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

High hopes for Kimball High track team


Aleta Pearson

The 2017 Longhorn boy's team is pictured above. left to right, first row,Thomas Lenzen, Eric Escajeda, Brayden Tyan and Jordan Cluff, second row, Landen Heim Jacob Jenkins, Trevor Ryschon, Jaden Mohr and Zachery Wagner, third row, Grant Hickman, Aroon Flores and Brady Kilgore, fourth row, Steven Bateman, Corey Travis, Luis Portillo, Colton Mielke Brady Kilgore and James Merryfield. Not pictured are Alexander Flores, Beau Hanks, Kaden Adrian, Devin Gardner, Paycen Harroun, Sebastian Portillo, Nicholas Thomas-Lewis, Kyle Spicer, Logan Stahla, Sam Tussing and Jaden Withrow.

Coach Gene Mohr has high hopes for his Kimball High track team this spring with 29 boys and 15 girls checked out. The boy's sophomore class has the largest representation with 13 young men on the roster, followed by six juniors, five freshmen and five seniors. The girl's division lists five freshmen, four sophomores, three juniors and three seniors.

Looking first at the boys, coach Mohr has a returning state champion in senior Jaden Withrow who won the Class C triple jump last year with a hop-skip-jump of 44'1.75" and also brought home the fourth place medal in the long jump with a leap of 20'8.5". Fresh off a solid basketball season where he was named All Conference in both conferences the Longhorns are involved in, Withrow is now ready to try and improve his outstanding marks even more. Kimball had two other boy state qualifiers last season, but Trent Rutledge has graduated and is now enrolled at Wesleyan University in Lincoln where he continues to pursue his favorite event of pole vaulting. Unfortunately, senior Brandon Barker, an outstanding distance runner who ran at state a year ago in the 3200, elected to not participate in track this spring in his final year of eligibility. Coach Mohr said, "We will miss Brandon as he would more than likely have scored about 20 points a meet for us."

There are ten other returning letter winners for the boys, including seniors Kyle Spicer in the sprints, Logan Stahla in the sprints and Joel Evertson in the distance races. Junior lettermen back are Jaden Mohr in the vault, Nicholas Thomas-Lewis in the 800, Paycen Harroun in the vault and Kaden Adrian in the 1600. Sophomore letter winners who had outstanding freshman seasons are Jacob Jenkins in the sprints, Brady Kilgore in the hurdle events and Zachary Wagner in the triple jump. Along with this group, freshman James Merryfield is listed as an expected top performer in the shot and discus.

Coach Mohr, commenting on the boys, said, "We have depth in numbers and quality athletes in each and every event. We should be able to fill almost all of the events with quality athletes. We should also score points in the weights this year. We set a team goal for each of our student athletes to increase their personal records throughout the year."

Mohr went on to say, "We will have a nice mix of athletes who will place first through sixth. Withrow and Kilgore should bring home some gold again. Spicer, Adrian, Harroun, Mohr and Stahla should be point scorers and medal winners on a regular basis, and we have a very good sophomore class that will score points."

The very talented Hannah Biesecker, a junior, is a returning state qualifier from last year's team making it to the state meet in the long jump, where she finished 17th with her leap of 15'1.25", but this was well below her best jump of her sophomore season of 16'5.5". Biesecker has a very good chance of setting a new school record in her pet event before she is through as she is dedicated to the sport and has very good speed and jumping ability. Look for her to not only excel in the long jump, but also in other sprinting and jumping events as the coaches work with her to find out just where she can excel.

Aleta Pearson

The Lady Longhorns begin their 2017 track and field season with smaller numbers and a lot of heart. The 2017 Longhorn girl's team is pictured above from left to right: Lila Moore, Jenna Greenwood, Kaitlin Wurdeman, Jannel Fiehtner, Hannah Biesecker, Carli Wurdeman and Natasha Selves.

There are five other returning letter winners for the girls including seniors Jannel Fiehtner in the triple jump, and Raelynn Hinton in the long jump. Kennedy Lewis, a junior, will compete in the vault, and sophomores Kate Reader in the 200 and Madison Wynne in the 400, will also be point getters for the Lady Longhorns.

Coach Mohr said, "We are a little low in our numbers this year for the girls. Our best chance is Hannah Biesecker and Kate Reader to get to state but we are hoping for some surprises from our other girls. The girls are willing to work hard with very little complaints. I hope their hard work pays off for them. If we work hard on improving our personal records, winning will take care of itself. Our team goal is to improve our personal records each week."

Kimball opened the season at the Charon State College indoor meet on March 18. They open the outdoor season at their own Kimball Invitational on March 25. They have nine meets on the schedule prior to the district meet.


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