The Bluebird girls finished first in the Wheat State League a year ago, and five state qualifiers return. Sophomore Brittney Hie?bert placed in two events at state last year, finishing fourth in the 800 and fifth in the 1,600.
Additional returning state qualifiers include juniors Olivia Duerksen (high jump), Jennifer Meysing (3,200, 4×800) and Lauren Rymill (4×800) and sophomore Julia Nightingale (4×800).
Senior Aleena Cook and sophomore Kara Burkholder return as letter-winners, and Guhr said he looks for good things from several young athletes as well.
?Strengths for the girls will be the individual events,? Guhr said. ?With bigger numbers this year we will also be looking to put several relays together that should compete well.?
Meanwhile, senior Zach Wiens returns as the boys? only state qualifier. He finished fifth in the 110 hurdles at state in 2015. Senior Chase Flaming and juniors Josh Schmidt and Miguel Guer?rero also return as letter-winners from a team that finished fourth in the league.
Guhr said he anticipates the hurdles and sprints to account for a majority of points for the boys this season, with opportunities in the distance races and field events, too.
?With four returning letter winners, we will be looking for these guys to step up and lead the team this year,? he said. ?Small numbers for the boys will make the individual events a key.?
Goessel was scheduled to open the season April 5 at the Remington Quint. The Bluebirds will participate at the Marion Invitational April 8.