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FP track teams set for new year

CRYSTAL FALLS—While the Forest Park boys and girls track teams suffered their fair share of graduation losses, both have standout athletes returning for the 2019 campaign.
    On the boys side, Mason Rintala leads the group as he returns for his sophomore season after earning the Trojans’ only points at the Division 3 U.P. Finals last June. Rintala finished fifth in the 1,600 in that meet to score the two points and also took eighth in the 3,200. Previously, Rintala took second in both events in the Skyline Central Conference championships.
    Other returners who competed in the U.P. Finals by virtue of their performances in the regional meet include senior Max Nylund (200, long jump, 800 relay) junior Daniel Franz (110 hurdles) and sophomores Tommy Showers (110, 300 hurdles) and Hunter Reed (100, 400 relay).
    Forest Park figures to get a boost from senior Dawson Bongi, who earned 12 points in the Division 2 U.P. Finals while competing for West Iron County. Bongi took third in the 300 low hurdles, fourth in the 110 high hurdles and fifth in the long jump.
    “We have a group of motivated student-athletes that are working hard towards continuing the values and pride of Forest Park track and field,” said coach Erich Ziegler.
    On the girls side, senior distance runner Taylor Clark and junior hurdler/sprinter Mercedes Simmons will lead the 14-athlete Trojan contingent.
    Clark finished seventh in the 1,600 and eighth in the 3,200 in the U.P. Finals, while Simmons finished eighth in the 300 low hurdles and 10th in the 110 high hurdles.
    Clark, along with sophomore Amaya Johnson, scored points in the Skyline Central Conference meet as part of the 3200-relay team which finished third.

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