By Shari Friedel
With two weeks of practice under their belts, Perkins County track athletes have prepped for their first competition, the Perkins County quadrangular today (Thursday, March 21) at home.
Other teams in attendance will be Wallace, South Platte, and Wauneta-Palisade.
In spite of low team numbers, Hite looks for returning members to lend their leadership and for younger team members to score well for the Plainsmen.
“We will look to our five returning seniors for our points and leadership so we should be able to score some decent points at meets,” said Head Coach Shayne Hite. “If everyone stays healthy and the underclassmen develop like we think they will, we should be able to compete for a district title,” he added.
Returning seniors and letter winners on the boys team are Ty Summers and Vinny Ross in weights; distance runner Brendon Barry; and sprinters Quinton Hite and Elliot Carlson. Carlson also competes in jumping events.
Additional returning letter winner is junior Matthew Sestak, a sprinter.
Junior team members are Robert Engel (distance), Justin Briggs (sprints) and Garrett Toner (distance, pole vault and discus).
Sophomores include sprinters/jumpers Kaleb Vak and Zak Kurkowski.
Freshman team members are Mitchell Sestak (sprints), Coy Aerni (distance, pole vault), Sam Rowley (mid-distance, pole vault, high jump), Chris Throckmorton (mid-distance, long jump), Christian White (hurdles, jumps, discus), Tristen Kennicutt (sprints), Hunter Coats (mid-distance) and Julian Perez (weights).
With the loss of last year’s strong senior leadership, Coach Hite will rely on underclassmen point leaders to step up and score.
“There’s a good number of girls out this season,” said Hite. “We should be able to put from one to three girls in every event.
Hite looks to several individuals like Shania Metcalf in throws; Kylie Hanson and Courtney McClenahan in sprints and Stephanie Schrotberger in middle distance races Hite to put up Plainsmen numbers.
“There is some great potential with some of our young tracksters and we are excited to see what they do,” Hite said.
Returning letter winners are senior Shania Metcalf in weights; juniors Kylie Hanson in sprints; Courtney Lyon, mid-distance; Rebecca Johnson and Tayler Walter in weights; Courtney McClenahan in sprints and triple jump; Alyssa Young, hurdles.
Sophomore letter winners are Amanda Osler, sprints, jumps; Kendra Hoffert, mid-distance, pole vault; Stephanie Schrotberger, mid-distance, and Mariah Curtis, distance.
Other sophomore team members are Hannah Beck, Claire Friedel and Kayla Woodmancy, weights; Lila Konecky, mid-distance, triple jump and Dakota Molder, sprints.
Freshmen girls include Emily Kemling, mid-distance and distance; Josie Osler, weights; Jasmin Walkinshaw, hurdles; Natasha Thomas, sprints and Brandie Ross as manager.
Coach Hite is assisted by Shawn Cole who coaches jumpers, distance and mid-distance and relay runners; Ronda Baumfalk who handles sprints, long and triple jump and Dean Friedel with weight events.