Bayard track team building on a strong tradition
     2014-03-27      By Kay Grote    editor@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Roger Holsinger/for the Citizen - The Bayard Track Team members this year are front row, from left, Aubry Cottrell, Tessa Douglas, Miah Vera, Jessi Smith, Sadie McGann, Kristina McGann, Emily Doremus, Catherine Applegate and Cassidee White; second row, Kneeling: Joe Ferrero, Kalen Krantz, Lauren Petersen, Catie Baird, Chellanie Parriott, Haley Sauer, Megan Stuart, Cassie Mohrman, Madi Schuller, Elizabeth Belford and JD Wurm; third row, Phil Schuller, Aiden Harimon, Felipe Palomo, Robert Niezwaag, Roger Roach, Henry Schmall, Jadon Smith, Zac Rice, Trent Applegate, Joe Alvord, Seth Rudy and Michael Alfaro; back row, Chris Wurm, Tyler Fiscus, Jacob Hoff, Tre Purintun, Bryce Hargens, Haden Scherbarth and Damien Bowker. Not pictured: Loran Hasse and Sky Miller. Coaches: Wade Kniss, Micki McKibbin, Joran Harriger and Randy McKibbin.  
BAYARD – The Bayard Tigers boys and girls track team is looking to build upon its track and field tradition anchored by strong community support.

Head boys coach Wade Kniss said he is looking for his team to be in the top half of every meet. He hopes his squad will finish in the top half of the WTC and Districts, where they finished fifth last year. He also expects to win the MAC meet.

“We have a good core of athletes that want to improve from last year,” Kniss said. “We should have some competitive athletes in the field events, more so than in recent years. The 4x100 and the 4x400 should do well again this year. We lost a couple of seniors last year, so we’ll have some big shoes to fill.”

Senior Jadon Smith will be returning for his final year after qualifying last year for the state meet in the 4x100 and 4x400. Coach Kniss said Smith and his relay teammates are looking to push the 4x400 relay to state after narrowly missing out last year.

Other returning letter winners are seniors Zac Rice in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays and the 800, and Trenton Applegate in the shot put; and sophomores Phil Shuller in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays and Jacob Hoff in the long jump, triple jump and 4x400 relay.

Top newcomers for the Bayard boys are senior Michael Alfaro in the long jump and sprints, junior Tyler Fiscus in high jump and freshman Joe Ferrero in the sprints.

Bayard head girls coach Randy McKibbin is looking forward to a solid season anchored by three returning state qualifiers, six returning letter winners and a large pool of freshmen. The Lady Tigers last year claimed the Western Trails Conference title and placed 12th as a team at the Class C State meet. Bayard should also be a dominating team in the Minuteman Athletic Conference (MAC) this season.

McKibbin is anticipating some great returning leadership, character and work ethic from his team.

“We always want to compete at the top of our conference and district,” McKibbin said. “We want to practice and perform like a team that is keeping Bayard’s tradition strong.”

That strong tradition will be built this year upon the performances of returning state qualifiers senior Megan Stuart in the pole vault, 4x100 and 4x400 relays, and sophomores Miah Vera in the long jump, 4x100 and 4x400 relays, and Jessi Smith in the 800 M, 1600 M, 4x100 and 4x400. Last year the three were members of two relay teams that placed in the top 10 at the State meet, while Smith as a freshman placed second at the state meet in the 800 M run. McKibbin lauded Smith, who is expected to be one of the region’s best 800 meter runners, for her work ethic.

Other returning letter winners are seniors Aubry Cottrell in the long jump, triple jump and sprints and Haley Sauer in the long jump, triple jump and sprints; juniors Chellani Parriott in the hurdles and sprints, Kristina McGann in the long sprints; and sophomores Hanah Schmall in the middle distance, Tessa Douglas in the long distance and Cassandra Mohrman in the pole vault, hurdles and jumps.

McKibbin also has a large, well-rounded class of freshmen he is hoping will step into some key positions. They include Catie Baird and Catherine Applegate in the long sprints, Elizabeth Belford in the middle distance races, Emily Doremus in the long hurdles, Madi Schuller in the jumps and throws and Sadie McGann, Lauren Petersen and Cassidee White in the throws.

McKibbin expressed his gratitude to the community and supporters.

He said the community of Bayard has also been extremely supportive, which he said maintains the school’s track tradition.

“A huge “thank you” to all that have helped us reach our goal of replacing the track at our athletic complex. That is a huge part of our community and Bayard’s tradition,” he said.

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