“It is really different this year in that we have a lot of distance runners and very few sprinters,” Goessel High School head track coach Curtis Guhr said recently.
The Goessel team reported 28 athletes for the first day of spring practice, which was spent indoors because of the weather. The Bluebirds have only three seniors on this year’s squad and are expecting points from each of them.
Alex Schmidt will be expected to score points in the throwing events. Makaila Schmidt is expected to excel in distance events, and Brittny Czarnowsky will hopefully finish her senior year with a trip to state in several distance races.
Tia Goertzen was a qualifier at state last year in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and 4x400 relay. Ali Buller participated in the 4x400 relay.
“It is awesome to run at state,” Goertzen said with a smile.
“It can be intimidating and also exciting to race in front of the big crowd,” Ali Buller added.
Czarnowsky also has experience at state in track and field in 2010 and finished 32nd in the state cross-country meet this fall. Czarnowsky knows about the tough competition because she is among the best athletes in the state. Grant Flaming returns as a letter winning distance runner from a year ago.
Goessel is part of the Central Kansas Track League, which gives them exposure to quality competition.
“We mixed up the schedule this year, so that we are not always competing against the same teams,” Guhr said.
The Bluebirds will have their regular quint (five team) meets, but will also participate at Norwich and Herington.
“We should do well in the Wheat State League,” Guhr said, “and expect some of the inexperienced distance runners to create some surprises. We could have three and four runners in some of the running events.”
GHS to host 3 meets
Goessel track will host three meets this year, with Goessel hosting April 10, Canton hosting at Goessel on April 17, and the Wheat State League meet on May 10. The Bluebirds’ first meet will be at Bluestem High School on April 3.