Gering sweeps team titles at Mitchell
     2011-04-14      By Terry Gaston    news@geringcitizen.com
Track and field coaches, like most of their other colleagues in any sport, will say that early-season results are nice but what happens in the final two weeks of the year are when they count the most.

Still, no one could blame either Gering girls' coach Dave Nash or Bulldog boys' coach Randy Plummer if they are a little giddy after their athletes have turned in a pair of twin team championships in three scored meets thus far.

In last Thursday's Mitchell Invitational, the GHS girls needed every point possible to edge Sidney 114-113, while the Bulldog boys scored in all but one event to roll to their team title with 141 points to outdistance runner-up Mitchell by 50.

The Gering girls had two victories in the field events and in three other competitions they had two or more top-six finishers while scoring in every jump or throw.

Junior Morgan Greene won the high jump at a regional-qualifying 5 feet, 2 inches. Greene also had a third-place finish in the long jump, in which junior Kayleigh Schadwinkel was fourth. Schadwinkel added a second-place medal in the triple jump.

Junior Stephanie Coley won the shot put with a heave of 38-8. Coley turned in a runner-up discus mark and senior Jordan Plummer was third for 14 team points.
The Bulldogs' depth in the pole vault paid off with 15 team points. Senior Molly Bueide and Libby Wright were second and third, while Jennifer Leathermon was sixth.

"The field event kids really did an awesome job. They really carried the day," said Nash, who watched his team score many personal records and season-best marks along the way.

On the track, Bulldog girls scored in all but the 3,200 meters, with one victory and two runner-up finishes. Gering's 4x800 relay of junior Kenzie Duncan, senior Erin Kautz, and sophomores Dakota Gellner and Damaris Martinez won in 10:41.9.

Two Bulldogs earned silver medals in the hurdles. Senior Tahlia Schmaltz was runner-up in the 100 high hurdles, while junior Morgan Broussard was second in the 300 low hurdles.

"I tried a number of girls in different events on the track side of things," Nash said. "The girls responded wonderfully. Some of those changes won't be permanent, but I now know we have a number of options with kids in events they don't usually participate in."

Plummer admitted that his Bulldog boys were a little top-heavy compared with the rest of the schools that competed at Mitchell, but that in no way should dampen Gering's strong results.

"A lot of teams and each had some decent kids, but we just had more kids," Plummer said. "It was a good meet. We placed in every event (but one, the discus), and we got the guys in their right events now. We're still going to move some people around on the relays."

The sprint and distance relays were both victorious, as were senior hurdler Dylan Wolf and senior distance runner Domingo Torres.

Wolf broke the string in the 300 intermediate hurdles in 41.9 seconds to win by 1.3 seconds. Wolf also took third in the 110 high hurdles.

Torres won the 3,200 run in 10:49.3 and had teammates place fifth and sixth for 13 team points. Torres also was second in the 1,600.

The 4x100 relay of senior Dillon Wademan and juniors Zach Smith, Mark Pieper and Danny O'Boyle racing to the line in 44.4 seconds. The GHS 4x800 relay of junior Darrin Gonzales, freshmen Christian Groskopf and Gage Winkler, and senior Alex Lopez took first in 9:01.30 for a 29-second victory.

O'Boyle was a triple silver medalist in the sprints, nipped by Morrill's Nathan Rice by a tenth in the 100 and two-tenths in the 200, and by a tenth to Sidney's Ryan Wieser in the 400. Wademan was third in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump.

Junior Kyle Gaudrealt finished second on misses in the pole vault for the Bulldogs' best finish in the field events. Mitchell's Joe Sanchez won the gold after both vaulters cleared 11-6.

Gering may not have had a winner in the high jump but had its trio place third through fifth for 12 team points. Senior Bret Hutchison led the way with a third-place finish.

"So far, everything is going pretty well," Plummer said. "The weather has been nice, the kids are working hard in practice and if we have no injuries -- if we can stay that way."

Nash concurred with his boys' counterpart.

"I think that team-wide, the kids are gaining confidence," Nash said. "We will soon have everyone where they need to be and start looking forward to those big meets at the end of the season. We still have some work to do in the meantime, but things are going well. As is always the case, if we can avoid the injury bug we will be in great shape."

Gering will make a change of pace Saturday when the Bulldogs head to Cheyenne for the Central Invitational. This is a change from GHS track's traditional visit to the Alliance meet, where most of the area schools will be on Saturday, including Scottsbluff.

"We decided to try something different than going to Alliance, and it will be good to see some different kids and face some different challenges," Plummer said. "Going to Cheyenne Central will provide some tough competition.

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