The Boone Central/Newman Grove track & field teams are ready to go, although Mother Nature put a temporary hold on the start of the 2014 season earlier this week.
The Madison Relays, scheduled for Tuesday, were postponed due to poor weather conditions, so Cardinal athletes hope to now begin spring competition Saturday in the annual Mansfield Invitational at the Boone Central athletic complex in Albion (10 a.m.).
Boone Central/Newman Grove Head Coach Kris Pestel and assistants Aliscia Benes, Justin DeWitt, Tom Dickey, Mike Kennedy, Susan Roberts and Tim Rossow have been prepping girls and boys teams that will feature a great deal of youth, with just five seniors between the two squads.
That youth doesn’t mean the coaches and athletes aren’t optimistic about the 2014 campaign, however.
The Boone Central/Newman Grove girls return seven 2013 state qualifiers, giving Pestel and her staff a solid core to build around.
Those qualifiers (with state events) are senior Jade Gottier (4×400, 4×800), juniors Dana Pelster (4×400), Olivia Slizoski (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles) and Catherine Weeder (high jump, 4×400, 4×800), and sophomores Ashlynn Baker (4×800), Sheldon Beierman (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 4×400) and Hannah Schmitz (4×800).
The Lady Cards also welcome back letterwinners Miranda Ketteler (Sr.), Kendra Gonzalez (Jr.), Kaitlyn Stuhr (Jr.) and Celine Dunlap (So.), while Pestel expects further contributions from sophomores Kaddee Harner and Elissa Slizoski and a group of 11 freshmen.
Boone Central/Newman Grove’s boys don’t feature any returning state meet qualifiers, but have some talented individuals who could well break through with trips to Omaha later this spring.
Although Alex Hayes, Austin Zoucha and Jake Grundmayer are the only seniors on the team, the Cards have good overall numbers, including a solid group of experienced juniors that includes letterwinners Joe Brugger, Matt Brugger, Zac Glidden, Travis Kennedy and Andrew Rasmussen. Sophomore letterwinners Damain Backus, Scott Ketteler and Kyle Kramer should also play bigger roles in 2014.
Pestel is hoping for contributions from juniors Colt Mangus, Kyle Mock, Sam Stopak and Evan Struebing and sophs Jacob Krings, Andrew Mousel, Isaac Sullivan and Nolan Wondercheck. The boys also feature a group of nine new freshmen.
Boone Central/Newman Grove is again a member of the Mid-State Conference and will compete in the B-4 District May 15 at Columbus Lakeview High School. Other teams in the B-4 field are Blair, Lakeview, Scotus, David City, O’Neill, Pierce, Schuyler, Wayne and West Point-Beemer.
Further details & schedule in Print & Online editions of Albion News