Banner County, strength in small numbers
     2015-03-26      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Courtesy Photo - Members of the Banner County Wildcat track team include, from left – Front Row: Abby Russell, Sierra Flores, Arielle Whelchel, Courtney Knisley, Emily Singleton and MaKenna Dahlgrin. Back row: Tallion McGowan, Micah Wicker, Bryce Olsen, Tyson Dahlgrin, Kadan Huber, Erika Geary, Garrett Grubbs and Brandon Blickensderfer. 
With a small squad of 14 members, the Banner County Wildcats plan to improve on last year’s performance in the Minuteman Activities Conference in Division D-2. Last year, the boys finished 4th in their conference and the girls took 7th place.

“We have a lot of inexperienced kids in addition to our returning starters,” said Coach Kari Gifford. “Our goal is to continue improving. Right now, we’re still evaluating how the newcomers will fit in to the season.”

Returners include Tyson Dahlgrin, who qualified for state last year in both 110 and 300 hurdles. Bryce Olsen, who wasn’t out last year, returns as a senior to compete in the throws division. Senior Kaden Huber returns for the high jump division, where he had some success last year.

For the girls, there are no returning seniors. Junior Abby Russell will compete in throws and will be joined a number of girls who are coming out for the first time.

Other newcomers on the girls’ squad who are expected to be competitive are freshman MaKenna Dahlgrin, who had some success in the throws in junior high. And freshman Courtney Knisley will compete in the distance events, after competing in cross country last fall.
Gifford said the team always looks forward to competing against Potter-Dix, a team that always has a big team and have a real competitive spirit.

“We see everyone in the conference off and on for the entire season,” Gifford said, “so everyone is good competition for us.”
The first meet of the season is on the road at Kimball, coming up on March 28. “That’s an important meet for us,” Gifford said. “It gives us an indication of where we’re starting and what we need to work on. We always look forward to that one.”

She added the meets, where they see a number of teams on the same day, are the measuring tool the use to measure their progress throughout the season. “During our daily practices, we’re focusing on getting better every day.”

Gifford has been coaching the track team at Banner County High School for the past five years. Her assistant coaches include Sonja Lind, Pricilla Bastian and Bill Gifford.

“So far, we have a great bunch of kids,” Gifford said. “They started out working hard and I think we’re ahead of where we were a year ago. Also, the weather has been cooperative, which makes a difference.”

Banner County Track Schedule

Saturday, March 28 at Kimball – TBA
Thursday, April 2 at Bayard C-D – 9 a.m.
Friday, April 10 Tri-State Invite at Chappel Creek Valley
Saturday, April 18 at Alliance Invite – 9 a.m.
Friday, April 24 George Calvert Invite at Morrill – TBA
Tuesday, April 28 Best of the West at Scottsbluff – TBA
Saturday, May 2 MAC track at Bayard – 9 a.m.
Friday, May 8 Cheyenne County Invite at Sidney – TBA
Wednesday, May 13 District track at Morrill – TBA
Friday – Saturday, May 22 – 23 State track at Omaha

Share this story on Facebook
LOGIN or REGISTER for exclusive access to premium content

Good Morning friend!
Recently Read Sports
1390Banner County, strength in small numbers
117229th Tour de Nebraska Bicycle Tour set for June
1343All Points West: It’s only another Games, right?
909Bearcat harriers have high hopes again
799Bearcat girls hold on to end Lions' unbeaten run
1059Mitchell clobbers competition at George Calvert Meet
780Bearcat boys earn split with Cheyenne teams while girls get swept
1087WNCC volleyball team sweeps Trinidad for 30th season win
679 Minatare gains last Six-Man playoff berth: Scottsbluff, Bayard make postseason despite regular-season ending losses
1354United Seacats ready to take acts to state meet
832Gering sees mixed results in weekend action
727Cougar men fall to Casper 88-82
1244Minatare track team builds on strength and younger talent
655Twisters the queens of Mountain States Tourney
1024Barr’s Bacon Wrapped Fantasy Picks
1159Bearcat boys earn triple crown in season cross country opener
676 Bearcats, Bulldogs shine in district golf tournament:Scottsbluff wins team title, while Gering finishes third; Rahmig outduels York for medalist honors
944Super Hero Race a super success
1098Alliance gets best of young Gering wrestlers
928Gering juniors plagued by 10-run rule against Casper
Most Read Sports 2012
3909Mitchell track off to a strong start
3782Morrill baseball back in business
3194Rivals make good friends, better training partners
2975Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2865Gering wrestling builds on experience
2763Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2630Raising the bar high
2581Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2567Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2532Gering resident lives his dream
2505All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2416All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2391Doing the heavy lifting
2294Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2290Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2252Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2202Beam to golf at Midland
2170Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2119Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
2057Gering Boys’ soccer builds foundation
Most Read Sports 2011
3909Mitchell track off to a strong start
3782Morrill baseball back in business
3194Rivals make good friends, better training partners
2975Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2865Gering wrestling builds on experience
2763Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2630Raising the bar high
2581Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2567Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2532Gering resident lives his dream
2505All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2416All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2391Doing the heavy lifting
2294Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2290Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2252Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2202Beam to golf at Midland
2170Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2119Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
2057Gering Boys’ soccer builds foundation
Platte Valley Companies
Fresh Foods
American Legacy
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson
= = = Platte Valley Companies' = = =
Sports Page

Check out the
Gering Bulldogs on