2010-11 Fall Sports Preview: Celebrating their successesNow that Math and Science Academy has found itself on the State stage, cross-country and track coach Daniel Scheff would like the Dragons to become a regular visitor to the top level of competition in Minnesota.
By: Tom Carothers, Bulletin Newspapers, South Washington County Bulletin
Last autumn, Jacob Siekmeier became the first student-athlete from Math and Science Academy to compete at state as the Dragons freshman ran in the Class A State Cross-Country Meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
Just over six months later, Jacob’s sister Greta also qualified for State as she competed in the Class A State Track and Field meet at Hamline University in St. Paul.
Now that MSA has found itself on the State stage, cross-country and track coach Daniel Scheff would like the Dragons to become a regular visitor to the top level of competition in Minnesota.
“That definitely accomplished a goal for us,” Scheff said of the Siekmeier’s state appearances. “It’s one of our goals again this year – we’d like to get a boy and a girl to state and from there have a team go to state.”
“We would like to have MSA represented every season at a state meet.”
Both Jacob and Greta return this year for their sophomore and eighth-grade seasons, respectively, as well as the eldest Siekmeier sibling, Aren, who is a MSA senior.
Aren Siekmeier serves as this season’s boys co-captain with classmate Kyle Osborne. The Siekmeiers, Osborne and freshman Shawn Ramberg combine to form the backbone of the 2010 Dragons boys squad.
Co-captaining the girls are seniors Emily Schroeder and Kozy Hannula, both five-year veterans of the team and are back for their final high school runs. On the other end of the spectrum are Greta Siekmeier and fellow eighth-grader Elise Lohmann.
The duo are the same age now as Schroeder and Hannula were when the elder pair ran for the inaugural MSA cross-country team.
Scheff said that he hopes that the successes of the older MSA runners will create a standard for future Dragons to follow.
“We want to create a tradition of success here, a tradition that can be passed along to younger runners and give them something to emulate,” he said.
As for this year’s club, the numbers are looking good – although there’s always room for more.
“We’re at 30 total, with 17 boys and 13 girls,” Scheff said. “We are trying to get some more kids to come out; we have some nice depth and good competition for varsity spots, which is nice.”
The coach said he looks forward to the team’s two biggest meets of the season: a Sept. 12 run at the Lakeville Applejack Invitational and a Sept. 25 turn at the Roy Griak Invite at the University of Minnesota.
“It will be good to see how we stack up against the top-ranked teams,” he said. “It should be a good season. The kids are in good shape.”
The same can be said about the MSA cross-country running program in general.