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Gering track coaches polish skills
April 08, 2016 Frank Marquez   

Read more by Frank Marquez

The 2016 Gering High School boys and girls track and field team.

The varsity track season for Gering High School started on March 19 at Chadron State College, and is going into its third week with about six weeks left in the young season. The Bulldogs, so far, have competed in meets at Chadron, North Platte.

Track Coordinator and High Jump Coach Randy Plummer said the track team takes all kinds. “It’s not like a football team, where it’s all just football,” he said. “Even though we’re called a team, everyone goes their own separate way during a track meet, and they receive little attention, maybe a handful of fans stand by to watch.”

The Bulldogs compete in the B8 District and will receive their fair share of competition from the likes of Ogallala, Alliance, Chadron, Gordon-Rushville, Gothenburg, McCook, Scottsbluff, Sidney and Valentine, as well as Mitchell in Class C. “We usually run into the same teams almost every week,” Plummer said. “Our kids represent Gering to the best of their ability, and plan to give their all each week. Our coaches will be there right with them, teaching them the necessary skills to be successful.”

As Gering’s athletes trickled into the gym for practice this past week, Plummer checked boxes on a clipboard roster, announcing each of their names, and the events in which they planned to compete. He advised them on the track teams’ overall needs. “Right now, we are still in the process of finding out what each athlete is best at,” he said. “Some athletes will go back and forth between sprints and jumps, but we try to limit them to one segment, like pole vault, jumps, sprints, hurdles, distance, and weights.”

Plummer added that high school sports have changed – athletes have become more specialized. “There are some kids from other sports we’d like to get out here.” This year Gering has started the season with “40 girls and 45 boys – more than some larger schools.”

Plummer’s assistants include Bill Bauer, pole vault coach; Randy Johnson, horizontal jumps; Roger Schmidt, sprints and hurdles; Rick Marez, middle and long distance, and Sam Hadenfeldt, on high school and junior high weights.

Predictions for who’ll emerge victorious at conference, districts and state remain a mystery, but Plummer and his staff plans to give due diligence to stocking away as many medals as possible. “We have kids that work hard,” he said. “We, as coaches, are very proud of what we are able to accomplish at practice. Our job is to get the most out of our athletes, and for each one to work to their potential. I believe we do that.”

He added, “Track is a tough sport with not much reward, but we still have a lot of kids that come out for our Gering program. We’re certain several of our athletes will qualify for state down the road.”
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