By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Boys’ Coach Marc Mroczek is looking forward to Saturday’s season-opening track meet, when he hopes to get a better idea where the team stands.
However, weather conditions at the first meet of the season in Cambridge will be a factor.
If the wind is blowing 40 m.p.h., or the temperatures are anything but spring-like, it will be hard to gauge the team’s readiness.
But, the team knows that’s how it usually is for the first track meet of the season, and they’ll just have to deal with it.
One good thing about the opener—everyone on the team can compete. Teams can designate three athletes for the varsity division per each event, but everyone else in that same event can be placed in the JV division, Mroczek said. Athletes will be limited to four events total, however.
“We’re expecting it to be cold, so we won’t probably get exact times” to know where the team is at, Mroczek said this week.
The team did have a good week of practice last week, with warm temperatures, he noted. It looked like the team would be indoors on Monday, and high winds Tuesday may have affected the outdoors schedule, as well.
The Longhorns are behind a bit on their conditioning, “but we’ll get there,” he said.
Numbers are down somewhat for the boys’ team this year, with just 26 out this season. Seventeen of them are sophomores.
The rest of the team include four seniors, three juniors and two freshmen.
One of the returning seniors, Schyler Heathers, is coming off of ACL surgery he underwent after football season. Heathers met with his doctor this week to see if he would be cleared to compete, according to the coach.
Mroczek said earlier that he had expected over 30 athletes this season, but “some chose not to come out.”
For this weekend’s opener, here are the events in which Mroczek has his track athletes placed:
Distance (1600 and 3200)—Preston Bernhardt, Tyler Talbott, Kerry Swanson, Taylor Gellerman, Shane German.
Mid-distance (800)—Kyle Bottom, Jake Burke, Tom Sullivan, Schyler Heathers (possible).
400—Daniel Regier, Misael Lopez, Jonathan Hess.
Sprints (100, 200)—Steven Way, Jonathan Hess, Jacob Pankonin, Jeremiah Lueth, Daniel Hogsett, Masen Bell, Tyrell Bartholomew, Alex Strand, Daniel Regier.
Hurdles—Paul Gaschler, Joel Fisher, Lucas Bauerle (possible).
Shot, discus—Alex Sharp, Tyler Roenfeldt, Alex Strand, Lucas Bauerle, Nathan Hinojosa, Grant Lenners.
Jumps (triple, long, high)—Daniel Regier, Steven Way, Masen Bell, Jeremiah Lueth, Daniel Hogsett, Jonathan Hess, Misael Lopez, Tyrell Bartholomew, Schyler Heathers (possible).
3200 m. relay—Preston Bernhardt, Kyle Bottom, Jake Burke, Tom Sullivan.
400 m. relay—Steven Way, Jonathan Hess, Jacob Pankonin, Jeremiah Lueth.
Mroczek said they are still working out the personnel for the 1600 m. relay, but probably runners this Saturday will be Bottom, Lopez, Regier and Sullivan.
The team has no pole vaulters this season.
The same Longhorn coaches have returned this season, and work with the following events:
Mroczek—Boys’ hurdlers, sprinters, relays.
Al Zuege—Girls’ hurdlers, sprinters, relays.
Dan Lenners—Shot and discus.
Carl Zuege—Mid-distance and distance.
Here is the boys’ team roster, broken down by class:
Seniors—Preston Bernhardt, Schyler Heathers, Alex Sharp, Kerry Swanson.
Juniors—Jacob Pankonin, Tyler Roenfeldt, Steven Way.
Sophomores—Lucas Bauerle, Masen Bell, Kyle Bottom, Jakob Burke, Joel Fisher, Paul Gaschler, Shane German, Jonathan Hess, Nathan Hinojosa, Daniel Hogsett, Grant Lenners, Misael Lopez, Jeremiah Lueth, Daniel Regier, Alex Strand, Tom Sullivan, Tyler Talbott.
Freshmen—Tyrell Bartholomew, Taylor Gellerman.
Cambridge meet all finals
Athletes at the 17th annual Don Stine Invitational in Cambridge Saturday will see a little different schedule than most meets.
First of all, athletes in the field events will have just three attempts, with no finals. Field events are split into two sessions, starting at 9 a.m. (MT)
The schedule is slightly different than most of the other meets CCS will be at this season.
Running events will start at 11:15 a.m. (MT). There will be no preliminaries at Cambridge; all heats will be run as finals against time.
Schools expected at the meet besides Chase County and Cambridge include Alma, Elm Creek and Wauneta/Palisade. Perkins County was scheduled, but isn’t coming.