GHS track and field counting on numbers, depth
     2014-03-20      By Kay Grote    editor@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Kay Grote/Gering Citizen - The Gering High School Track team members are front row from the left, Rebecca Brenner, Alyssa Zwickl, Sarah Lang, Autumn Buehler, Michaline Garcia, Kailia Borgman, Holly Grote, Katie O'Boyle, Karlee Muth, Raemona Borgman, Lauren Shaul, Jerilyn Laws; second row, Kale Hamilton, Nate Ferreyra, Aaron Pierce, Ryan Schwartzkopf, Dillon De Mott, Caleb Geary, Leticia Ozuna, Destinie Savala, Jade Riedel, Kat Martinez; third row, Kelsey Hutson, Quentin Timblin, Joey Godinez, Zach Helt, Marquis Maley, Deion Contreras, Esai Hernandez, Ramon Villalobos, Ian Aguallo, Rebekah Rawlings; fourth row, Edmond Liu, Daniel Leathermon, Mitch Marietta, Alex Closson, Collin Ryan, Dalton Scott, Dylan Radzymski, Riley Grote, Ethan Crable, Allison Witcofski; fifth row; Jalen Erickson, Dan Olmstead, Spencer Powell, Keenean Fogle, Austin Dolberg, Seth DeBoer, Marisa Robles, Nicolette Cook, Jeff Schmidt, Antonio Murillo; sixth row, Shae Kaus, Mykel Garcia, Brian Doll, Jacob Hansen, Tanner Walker, Steven Juarez, Kaylee Bohnsack, Cody Snelling, Alex Brady, Skylar Mueller. 
Numbers are strong for the Gering track and field team this season and head coach Randy Plummer is hoping depth and young talent will carry the Bulldogs through to the district meet. With over 80 athletes, 50 boys and 35 girls, Plummer will be scouting during the early weeks of the season to make sure the athletes are matched in their areas of strength.

“Our goals for 2014 would be to maximize the potential of all our athletes, to get them to be the best they can be at whatever they choose to do,” Plummer said.

The running events are where Plummer sees a lot of the team’s strength, with most of the boys and girls cross country athletes returning to compete in the spring track season. Over a dozen have been conditioning during the winter months with distance coach Rick Marez, fine tuning their endurance and techniques.

“Our strength will be on the track to begin with. We do have some good jumpers, just not as many as we have runners,” Plummer said. “We will be lacking in numbers in the hurdles and high jump, but we will work hard to establish those events as the year goes on. Our kids work hard every day and you can be assured that if a student is competing for Gering High School track and field, they will be prepared to compete.”

Plummer has several state qualifiers returning in seniors Ryan Schwartzkopf, Dillon DeMott, and sophomore Austin Dolberg who all competed in the 2013 state meet in the sprints and relay events and DeMott in the hurdles, and senior Caleb Geary in the triple jump. Senior distance runner Aaron Pierce, who has signed to run cross country and track and field at Midland University in the fall, should be a major points earner for the Bulldogs. Senior Collin Ryan and juniors Alex Closson and Esai Hernandez will represent Gering well in the throws.

For the ladies, returning state qualifying distance runners junior Kali Rimington and sophomore Jerilyn Laws will be joined by senior Allison Witcofski and freshman Rebecca Rawlins to make up a solid core of long-range runners. Senior lettermen Holly Grote will earn points in the jumps and Katie O’Boyle in the hurdles. Throwing power will come from juniors Brooke Doggett and Nicolette Cook.

This will be Plummer’s 36th year of coaching track, 27 years as head boys coach and the 2nd year as head girls coach. His assistant coaches include Jimmie Rhodes, Gene Russel, Randy Johnson, Roger Schmidt, Rick Marez, and Bill Bauer.

“These men have years and years of coaching experience making our track staff one of the best in the state,” Plummer said. “We hope to compete hard and well at every meet this season. I believe we will be a tough team as the year goes on and we get the athletes in the events they can succeed in.”

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