Four S-B runners set pace on elite team
After all, the Suttons Bay head coach had an inkling of what it might be like having a quartet of Norsemen — seniors Caleb Korson and Nick Kiessel, junior Guy Beachnau and sophomore Ken Pease — named to the inaugural 10-person Enterprise Dream Team featuring trackmen and golfers.
“Ask me in a couple of years, we’ll be there,” Smith said. “We have the talent if we can grow the attitude in Suttons Bay that it takes.
“We will have 10 people deserving spring All-Star recognition.”
Smith, who was surprised with the sudden emergence of depth on his track and field team, was equally thrilled that his quartet was among the Dream Team. Athletes in track and field and golf were nominated by their coaches and voted to the elite team by the Enterprise sports staff.
Glen Lake’s No. 1 golfer, junior Mike O’Brien, was chosen in the elite group along with St. Mary golfers Paul Bardenhagen and Joel Sneed. Bardenhagen and Sneed, Leland students who shared top medalist honors for the Division 4 state championship team, were also named All-State. See story, page 13.
Glen Lake track stars Nick Butts and Parker Kokowicz were also named to the Dream Team.
Kiessel was a regional champion in the 400 and ran on state qualifying relays. Korson, a long distance runner, and Pease, an 800 runner, were also on state qualifying relays. Beachnau was a state qualifier in the 110 hurdles, but did not run after crashing at the finish line in regionals.
Smith is expecting Beachnau to pick up where he left off.
“Guy did everything he could to get to the finals. He gave it his all in the regional, leaning at the finish in an incredible race,” Smith said. “I realized at state’s just how much Guy was hurt.”
Beachnau’s absence at the Northwest Conference meet also dropped the Norse from being runners-up to finishing third, Smith said.
Pease, a converted open 800 runner, did not pick up a single award at the track banquet. But Smith was pleased to see him honored on the Dream Team.
“Ken was the cornerstone of the team. His work ethic is the only reason our 4x8, 4x2 and 4x4 relays got to states,” Smith said. “I was impressed with his ability.
While Smith will get Beachnau and Pease back next season, he will miss the senior leadership of Kiessel and Korson.
Korson ran what Smith called the distance quad — the 3200 relay and the open 800, 1600 and 3200.
“Caleb was just a horse and we saddled him up when we needed to score some points,” Smith said. “He was incredible and will to do whatever we asked.”
Kiessel had one of the most uncoachable talents — desire.
“Nick is very talented and he had more of a desire to win than anybody I’ve coached,” Smith said.
Smith said he was glad to see the Enterprise select a Dream Team.
“I think anytime you are able to do some stuff to recognize the elite athletes and what they’ve done, it’s always a positive,” he said.