|Bayard ready to build on success|
|March 28, 2013 Jerry Purvis|
Photo by Elizabeth Gross/ Gering Citizen - Members of the 2013 Bayard girls’ track team front row from left, are Alanda Kildow, Breanna Korell; second row, Megan Stuart, Brooklyn Kniss, Cassandra Huck, Kristina McGann; third row, Brittany Sauer, Samantha Niezwaag, Madahi Garcia, Cassie Mohrman, Miah Vera, Jessi Smith; back row, Coaches Randy McKibbin, Anna Beard, Andrae Graesser, and Wade Kniss.
The Bayard High School track team is looking for another strong season after the girls’ squad finishing second in the Western Trail Conference last year and third at districts.
“We did pretty well in the Chadron Indoor event,” said girls’ head coach Randy McKibbin. “Our first meet was to be at Morrill last weekend, but that was postponed due to the weather.”
Bayard returns five starters from last year. State placer Megan Stuart will compete in the hurdles, pole vault and long sprints. Senior sprinter Breanna Korrell is another returner, as well as state qualifying senior Alanda Kildow in the hurdles and jumps.
“We had a small but mighty team last year,” McKibbin said, “but this year we have 18.”
McKibbin said they try to finish in the top half of their conference in each event. Some of the more seasoned members will attend the Scottsbluff Twilight event, and everyone looks forward to the Best of the West.
The Bayard boys’ squad has about 25 athletes, about 10 more than the last couple of years.
“We have lots of sophomores and juniors this year,” said boys’ head coach Wade Kniss. ‘We have a few returning starters, but a lot of others are out for their first time.”
Returning are Zach Rice and James Smith in the 4x4 and 4x8 relays. Junior Chris Wurm is a thrower who should put some points on the board in shot put and discus. And Travis Willhoite will compete in sprints and in relays, where the coaches can fit him in.
Another returner is Brandon Stewart who qualified for state in 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and pole vault.
“Brandon was the only one we had last year to qualify for state,” Kniss said. “We’ll try to build on that again this year and try to get some more guys qualified.”
Bayard’s first “real” meet is Thursday, March 28 after last weekend’s meet at Morrill was cancelled due to bad weather.
“The Western Trails Conference tournament is something we always look forward to,” Kniss said. “This year it’s in Mitchell and we hope to be in the running for a championship because of our numbers.”
Kniss was also impressed with practices so far, although the weather hasn’t cooperated. “The practices we have been able to get outside, the kids are working really hard. Probably the hardest worker I have is Phil Schuller who sets the tone and leads by example. And he’s only a sophomore.”
In addition to head coaches McKibbin and Kniss, assistant coaches include Andre Graesser and Anna Beard.