Bearcats balanced throughout track and field events
     2015-03-26      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo Courtesy of SHS Journalism Department - Scottsbluff High School Track and Field, Front row: Marissa Mancias, Krista Holzworth, Taylor Muncie, Whitney Riesen, Taylor Gipe, Ruby Fernandez, Hana Nagasawa, Avery Krentz, Alexis Lynn, Nicole Lovesee, Rachelle Palser, Shanell Primes, Jaelynn Muhr, Kierra Schmidt, Mana Garcia, Kaitlyn Shallenberger, Hannah Fisher. Second row: Amelia Bowman, Hannah McQuisten, Shawna Hill, Taylor Noe, Sierra Betancur, Kai Didier, Teha Cabral, Alyssa Leach, Ashlee Carrillo, Tiersa Darley, Alyssa Hernandez, Anna Yanke, Myela Garcia, Jordyn Mundt, Emilee Reisig, Riley Lang, Shayleigh James, Kyra Willats, Chesney Walker. Third row: Garrett Wolf, Ramon Chavez, Eyobe Mills, Jesse Jaramillo, Mark DeLeon, Kishon Contreras, Logan Fox, Uriah Mata, Chase Wells, Isaac De Los Santos, Rob Price, Traceten Halley, Jackson Hinze, Trevor Garcia, Ben Heggem, Brian Johnston, Alonso Lopez, Adam Zamarripa. Back row: Josh Hergenrader, Shane Burkey, Matt Richardson, Zack Kishiyama, Robert Simmons, Elijah Blanco, Adam Von Lintel, Shane Smith, Landon Walker, Nick Foote, Collin Maag, Chase Osland, Matthew Holloway, Brad Johnston, Noah Hergenrader, Raphael Rios, Raul Bellow, Matthew Barraza. 
Scottsbluff track and field coach Jim Barker has yet to see his full team compete, but he hopes Saturday’s annual Wayne Binfield Memorial Invitational at Bearcat Stadium will provide him with that opportunity.

Barker, who works primarily with the distance runners – many of whom have contributed to the Bearcats’ recent success in state competition – said Scottsbluff has nearly 50 boys and 40 girls out for track and field this spring.

Only the Bearcats’ sprinters, jumpers and vaulters competed in last week’s Chadron State College High School Indoor Invitational, so Saturday’s home meet will be the season debut for the distance, hurdlers and throwers.

“Some of it had to do with numbers, with a lot of kids at DECA, conditioning levels and it’s a lot of repetition for the distances runners on an indoor track,” Barker said. “And I think we got a lot of work accomplished by keeping certain kids home. And I think we’re off to a good start.
“This Saturday will be really fun because we get to enter two teams, so we can have six kids per event, three in A squad and three for B squad and each can have a relay team,” said Barker, whose Bearcat teams will be joined by Gering, Rapid City Central and Casper Kelly Walsh.

“We’ll still be in a practice, preseason mode, seeing where we are at this point,” Barker said. “Then we’ll really get tested when we go to North Platte the following week, and from that point on, everybody’s getting into really good shape.”
Scottsbluff finished fourth in the Class B boys’ state meet last year, and three of the four participants who scored team points return this season.

“We’re going to be very strong in the distance events, based on experience and our cross country season that was so solid,” Barker said after the Bearcat boys won their fourth team title in five years and the girls finished second.

Senior Matthew Barraza, who has signed to run at the University of Wyoming, return for the Bearcat boys after he became a three-time Class B state cross country champion in the fall. Last spring, Barraza won the 1,600-meter run, placed third in the 800 and fourth in the 3,200.

Senior Shane Burkey is going to run at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Burkey was third in state cross country in the fall and took sixth in the 3,200 and eighth in the state 1,600 last May.
Burkey, Barraza and junior returnee Collin Maag also ran legs on the Bearcats’ third-place 4x800 relay.

Senior Matt Richardson, a transfer last fall from Torrington, is planning to walk on at Colorado State University. Richardson was seventh at the state cross country meet.
Senior Jackson Hinze, after three years of playing soccer, comes back to the track and will run sprints and relays. Hinze has signed to play football at Nebraska Wesleyan University and will punt and kick for the Prairie Wolves.

“I think we will have other events that in time will develop very well,” Barker said. “From our sprints to our hurdles, our jumping events, vaulters and throwers, I think we’re going to have a very solid boys’ team and be pretty well versed.”

Among the placers for the Bearcats at the Chadron Indoor meet were Trevor Garcia taking second and Rob Price fourth in the pole vault, and Brian Johnston placing second in the triple jump and sixth in the long jump.

For the girls, Barker said distance should be a strength again.
Senior Taylor Muncie, who is going to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, was fourth in the state cross country meet in earning her third state medal. Muncie also had fourth-place finishes in both the 1,600 and 3,200 runs at state track as a junior.

Sophomore Whitney Riesen was 10th in the state cross country meet.
The Bearcats will be without hurdler Chesney Walker for her junior season after she suffered a year-ending knee injury late in the basketball season. Walker was second at state last year in the 100 high hurdles and eighth in the 300 low hurdles.

“The pole vaulters have shown a lot of early season promise,” Barker said, with Ruby Fernandez finishing fourth at Chadron. “With the throwers, Coach (Warren) Osborn is really excited about how far advanced they are.
We’ll be really solid in the sprints,” said Barker, whose team had Taylor Noe finish fifth in the 55-meter dash at Chadron State. “With Chesney lost that will hurt, but I think we can make up for it in other areas.

“Our girls will be much improved over last year, when we were 10th at state. I can see us moving up and challenging for the top six.”

Scottsbluff Track Team Schedule

March 28 Scottsbluff Binfield Invitational V/JV, 10 a.m.
April 2 Buffalo Bill Invitational at North Platte, 12:15 p.m.
April 10 at Broken Bow Invitational, 2:30 p.m.
April 18 Alliance Invitational (at Scottsbluff), 8:30 a.m.
April 24 West Nebraska Twilight (at Scottsbluff), 12:30 p.m.
April 28 Best in the West Classic (at Scottsbluff), 4:30 p.m.
May 1 Western Conference (hosted by Gering, at Scottsbluff), 9 a.m.
May 7 GNAC Championships at Lexington, 2 p.m.
May 14 District B-6 at Ogallala
May 22-23 State Championships at Omaha

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