Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Banner County opens season with small numbers but positive attitudes


Aleta Pearson

The 2017 Banner Wildcat tract team is as follows, from left San Juan Whelchel, 10th, long jump, 200, 400, Nevaeh William, 9th, discus, shotput, 400 , Devan Sullivan, 9th, 2 mile, 1 mile, 800, 400, Courtney Knisley, 11th, 1 mile, 2 mile, Gage Alexander, 9th, 200, long jump, triple jump, pole volt and Rylie Mason, 9th, discus, 2 mile, 1 mile, Not in the photo: , MaKenna Dahlgrin, 11th, shot, discus, Seth Dvorak, 10, distance

With only three athletes returning out of the eight on the roster this season, the Banner County Track team will be concentrating on individual improvements for the upcoming season, and though her team is small they bring a mighty positive attitude, according to Banner County head track coach Kari Gifford.

Gifford, along with assistant coaches Bill Gifford and Priscilla Bastian, will return state qualifier MaKenna Dahlgrin, who placed eighth in the state in shot put, and fellow returning letter winners Courtney Knisley and Seth Dvorak.

Additionally, the Wildcat track and field team will add newcomers Rylie Mason, Devan Sullivan, Gage Alexander, Naveah William and San Juan Whelchel.

Returning athletes will be expected to provide guidance and leadership for their new teammates and each athlete will be expected to focus on individual growth, many in multiple events.

"Since there is a bunch of new kids, we are not going to compete for any team awards. We are really focusing on the individual, this year, and each of them getting better," Gifford said. "Small numbers make it harder for them to be pushed. They will have to find that motivation to push themselves harder."


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