With the resignation of long-time varsity coaches Ben Lamb and John Tackmann following the 2019 track season, St. Croix Central needed two new varsity coaches to start the 2020 track season.

Assistant coaches Mitch Klimek and Rachel Hanson have stepped into those roles. The 2020 track season starts on Monday, March 9, at high schools around Wisconsin.

Klimek and Hanson both began teaching and coaching at Central during the 2018-19 school year. Klimek came to Central after teaching and coaching at Alma Center for six years. He’s a native of Chisago City, Minn. and a graduate of UW-River Falls. Hanson is a 2011 graduate of Baldwin-Woodville, where she still holds the school triple jump record. She attended Winona State University, coming back at the end of each school year to serve as a volunteer coach for the B-W track team. Klimek is a science teacher at the high school, where Hanson is a special education teacher.

Klimek, Hanson and distance coach Bill Emery are the returning members of the coaching staff. New to the coaching staff this season are Justin Yaron (throws), Heather Jourdeans (high jump), Kayla Kelsey (sprints) and David Linsmeyer (pole vault).

The first meet on the Panthers’ schedule is Thursday, March 19, when they host an indoor scrimmage. The Panthers have added an indoor meet to their schedule, competing at UW-Stout on Tuesday, March 24. The Panthers’ annual home meet to start the outdoor season will be held Thursday, April 2.

Klimek and Hanson said with the strengths of the seven coaches, they have all of the areas of the team well covered. They said they plan to continue many of the standards that Lamb and Tackmann used for the team.

The coaches said they are expecting 60-70 athletes out for the team this season. They have selected four seniors who have exhibited strong leadership qualities to serve as the team’s captains. They are Trevor Kopacz, Erik Collins, Morgan Siler and Kolbi Juen.