The Boone Central/Newman Grove track & field teams won’t have great depth in 2016, but the Cardinals will feature some star power, with eight returning state meet qualifiers returning.
Coach Kris Pestel, whose teams have enjoyed considerable success in recent years, expects those state performers to lead the way this spring and says the key to overall success will be developing the younger Cardinal athletes.
“We’re very excited for the season. We have four girls and four boys with state meet experience and good leadership skills,” Pestel commented. “With our minimal overall numbers, we will need to develop our younger athletes quickly to help solidify all areas of our teams.
“We’re again members of the Mid-State Conference, which is a great athletic conference, and our district is made up of some of the best teams in Class B. We’ll have to perform at our best to compete with all of those great teams.
“We’re looking forward to a very competitive season!”
Pestel and the Cardinals should be able to begin each competition confident in point production from the returning state qualifiers. Lady Cardinals with state experience are seniors Ashlynn Baker (1600, 4×800 relay), Sheldon Beierman (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 4×400 relay), Celine Dunlap (pole vault) and junior Christina Stopak (3200). BC/NG boys who have qualified previously for the annual state championships are seniors Damian Backus (long jump, 100, 4×400 relay), Scott Ketteler (110 hurdles), Kyle Kramer (4×400 relay) and junior Cody Nelson (4×400 relay).
Junior letterwinners Tessa Hedlund, Jenna Kramer and Karley Zoucha will help provide depth for the girls.
Rounding out the experienced base for the boys squad are senior letterwinners Jacob Krings, Isaac Sullivan and Jared Zwiener, sophomore letterwinners Levi Krueger, Tyler Shriver and Jessie Sullivan.