HALSTEAD — The Halstead High School track teams will have a new head coach and six state medalists back for the 2017 season.
Jason Grider will lead the Dragons this season, succeeding longtime coach Mark Meyer, who retired after 22 years.
Grider has served as an assistant track coach for the past three years. He is assisted by Donovan Regher, Jesse Mueller and Liz Wray.
The Halstead boys were fifth in the Central Kansas League last season, fourth at regionals and 22nd at Class 3A state. The girls were fifth at league, eighth at regionals and 22nd at state.
Returning state medalists for the Halstead boys are senior Adam Sigwing, who took seventh in the 400-meter dash; senior Patrick Porch, who took second in the 1,600-meter run, seventh in the 4x800-meter relay and also competed in the 800-meter run; senior Cory Hiebert, who took seventh in the 4x800-meter relay; junior Neil Owens, who took seventh in the 4x800-meter relay and also competed in the 800-meter run; and sophomore Braden Gerber, who took seventh in the 4x800-meter relay and also competed in the 4x400-meter relay.
Sigwing struggled with injuries last season, but still managed a state medal.
Back for the Halstead girls is sophomore Lydia Johnson, who took third in the 3,200-meter run, sixth in the 800-meter run and sixth in the 1,600-meter run.
Other returning state qualifiers are senior Tony Morris in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 4x400-meter relay; and junior Kameron Freeman in the 4x400-meter relay.
Morris also plays center field for the Halstead baseball team.
Other returning letterwinners for the boys include John Jewett (sr., sprints), Drew Blaylock (jr., throws), Peyton Carr (jr., distance), Ernesto Esparza (so., sprints), Keifer Powell (so., sprints) and Josh Talbott (so., distance).
Other returning letterwinners for the girls include Adelle Runnebaum (sr., hurdles), Sierra Grow (jr., throws), Dorenna Lucero (jr., sprints), Maggie McKee (jr., sprints), Katylynn Millspaugh (jr., sprints, middle distance), Caileen Walters (jr., throws), Shaeley Day (so., throws), Jayden Siebert (so., distance), Kaia Siebert (so., distance) and Christian Wiedeman (so., pole vault, sprints).
“The strength of the Dragons on the boys side will be on the track,” Grider said. “ If they can find some quality in the field events they will be a force to be reckoned with in 2017. The girls will be small in number but will have some outstanding individual performances.”
April 4 @ Sterling hex 4:30 p.m.
April 7 @ Lyons Inv. 3:30 p.m.
April 11 @ Hillsboro hex 4:30 p.m.
April 13-14 @ WSU Pre-State TBA
April 18 @ Marion hex 4:30 p.m.
April 21 Conrad Nightingale Inv. 3 p.m.
April 25 @ Hesston hex 4:30 p.m.
April 28 @ Vernon Ferguson Inv., Cheney 3:30 p.m.
May 4 @ Hesston Inv. 4 p.m.
May 11 CKL @ Hillsboro 2 p.m.
May 19 Regionals TBA
May 26-27 State @ Cessna Stadium, Wichita TBA