Numbers will impact girls team
With 46 Swede girls out for track this spring, coach Steve Reeves sees depth as an advantage in lots of different areas.
Twenty freshmen nearly double the 26 girls from other grades combined.
Sure, they’re young and they’ll have to adjust to competition at the high school level.
But Reeves is confident some will contribute early to the Swede team success.
With only four seniors on the team and no one returning with state meet experience, Reeves will be forced to look to his younger participants for help.
“It’s difficult at this point to determine where our team strength will be,” the coach said. “We’re sure going to try to be balanced on the track and we want to score some points in the field events.”
Knowing where the older girls will fit is pretty simple, Reeves said. Returning letter winners have already proven themselves in particular events.
Determining exactly where some of the newcomers will compete takes longer.
Gothenburg will hit the track for the first time Saturday at the University of Nebraska at Kearney Indoor Invite, which begins at 4:30 p.m.
Then the girls will travel to Sidney for an early outdoor invite on March 24. It’s a new addition to the schedule.
Outdoor varsity compeition gets in full swing at the Ogallala Invite on March 31.
Reeves said he expects Cozad to be the Southwest Conference favorite again this spring.
“Of course I don’t know who all has gone out in Cozad but I know they’ve got ability across the board,” he said. “And Minden obviously has athletic kids. They proved that in the fall and winter.”
The B-6 district meet, hosted by Gothenburg, includes 10 teams this year. The field is similar to previous B-6 district meets with the exception of Cozad, which heads east to Grand Island.
“Being at home for the district meet is always a plus,” Reeves said. “Our kids perform well at home. It will be interesting to see how it all comes out.”
Members of the 2012 Swede girls track team are (*denotes letter winner):
SENIORS—Erica Houchin*, Kersten Nelson*, Payton Prall*, Kelsey Wahlgren*.
JUNIORS—Andrea Coder, Maddy Costello, Kenzi Hiebner*, Morgan Kowalewski*, Brittyn Munster, Danielle Schriver, Siera Schwanz*, Carlie Stevens, Shay Wear*; Taylor Wolf*.
SOPHOMORES—Alexis Brian, Emily Franzen*, Regan Geiken*, Jessica Habe, Kyndal Holmes*, Shelby Mannel*, Abbie Mazour*, Aryn Meisinger*, Taylor Mroczek*, Dalcy Pfeiffer, Bailey Rickertsen, Kennedy Wahlgren*.
FRESHMEN—Bailey Aden, Kayla Anderson, Jessica Boehle, Joslyn Baker, Bailey Baxter, Mary Cardenas, Haley Cline, Alayna Collins, Ashley Eskew, MaKaela Franzen, McKinley Harm, Britney Hicken, Amanda Kowalewski, Kyann Leviner, Shelby Loostrom, Hailey Maline, Kati Mannel, Sydney Pride, Tiani Reeves, Kelsey Wlasiuk.