HALSTEAD — With five state qualifiers back, the Halstead High School track team will be looking to pick up some more league, regional and state hardware for 2018.

Jason Grider returns for his second season as the Dragons coach.

Grider is assisted by Donovan Regehr, Jesse Mueller and Liz Wray.

The Halstead boys were fourth in the Central Kansas League last year, fourth at regionals and 12th at Class 3A state.

The girls were 11th at league and 12th at regionals.

Returning state medalists for the boys are senior Kameron Freeman (8th 4x400, SQ 300 IH), junior Braden Gerber (1st 4x800, 8th 4x400) and junior Josh Talbott (1st 4x800).

Returning for the girls include juniors Lydia Johnson (SQ 800-m.) and Shaeley Day (SQ discus).

Other returning letterwinners for the boys include Dakota Blaylock (sr., distance), Drew Blaylock (sr., throws), Peyton Carr (sr., distance), Kason O’Neal (sr., jumps), Scott Grider (so., distance), Gage Larson (so., pole vault), Josh Loucks (so., throws), Ethan McDonald (so., throws) and Aric Propst (so., throws-sprints).

Other letterwinners for the girls include Maggie McKee (sr., sprints), Katylynn Millspaugh (sr., sprints, middle distance), Jayden Siebert (jr., distance) and Kaia Siebert (jr., distance).

“The strength of the Dragons again lies in the distance,” Grider said. “With this group of seniors winning three out of the last four cross country titles expectations are high in the distance events. The state champion 4x800 team returns Junior Braden Gerber and sophomore Josh Talbott. Senior Dakota Blaylock, Junior Andrew O’Brien and Sophomore Scott Grider look to add to the 4x800 and make another push at a 4x800 state title. Senior Peyton Carr looks to be very strong in the mile and two mile along with Sophomores Isaac Radke and Gage Carr. On the girls side Junior Lydia Johnson

returns after qualifying for state in the 800 a season ago. Senior

Kaytlynn Millspaugh, Juniors Jayden and Kaia Siebert also return

and look to be very competitive in the distance races.

“The Dragons return several members of a 4x400 team that placed eighth at state a season ago. Senior Kameron Freeman and junior Braden Gerber return to make another run in the 4x400. On the girls side senior Maggie McKee returns after having a quality junior year in the sprints having team best times in the 100 (12.82), 200 (27.56) and the 400 (1:03.25). Freshmen Karenna Gerber and Madison McClain look to make an immediate impact in the sprints on the girls side.

“Junior Shaeley Day returns to lead an experienced group of throwers. Day finished third at Regionals and just missed a state

medal finishing in 11th place. Senior Drew Blaylock returns on the boys side after a strong Junior campaign. Junior Braden Gerber also returns to throw the Javelin where he finished with a team best 138-7. Sophomore Aric Propst will split his time this year on the track, in the jumps and throwing. He could make a big impact right away. Senior Sierra Grow as well as sophomores Josh Loucks, Holli Black and Harley Lang look to be very competitive in 2018. Season ending ACL injuries in football will keep sophomore Ethan McDonald and freshman Doug Grider out for the season.

“Senior Kason O’Neal returns as one of the areas best jumpers. He managed a team best in the triple jump, 39-9 1/2 and in the high jump with a leap of 5-10. Sophomore Aric Propst also returns with a team best jump in the long jump of 19-5 1/4. Senior state Qualifier Kameron Freeman returns to run the 300 intermediate

hurdles where he placed third at regionals. He could make a push for the school record in the event. On the girls side freshman Karenna Gerber looks to make an impact in the 300 low hurdles. Sophomore Gage Larson had a big season as a freshman in the vault going 12-6. He just missed qualifying for state a season ago. Larson should be one of the areas best vaulters in 2018.”

Schedule

April 3 @ Remington quint (Thresher Stadium) 4:30 p.m.

April 6 @ Lyons Inv. 3:30 p.m.

April 10 @ Sterling quint 4:30 p.m.

April 12-13 @ Wichita State Pre-State Classic (Cessna Stadium) 6:30 p.m./9:30 a.m.

April 17 @ Haven quint 4:30 p.m.

April 20 Nightingale Inv. 2:30 p.m.

April 24 Halstead quint 4:30 p.m.

April 27 @ Cheney Inv. 3:30 p.m.

May 3 @ Hesston Inv. 3:30 p.m.

May 10 CKL @ Halstead 2 p.m.

May 18 Regionals TBA

May 25-26 State @ Cessna Stadium, Wichita TBA