Athlete of the week: Allie Kratzke, Zimmerman, dance team: Best foot forward
by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Allie Kratzke had an unusual decision to make five years ago. Should she pursue dance team, or hockey, in high school? Those are two disciplines that seldom converge, but such was the case for Allie and her identical twin, Abby, now Zimmerman seniors and both in three sports.
ZHS dance team coach Jenessa Kraus is delighted that Allie chose to put her best foot forward in dancing shoes. Just as Elk River-Zimmerman hockey coach Joe Heasley is glad Abby chose skates, but that’s another story.
“My sister and I were in dance studio from about four to about seven, and then we played hockey,” said Allie. “In eighth grade we had to choose. Dance clicked for me, from the beginning. Dancing is super fun, and it’s something I wanted to do individually, on my own.”
The 5-foot-4, 130-pound athlete has lettered in track and dance since eighth grade, and in soccer as a senior. She has been dance co-captain for two years, and was all-conference and team jazz MVP last year.
“Allie is an excellent all-around athlete, an awesome dancer, great student, and a great leader,” said Kraus.
Strong and fluid at 5-foot-4 and 130-pounds, Kratzke emanates grace, precision and power in her turns, kicks and leaps.
“She likes to work hard and compete hard,” said Kraus. “She is all about going the extra mile to be successful. She is a very outgoing and happy person and she gets he girls excited to dance and work hard.”
Asked what it takes to be a good team dancer, Allie said, “You have to put in all your heart and soul. A whole bunch of dedication. It’s basically my life! I practice every day; the only day off is Sunday. It’s hard, but it’s always fun.”
The Thunder have been conference runner-up behind Rogers for several years. This year they’re in third place with St. Cloud Cathedral joining.
Kratzke’s career highlight is easy to pick out. “We finally beat Rogers, in kick, last year in the conference finals,” she beamed. “We could tell it was just amazing. Everyone saw it … We know when we are performing well, with the kicks and sharp cuts and energy.”
Her favorite moves are split roles and C-jumps in jazz. “Jazz comes easier to me. It’s more flowy, which I like more than the precision of kicking.”
Kratzke played volleyball in 10th grade, dropped it last year, and took up soccer as a senior, mainly to run around all fall and stay in shape for dancing. Playing midfield, she got the team’s top rookie award.
In track, the only sport where she and Abby are teammates, she usually scores points, with personal-bests of 4-10 in high jump, 31-7 in triple jump, 17.3 in 100 hurdles, and 52.3 in 300 hurdles.
Allie ownsa 12-gauge and enjoys deer hunting with her dad and sister. She has bagged a buck and several does. She reveals that her ambition is to be a secret service agent.
Both sibs plan to continue their favorite sports at Concordia-Moorhead.
THE KRATZKE SCORECARD
Personal file – Age: 17 …. Family: parents Tim and Shelly; sister Abby, 17 … Sports: soccer, dance team, track … Other activities: National Honor Society, prom club … Academics: 3.87 GPA … College plans: Concordia College (Moorhead), sociology major, criminal justice minor, dance team
Favorite stuff – Class: Jobs for American Graduates … TV shows: “Criminal Minds” and “Law and Order: SVU” … Movie: “She’s the Man” … Food: Chipotle burritos … Drink: flavored water … Team: Wild … Athlete: “All the girls I’ve danced with, especially Jessie Coryell” … Kickback: deer hunting … Place she’d like to visit: Alaska (aga