Spring sports hits the starting block today

Track and field athletes could be found working on fundamentals in the gym and in the hallways at Medford Area Senior High during Monday’s practice. Here, Ty Baker works on his high jump form. Photo by Matt Frey/The Star NewsSami Stolp, the Great Northern Conference girls champion and a state qualifier last year in long and triple jump, sprints down the office hallway while watched by sprint coach Tyler Messman. Photo by Matt Frey/The Star NewsReigning GNC shot put champion Trevor Brehm begins his workout for the day. Photo by Matt Frey/The Star News

Winter will maintain its grip outside for some time in northern Wisconsin, but inside, the prep spring sports season will already get started today, Thursday.
The indoor portion of the track and field season kicks off locally with the Rib Lake Redmen, under the direction of new head coach Jonah Campbell, making their annual trek to the Northland Pines Invitational, and the Gilman Pirates heading to the Neillsville-Granton Invitational.
At Pines, Rib Lake is expecting to compete against the host Eagles, Chequamegon, Three Lakes, Laona-Wabeno and Wittenberg-Birnamwood starting at 4:30 p.m.
In Neillsville, Gilman sees the host team as well as Greenwood, Owen-Withee and Wisconsin Rapids Assumption. Competition starts at 4 p.m.
The Medford Raiders will open their 2019 season Friday at the Tomahawk Indoor Invitational at UW-Eau Claire.
Twelve teams are expected to compete in that 4 p.m. meet.
The next week also features the Marshfield Invitationals that Rib Lake and Medford annually visit. The boys meet is Tuesday, March 19 and the girls meet is Thursday, March 21. Both meets start with field events at 4:30 p.m.
Medford will also send athletes to a meet in Ashland on Tuesday and to the Wausau West Small School Boys Invitational on March 21.
Gilman will compete in the McDonell Central Indoor Invitational at UW-Eau Claire on Tuesday. Twelve teams are also expected to compete in that meet which starts with field events at 4 p.m.
Look for season previews on the county track and field squads in upcoming issues of The Star News. Medford is the defending Great Northern Conference girls champion, while Rib Lake is the defending Marawood North boys champion.

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