A pair of returning state meet qualifiers will lead a young group of Boone Central track & field athletes into the 2009 spring season this week, weather permitting.
The Cardinals were scheduled to open at the Madison Relays Tuesday before hosting the annual Mansfield Invitational for area schools Saturday at the Boone Central athletic complex in Albion. Inclement weather threatened both meets at press time.
When Boone Central is able to get off and running, heading the charge will be senior Halie Smith and junior Megan Bygland, who competed in the 2008 Nebraska State Track & Field Championships at Omaha Burke last May.
Smith followed up a district championship in the 3200 meter run by placing 15th in the Class B field at state with her best time of the season (12:31.4). Bygland took second in the district 300 meter low hurdles and third in the 100 highs, qualifying for state in both events.
Cardinal Coach Kris Pestel and her assistants hope the remainder of the Boone Central squads will make progress throughout the season and produce additional state qualifiers in 2009.
“We are fairly young this year and the development of our athletes will be the key to our season,” Pestel noted.
Several district medal winners return with Smith and Bygland. Sophomore Sara Wells placed fourth in the district discus, junior Savannah Baker fifth in the long jump and soph Bobbi Beckwith sixth in the 200 meter dash. All members of the Card fifth-place 4×100 relay team – Bygland, Beckwith, Baker and junior Alisia Getzfred are back in ‘09.
On the BC boys side, juniors Kevin Carder (3200) and Nathan Olson (300 int. hurdles) earned sixth-place finishes in the 2008 district meet.
Other returning letterwinners vieing for the Boone Central girls team this spring include seniors Chancee Nolan and Emily Wells, juniors Erica Carder and Kayla Kettelson and sophomores Brooke Michael and Emily Niewohner. Returning Card boys lettermen with Carder and Olson are seniors Kalvin Zoucha and Kevin Krohn, juniors Dustin Christo and Jerad McLean and sophomores Cody Bryant and Wade Reigle.
Pestel is assisted by Tom Dickey, Mike Kennedy, Aliscia Benes and Justin DeWitt.