Sydnie Mauch picked up throwing so quickly in her first year in track and field that she wound up qualifying for the state meet and placing ninth in the Class 2A shot put.
The Brainerd High School junior has continued to progress in this season’s first three meets. She has won the shot put twice and finished second once. In addition, she has placed in the top five in high jump and discus.
Mauch attributes her throwing ability to weightlifting.
“I think a lot of it is strength,” she said. “I already had a background in lifting weights, and I’ve been working with coach (Dan) Clabo and (Mike) Langer. There are a few things I still need to work on but I hope to eventually get there and hopefully throw quite a bit farther.”
Mauch was a student of Clabo’s and he talked her into trying out for the sport.
“The first meet I think she threw right around 24 feet,” Clabo said. “In practice I could see things were going really good and she popped a couple. She was a little nervous her first meet, but ended the end year at the state meet throwing (37 feet, 7.75 inches).”
In the season-opening Huskie High School Classic at St. Cloud State University, Mauch finished second in shot put (36-5.5) and fifth in high jump (4-6).
“My goal was to throw about 38 feet,” Mauch said. “It went pretty well. Indoors you usually do better. Once you get outside it gets tougher.”
In the Central Lakes Conference indoor meet, also at SCSU, Mauch won the shot put at 40-3, placing her third on Brainerd’s honor roll (top 15 in program history), and finished third in high jump (4-10).
“I’m working on getting stronger and working on my form,” she said. “I’ve set a lot higher goals for myself this year. I would like to beat the school record (42-8 set in 2004 by Maria Swanson).”
At last week’s Sauk Rapids Time Trials, Mauch won the shot put (37-6), tied for first in high jump (4-10) with teammate Ashley Hauble and placed fourth in discus (88-10).
“High jump was a little bit tougher because of the wind and it was kind of cold,” Mauch said. “Freshman Ashley Hauble tied for first so it was a good day for both of us.
“For shot put, my goal was 38 feet, but I didn’t quite get it. Again, outdoor meets are tougher because of the weather.”
Clabo, a throwing coach before becoming head coach in 2008, attributes Mauch’s success to being a gifted athlete — she’s also a standout in volleyball.
“She’s just a good athlete, no doubt about that,” he said. “As she gets stronger, look out. Strength will help her a lot in volleyball as well. She could hit that much farther (in volleyball) as well as throw that much farther (in track).
“It will be interesting to see where she ends up this year, and I’m looking forward to having her next year and see where she goes.”
Mauch believes high jumping helps her in volleyball.
“High jumping is kind of a side thing for me,” she said. “Shot put and discus are my main things. I do high jump to keep my vertical up for volleyball.”
Earning all-state honors last year has motivated Mauch.
“Based on that I’ve kind of set my goals higher,” she said. “I started track to have something to do, keep in shape, spend time with friends, meet new people. The competitive side of me boosted my goals. I hope to place in the top five in the state this year.”
Other notable efforts:
• Mitch McLain, baseball, went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI against Moorhead.
• Ashley Tibbetts, softball, was 3-for-3 with two RBIs against Alexandria.
• Nikki Anderson, softball, struck out 11 in a one-hit shutout against Alexandria.
• Jacob Kassulker, boys track and field, won the shot put and discus at Sauk Rapids.
• Toni Terwilliger, girls track and field, won the discus and pole vault at Sauk Rapids.
MIKE BIALKA may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at