper, who is one of the top ranked 100m runners in the field, while Gerring is a tremendous talent in the hurdles and jumps.  Sweeney is one of the top 400m runners at Nike Track Nationals, and should be looking to score some very big points for her squad.

Key to Success: This squad is very strong on the track, as well as many of the field events.  The one area where they can really pick up some points is in the throws.  Lindsey Kaufmann leads the way for the squad in the shot put and discus, and if she can throw a few feet farther in the discus and a few inches in the shot put (compared to her top marks of the season), that will give Hopkins a very big boost towards challenging for a top six finish.

Q&A with Coach Nick Lovas

NTN: Your team rolled through the competition in Minnesota this year.  How do you feel they will respond to the increased competition in one week at Nike Track Nationals?

Nick Lovas (NL): We knew going into the season back in March that we had the makings of a pretty special team.  During the season we were posting incredible times in April that we haven't been used to seeing until mid-May.  As coaches we needed to see the girls respond to the challenge of not peaking too soon and not allowing complacency to set in.  They far exceeded my expectations - especially considering we had several major contributors on our team that were 14-16 years old.  

The six girls who qualified for Nike Nationals are excited to have this opportunity to continue their season and compete at historic Hayward Field.  Especially for our Seniors - Grace Gerring and Lindsey Kaufmann.  This is a great way to culminate their record-breaking careers and all they've done for our program.  Kayla Goeman dropped 2 seconds from her 800m PR to earn the trip to Eugene; if she runs her race she could run in the 2:17's.  Therese Bredemus vaulted her way to being our Conference Champion and broke our school record in the process; then she kept raising the bar and broke it again before being award the gold medallion.  She's ready to break the 10' barrier.  

Each of them had their best days when the meet was the most competitive.  I think the girls realize that they will be very competitive in this meet; especially Bridget Sweeney who is ranked #5 All-Time in MN history in the 400m. It looks like she'll be seeded #2 in the 400m and is ready for the national stage.

NTN: Your squad this year is incredibly young.  How has your team's youth helped the squad succeed in the way you have?

NL: If you only look at the grade that each girl is in then yes, we do look young.  However, we didn't perform like a young team because even our youngest girls are veterans of the sport and competition.  Taylor Anderson, just completing her freshman year, will be running the 100 and High Jumping at Nike Nationals is one of these young veterans who contributed greatly to our success.  

Only three of the 16 girls that scored points for us at the State Meet were seniors so we're excited about the prospects returning in 2011.  When you have that many young athletes who contribute to your team's success you really rely great leadership and the veteran presence of those juniors and seniors.  It's these upperclassmen that understand the culture and expectations.  Just as in some years past our upperclassman stepped up and provided great leadership.

I really think that the youth of our team is a sign that we can continue this strong trend for years to come and that in a few years our young athletes today will be able to mentor those young girls that will be following them.

NTN: Hopkins placed first in the 4x1, 4x2 and 4x4 at the Minnesota State T&F Championships, as well as third in the 4x8.  Is it a goal of yours to have strong relays? How does this help the team outside of simply scoring more points?

NL: Every year when we prepare for the last four weeks of our season, and see the Conference Championships, Sections Championships and State Meet, as coaches we list "qualifying all four relays for the State Meet" as our #1 goal.  I like the competition it creates within the team and sense of pride that goes with being a Hopkins Relay Member.  

The challenge for us is that each year we inevitably have more than 4 girls who are either fast enough, great with a baton, or usually a combination of both.  Only having 4 spots to fill per relay when you have 6-8 deserving athletes is a problem; but it truly is a great problem to have.  I also like the ways that relays have a tendency to accelerate team chemistry development. Everyone wants to be a state champion - it's a whole lot of fun when you can do it with your teammates and closest friends.  

Most years a team can place in the top 3 at the MN State Meet by scoring 40 points.  When you have competitive relays you can score a lot of points even if you don't have the elite athletes. It's not always the 4 fastest girls that win a relay race; it's whichever 4 can get the baton to the finish line first.  Our coaching staff does a tremendous job every year and Hopkins has become known around the state for our relays  You saw us set 2 MN All-Time State Records this year at the State Meet in the 4x2 and 4x4 - a great testament to our exceptional athletes and the work of my assistant coaches.

NTN: What are the team's goals heading into Nike Track Nationals on July 2?

NL: The one thing they'd like to do as a team is improve upon their US#15 ranking. It'd be great to finish in the Top 10.  All the girls going are school record holders; I'm waiting to order our new record board signs until after NTN just in case...

 

 

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History for Hopkins High School Track & Field and Cross Country - Minnetonka, Minnesota
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