Schroeder back at CHS track

‘New’ coach has several state returners


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Chugiak’s Tyler Rohde competes in the 110 meter hurdles during the 2011 Cook Inlet Conference championships. Rohde, a junior, finished fourth in the state last year in the 110 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles.

STAR FILE PHOTO/MATT TUNSETH

After going through nine head coaches in as many seasons, Jon Schroeder is back at the helm of Chugiak High’s track program.

Schroeder served as head coach two years ago, but an injury prevented him from running the program last season. Now, Schroeder is focused on growing the Mustangs’ track and field team.

Schroeder said he wants to stir up excitement at Chugiak, which he said has a deep pool of talent roaming the halls.

“We’re trying to get them to come out and have some fun,” he said. “Try to build the track program back.”

About 65 kids are out for track this year, Schroeder said. He said he’d like to see that number rise to 90 in the future.

The Mustangs started their season March 16-17 at The Scramble at the Dome, an unofficial meet that served as the indoor season opener. Tim Sorensen won the boys’ 1,600-meter and 3,200, and Chris Kveseth took third in the 1,600.

Chugiak’s Savannah Nelson placed third in the girls’ long jump. See full results at www.athletic.net.

Schroeder’s goal is to send 20 athletes to the state meet. The Mustangs have plenty of tracksters with state experience returning this season.

In fact, not one Chugiak senior competed at state in 2011. Junior Tyler Rohde led all Mustangs last year with a second-place finish in the boys’ 300-meter hurdles and was fourth in the 110 hurdles.

Junior Sam Hartke took third in the girls’ 1,600 and junior Dane Prince finished sixth in the boys’ 100 and 200.

Seniors Alex Collins (third in girls’ long jump, sixth in triple jump) and Matthew Keith (fourth in boys’ triple jump) also have state experience.

Keith and Sam Hartke set school records with their state performances last season.

Other key returners include senior Parker Collins and Kveseth, a junior, Schroeder said. Kveseth took eighth in the boys’ 800 last year at state.

Nathan Dennis and Amy Hartke round out a solid group of returners for Chugiak, Schroeder said.

“We’ve got some great kids,” he said.

Schroeder said the team’s seniors are filling key leadership roles.

“I think they’re gonna really help set the attitude and the tone I’m looking for,” he said.

The team’s work in the preseason has been encouraging, Schroeder said.

“The week before spring break, we had some nice practices,” he said.

Schroeder said he’s looking forward to seeing his team compete during meets. Following spring break, he said, it will be time to get more serious and focus on the season.

Chugiak will participate in “The Mini,” the season’s first official meet, on Friday and Saturday, March 23-24 at the Dome.

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