Brooke Pankonin | Johnson Publications

PERKINS COUNTY GIRLS TRACK – Members of the Perkins County girls track team include (front row l-r): Karen Ruiz, Claire Maaliao, Andrea

Winkel, Kaitlynn Heinemann, Laura Dreiling. Back row: Valerie Perez, Haven Wid, Hailey Snyder, Jaci Kurkowski, Hailey Holtz, Bella Fraizer, Keshia Leeper.

Brooke Pankonin | Johnson Publications

PERKINS COUNTY BOYS TRACK – Members of the Perkins County boys track team at the beginning of the season included (front row l-r): Jarin

Tines, Caden Waitley, Jaden Dietlein, Nathan Kemling, Matthew McClung, Blake Plugge, Brenden Pankonin, Kenyon Gaar, Jace Wid. Second row: Trye Hickey, Alex Patrick, Spencer Ross, Timothy McClung, Jack Kennicutt, Caleb Lagler, Domonic Wendell, Matthew Aerni, Chris Terry. Third row: Jack Kohl, Miles Lagler, Bryce Wilson, Colton Heinemann, Bailey Schrotberger, Kyler Bullock, Ian Sihm, Evan Sestak. Back row: Matthew Wendell, Derek Sis, Kiffen Cook, Charles Johnson, Beau Wood, Werner Winkel, Emilio Perez. Not pictured: Matthew Hahn.

Perkins County Plainsmen lacing up for track season

By Brooke Pankonin

Grant Tribune Sentinel

This year’s track season will kick off Thursday, March 23, when the Plainsmen play host to Chase County, South Platte, Dundy County Stratton and Wauneta-Palisade in a meet set to begin at 3 p.m. on the E. Lee Todd track. 

Coach Shayne Hite has 34 boys and 12 girls out this season, with nine meets scheduled before districts. Hite will be assisted by Dean Friedel, Paula Wurst and Ryan Boldt. 

Hite coaches the 400, 800, hurdles, sprint relays, long jump and triple jump. Friedel handles the weight events, with Wurst taking care of the high jump, 1600, 3200 and distance relays. Boldt coaches the 100, 200, sprint relays and pole vault.

Other teams they will face this season include Bayard, Bridgeport, Chase County, Dundy County Stratton, Hemingford, Kimball and Mitchell.


Hite returns 19 letter winners and four boys who were SPVA champions and/or qualified for state in their respective events last season. 

Senior Derek Sis won the 100 and 200 meters, as well as the 4 x 100 meter and 4 x 400 meter relays. An injury prevented him from competing in the district meet to qualify for state. 

Sis was joined by senior Bryce Wilson and junior Charles Johnson as 4 x 400 meter relay champs. Wilson and Johnson were also district champions in the event, and qualified for state in the 4 x 100 meter relay as well along with sophomore Domonic Wendell. 

Hite said they will look to the six seniors for lots of points and leadership this season. Five are returning letter winners and they also added Kiffen Cook to the roster. 

There are seven juniors, 10 sophomores and 11 freshmen.

“Our numbers for boys are really good for us this year, and we are hoping this creates a lot of depth for us in several events. We have a large freshman class out and are counting on them to step in right away and contribute. If all stay healthy we could be strong come SPVA conference meet and at the district meet,” said Hite.


Seniors: Kiffen Cook, Miles Lagler, Bailey Schrotberger, Derek Sis, Timothy McClung, Bryce Wilson.

Juniors: Colton Heinemann, Jack Kennicutt, Kenyon Gaar, Nathan Kemling, Jack Kohl, Charles Johnson, Christopher Terry.

Sophomores: Jaden Dietlein, Matthew Hahn, Werner Winkel, Beau Wood, Blake Plugge, Emilio Perez, Caden Waitley, Jarin Tines, Domonic Wendell, Spencer Ross. 

Freshmen: Matthew Aerni, Kyler Bullock, Trye Hickey, Caleb Lagler, Matthew McClung, Brenden Pankonin, Alex Patrick, Evan Sestak, Ian Sihm, Matthew Wendell, Jace Wid 


There are four returning letter winners on the girls’ team this season, which includes three seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen.

“We have some returners that we hope will lead the team and show a lot of leadership for our inexperienced tracksters,” said Hite.”

He said their lack of numbers and experience will make it difficult to fill up events or compete for team titles, so they will focus on improving skills week to week. 


Seniors:  Andrea Winkel, Kaitlyn Heinemann, Claire Maaliao

Juniors: Laura Dreiling, Jaci Kurkowski, Valerie Perez, Karen Ruiz, Haven Wid

Sophomores: Hailey Snyder, Hailey Holtz

Freshmen: Isabella Fraizer, Keshia Leeper. 

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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