|Gering track building on strong foundation|
|March 21, 2013 Jerry Purvis|
Photo by Elizabeth Gross/Gering Citizen - The Gering boys’ track team are front row from left: Nolan Nelson, Zach Helt, Keagan Heilburn, Seth Leathermon, Spencer Powell, Collin Potts, Karl Case, Alex Salazer, Edmond Liu second row: Aaron Pierce, Bryson Richter, Arich Knaub, Isaiah Wilson, Jacey Shaul, Brendon Brester, Caleb Hayden, John Boyd, Austin Hoffman, Antonio Murillo, Logan Conn, Austin Dolberg, Marquis Maley, Caleb Geary, back row: Zac Bibb, Blake Frye, Max Bayer, Jayden Marez, Kelsey Hutson, Caleb Bonnell, Will Hurt, Quentin Timblin, Esai Hernanadez, Ryan Schwartzkopf, Justin Esparza, Collin Ryan, Alex Closson and Dan Olmstead.
The Gering boys track team and field team is hoping to build on last year’s success when they placed second in the Western Conference meet, fifth at districts and 14th in the Class B state meet.
The Gering girls won their district meet last year, as well as finishing 14th in the Class B state meet.
Among the returning state boys’ qualifiers are junior Ryan Schwartzkopf in middle distance and sprints, junior Dillon DeMott in hurdles and sprints, junior Aaron Pierce in distance and senior Zac Bibb in jumps.
Gering track head coach Randy Plummer said there aren’t any returning qualifiers on the girls’ squad. But a few of key performers he identified were distance runners Rachel Huffman and Dakota Gellner, sprinter Aubrey Gonzales, jumpers Holly Grote and Megan Upp and sprinter/middle distance runner Brooke Vowers.
Plummer’s assistant coaches this year include Adam Freeburg for hurdles, Roger Schmidt for middle distance/sprints, Rick Marez for distance, Bill Bauer for pole vault, Randy Johnson for jumps, and Jimmy Rhodes and Gene Russel for weights.
“I thought both the boys and girls did well in our first outing in Chadron,” Plummer said. “We probably have about 100 kids and our job is to find out what they’re best at and coach them to be their best in events.”
He said Gering has a number of high profile meets on the schedule for this year. First up is the Buffalo Bill Invite at North Platte on March 28, which brings teams from Grand Island to Gering. The Scottsbluff Twilight meet on April 18 brings teams from South Dakota and Wyoming.
“The Scottsbluff Twilight meet is sometimes as good as our state track meet,” Plummer said. “Teams from Rapid City, Casper and Cheyenne participate and it’s just a great meet.”
Plummer added that although they’ve had to replace many team members lost to graduation, he’s confident the team will do well this season and some of them will excel.