|State competitors help bolster Bayard track team|
|April 08, 2016 Jerry Purvis|
Courtesy Photo Members of the Bayard track team include, from left to right in back row: Sky-Lee Miller, Steven Tobacco, Jaicee White, Jordan Mecklem, Lane Hargens. Third row: Jake Hoff, Garrett Doremus, Hanah Schmall, Nicole Barker, Sarah Reish, Maho Shinjo, Wyatt Fiscus, Payton Oliverius. Second row: Justin Whitebear, Aiden Harimon, Bailee Lake, Liz Marker, Christina Mascher, Kylie Stuart, Sierra Sauer, Tegan Cottrell, Carli Verbeck, Bryce Burry, Tanner Rafferty. Front row: Joe Ferrero, Mitch McKibbin, Catherine Applegate, Liz Brown, Lauren Petersen, Miah Vera, Jessi Smith, Haley Schmall, Cassidee White, Haden Scherbarth, Dorry Cooper.
Although the Bayard boys’ track team is young, the school has a strong tradition of success. According to Coach Zach Nesbitt, the team has a lot of potential as they look forward to this season’s competition.
Last season, the Bayard boys finished sixth in the C-11 district tournament. Bryce Bury, then a freshman, qualified for state and finished 12th in the 800 meter event.
Other returning lettermen include senior Jake Hoff in the sprints and jumps. Juniors are Joe Ferrero in sprints and long sprints, Aiden Harimon in throws and Sky-Lee Miller in sprints and jumps. Sophomore Mitch McKibbin returns in the 300 meter hurdles, triple jump and long sprints.
The team also includes nine freshmen in Dorry Cooper, Garrett Doremus, Wyatt Fiscus, Lane Hargens, Jordon Mecklem, Payton Oliverius, Tanner Rafferty, Steven Tobacco and Justin Whitebear.
Assisting Nesbitt with boys’ team are Jordan Gonzales, Micki McKibbin and Randy McKibbin.
Three state qualifiers from the Bayard girls’ track team helped the Tigers to a fourth place finish in the Class C state tournament last year. Coach Randy McKibbin, now his 17th year, said the returners will provide the strong leadership needed for a successful season.
“Our team has a strong work ethic, which is traditional here at Bayard,” McKibben said. “We have some pretty good athletes, so we should have a good season.”
Returning veterans include Jessi Smith. At last year’s state tournament, she placed second in the 200 meter event, took first place in both the 400 and 800 meter events, and was 12th in the 4x100, along with teammate Miah Vera and returning sophomore Liz Brown. Vera also placed 20th in the long jump event.
McKibbin said one of last year’s highlights was to see Smith and Vera both qualify for state for the third straight year.
Sophomore Nichole Barker, letter winner in the distance events, also qualified last fall for state in Cross Country. Other sophomore letter winners are Sarah Reish in long sprints and jumps, and Jaicee White in middle distance throws. Junior letter winners include Catherin Applegate in distance, Lauren Petersen in throws, Haley Schmall in hurdles, and Cassidee White in throws. Senior Hanah Schmall is a letter winner for distance.
“Our goal for every meet is to place in the upper half,” McKibbin said. “We also want each athlete to match or better their previous performance.”
Assisting McKibben with the girls’ team is Jordan Gonzales, Micki McKibbin and Zach Nesbitt.