With larger numbers and several returning state qualifiers, the Goessel track and field team is primed for success under the direction of 11th-year coach Curtis Guhr.
The Bluebird girls return three state qualifiers from a year ago off a team that finished second in the Wheat State League.
Senior Brittney Hiebert earned the sixth-place state medal in the 800 last year (2 minutes, 30.57 seconds), while junior Stephany Meyer was seventh in the triple jump (34-73⁄4). Meyer also competed in the 200 preliminaries and the long jump.
Senior Julia Nightengale and Hiebert contributed to the eighth-place 4×800 relay (10:50.59), while Meyer and Hiebert also ran the state-qualifying 4×400 relay.
Individually, Nightengale was 14th in the 3,200 (13:42.24) at state.
Additional returning letter-winners are Kara Burkholder, Edel Miller, Megan Guerrero, Porclein Unruh and Elyse Boden, and Guhr said he looks for good things from several others 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. With three returning state qualifiers, several letter winners, and some new faces, we are looking for the girls to have another good year.”
Meanwhile, the boys’ only state qualifier from last year, Josh Schmidt, has graduated, and Guhr will look to these returning letter-winners to lead the team: Jordan Griffin, Zach Zogleman, Zackary Guerrero, Jerah Schmidt and Jacob Hagewood.
“The strengths for the boys will be the individual events this year, but with larger numbers we look forward to putting some relays together,” Guhr said. “(We are) looking to the jumps and the sprints for most of our points but (there are) opportunities in the distance races and other field events as well. With several returning letter-winners, we will be looking for these guys to step up and lead the team this year.”
Goessel will open the season with the Remington CKTL meet at Bethel Tuesday.