Although the Gering boys and girls track teams didn’t score as many points as they hoped at the Class B State Track and Field Championships in Omaha last week, the Bulldogs did gain valuable experience looking ahead to next year.
Several of Gering’s state track qualifiers were juniors or younger. Head coach Randy Plummer said he is excited knowing that more of his team will know what state track is like next season.
“More of our kids that went to state are coming back next year so that’s really good,” Plummer said. “They got the experience and got to see what it was like down there. Hopefully next time around, we’ll do a little better down there. But it was a good season all in all.”
Three Bulldogs, two boys and one girl, earned individual medals at the state meet. On the boys side, senior Logan Moravec ran to a seventh-place finish in the 800-meter run, posting a time of 2 minutes, 0.58 seconds. Junior Kolton Ebbers cleared 6 feet, 4 inches in high jump to earn a sixth place medal.
For the girls squad, junior Elli Winkler captured an eighth-place medal with a mark of 34-5 3/4.
Plummer said he expected the Bulldogs to do a little better at state track, but was glad that the Bulldogs got to experience the state championships.
“We expected to do a little better but that’s just the way it goes sometimes,” he said. “It’s tough competition at state and you have to run better than you have all year, and we just didn’t do that. But the state track meet is such a blast. You get to see some of the best athletes in the state and it’s just fun.”
Other individual competitors on the boys team include Quinton Janecek in the 300 hurdles. Moravec also ran the 1,600 in 4:40.62.
On the girls side, junior Maria Avila (300 hurdles), freshman Shailee Patton (3,200) and senior Jasmine Johnson (100) all competed. Along with the individual qualifiers, the Gering boys team had three relays run at the state meet. The 4x100 team of Garrett W. Conn, Cody Ferguson, Riley Schanaman and Ebbers ran a 44.37, just missing a spot in the finals. The 4x400 team of Ferguson, Brady Radzymski, Brett Pszanka and Moravec ran a 3:32.26. Gering’s 4x800 team of Pszanka, Logan Andrews, Ferguson and Moravec posted a time of 8:39.10.
This year’s state track meet was a little different than previous years, Plummer said. Times and marks that the lower classes posted were right in-line with some of the Class A times.
“There were some good runners and good jumpers. I think classes C and B were just as tough as class A in a lot of the events,” Plummer said. “The best high jump and triple jump came out of B, the 100 came out of C . . . so it was good to see the lower classes do so well and be able to compete, time for time, with Class A.”
Overall, Plummer said it was a tough season for the Bulldogs, with cold and wet weather looming over the season.
“Every track coach will tell you that it was kind of a bum year,” Plummer said. “Other than the Best in the West, that was a nice night and you could see that in what everybody did that night. Everybody was ready for some warm weather, it just kind of a long and grueling season. But that’s the way it goes with the weather.”