The Centre track and field team will bank on the experience of six returning letter-winners to lead a young squad this season.
The Cougars have two returning competitors from last year’s team in addition to the letter-winners.
“Nine of our 17 athletes have not competed in high school track before,” coach Alan Stahlecker said. “We are therefore relatively inexperienced and somewhat young.
“As the season develops, I expect us to become more competitive.”
Senior letter-winner Cole Svoboda will compete in the 400 meters, javelin and long jump.
“Cole narrowly missed qualifying for state in the 400 last year,” Stahlecker said. “He works hard and I expect him to accomplish good things, especially in the 400.”
Fellow senior letter-winner Casey Kristek will compete in the 110-meter high hurdles, the 300 hurdles and the long jump.
“Casey has been very competitive in both hurdles races for two years and I expect him to take another step forward as he has gotten bigger, stronger and faster since last year,” Stahlecker said.
For girls, senior letter-winner Katie Remy will compete in the distance races and is expected to be especially competitive in the 800.
Junior Theo Kassebaum qualified for state last year in the 100-meter hurdles and finished eighth overall.
“She is our only state qualifier that is returning this year,” Stahlecker said. “She also competes very well in her other events.”
Sophomore Ellie Miller will compete in the high jump and triple jump, where Stahlecker said he expects her jumping ability and athleticism will bring her success.
Sophomore Genesis Rudolph is expected to make contributions in the sprints and high jump.
The Cougars will compete in the Central Kansas Track League for smaller meets, as well as competing in invitationals at Marion, Hillsboro and Moundridge. Their first Wheat State League meet will be hosted by Goessel.