Curtis Guhr, entering his eighth year as Goessel track coach, could be the envy of area coaches this season, at least on the girls’ side.
Last year’s Wheat State League champions didn’t lose anyone to graduation, and return four state qualifiers.
Aleena Cook, Erin Brubaker, Olivia Duerksen, and Shelbi Stultz competed on one or both state relay teams, and Duerksen was an individual qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles. Add returning letter-winner Jennifer Meysing to the mix, and it’s understandable why Guhr said he likes the possibilities this group presents.
“With this group, they’re such an athletic group, they can step in several areas,” he said.
Guhr expects to fill events with younger performers, and again he has a good base from which to work.
“Our eighth grade girls were league champs last year, so hopefully some of those younger girls will be able to step in and do well for us,” Guhr said.
A good turnout for the girls bodes well for the relays.
“We will also be looking to put several relays together that should compete well,” Guhr said.
The boys had a tough time at last year’s regional meet, as Goessel competitors repeatedly finished one spot out of qualifying for the state meet. The team’s lone state placer in triple jump, senior Heath Goertzen, is gone, but returning letter-winners Zach Wiens, Chase Flaming, Leighton Wagner, Josh Schmidt, and Miguel Guerrero should be motivated to work hard this year, Guhr said.
“We will be looking to these returning letter-winners to lead the team this season,” he said.
The boys’ team is small in number, which means the Bluebirds will look to score points in individual events to boost team scoring, Guhr said.
Hurdles and sprints are the most promising areas for Goessel to score, Guhr said, but distance races and field events could provide opportunities as the season progresses.