HESSTON — The Hesston High School tracks teams won’t have a lot of state experience, but the Swathers will have a lot of numbers to start the 2017 season.
Jason Peters begins his 10th season as the Swathers’ coach. He is assisted by Shannon Rewerts (sprints, mid-distance), Vanessa Schroeder (high jump, pole vault, hurdles) and Phil Unruh (throws). Peters coaches distance runners, long jump and triple jump.
The Hesston girls were fourth in the Central Kansas League, ninth in regionals and 20th in Class 3A at state. The boys were fourth in the CKL, fifth at regionals and 13th at state.
Hesston is led by seniors Zach Esau and Olivia Brubacher. Esau was seventh at state in the 1,600-meter run in 2014, fourth in the 4x800-meter relay in 2015, state champion in the 4x800-meter relay last year, fourth in the 4x400-meter relay in 2015 and seventh last year. He has league titles in the 1,600-meter run in 2014 and the 4x400-meter relay last year. He is a two-time regional champion in the 4x800-meter relay.
Brubacher was sixth at state in the long jump in 2015 and seconds in the 4x400-meter relay last year.
Other returning state qualifiers include sophomore Hunter Heddin in the 3,200-meter run; junior Abby Weaver in the 4x800-meter relay; and Kylie Klassen in the pole vault.
“We will have an inexperienced boys' team this year, with only two athletes returning who have qualified for the state meet,” Peters said. “However, we have 29 boys on our team this year, including several talented letter winners from last season who gained experience at varsity meets last year and should step up to compete well at the varsity level this year. We also have a number of talented newcomers joining our team this year, who should help us put together competitive relays and compete well as a team.
“Our girls' team will be very young, as we return a total of seven letter winners from last season and just three athletes who have competed previously at the state meet. However, we add 14 freshman and newcomers to our roster this season, several of whom should make an immediate impact at the varsity level. Our freshman girls dominated most of their meets in middle school, and there are quality athletes out of that class in every event. While we will rely on our younger athletes to contribute more season than in previous years, we have high expectations for the group to compete well as a team and be able to put together several quality relays.”
Peters looks for Pratt and Smoky Valley to be among the top contenders for the CKL girls’ title, while Pratt, Hoisington and Smoky Valley will contend for the boys’ title.
Other returning letterwinners (with grade and events):
Dylan Fry, senior, distance
Sam Bartel, junior, distance and high jump
Jared Harmony, junior, pole vault
Mitchell Martin, junior, long/triple jump, sprints
Reese Nebel, junior, high jump, hurdles, sprints
Matthew Whitsitt, junior, pole vault, mid-distance
Zach Bollinger, sophomore, mid-distance
Tyler Mason, sophomore, throws
Josh Roth, sophomore, sprints
Parker Roth, sophomore, sprints, long jump
Rebecca Heddin, senior, distance
Kailie Hamilton, junior, throws, mid-distance
Addi Schroeder, sophomore, hurdles, long jump
Mikayla Valdez, sophomore, hurdles, sprints
Others (with grade and events):
Ayden Fleming, junior, sprints, long jump
Austin Hermstein, junior, throws
Chase McDonald, junior, mid-distance
Luke Arrasmith, sophomore, sprints
Alex Koehn, sophomore, throws
Jesus Ramirez, sophomore, throws
Ian Weaver, sophomore, throws
Carter Wingfield, sophomore, sprints
Andrew Wright, sophomore, sprints
Sam Wright, sophomore, throws
Chet Albin, freshman, throws
Max Arnold, freshman, high jump, sprints
Michael Friesen, freshman, hurdles
Carter Funk, freshman, distance
Blake Good, freshman, sprints
Austin Griffin, freshman, pole vault, mid-distance
Jordyn Vogt, freshman, mid-distance
Hanna Horsthemke, senior, sprints
Erin Peters, sophomore, sprints, long jump
Shelby Clark, freshman, sprints, high jump
Talby Duerksen, freshman, sprints, hurdles
Hannah Ferguson, freshman, distance, pole vault
Faia Fry, freshman, distance, pole vault
Katie Hamilton, freshman, sprints, hurdles
Grace Hunsberger, freshman, sprints
Elise Kaiser, freshman, sprints, high jump
Emily Koehn, freshman, sprints, triple jump
Olivia Lais, freshman, distance
Celbi Richardson, freshman, throws
Rachel Teeter, freshman, throws
Marisa Vogt, freshman, sprints, long jump, hurdles
March 31 @ Andale Relays 3 p.m.
April 4 @ Hillsboro hex 4:30 p.m.
April 11 @ Marion hex 4:30 p.m.
April 13-14 @ WSU Pre-State TBA
April 18 @ Goessel hex 4:30 p.m.
April 21 @ Conrad Nightingale Inv., Halstead 3 p.m.
April 21-22 @ Kansas Relays, Lawrence 8 a.m.
April 25 Hesston hex 4:30 p.m.
April 28 @ James Thomas Inv., Hillsboro 3 p.m.
May 4 Hesston Inv. 2 p.m.
May 11 CKL @ Hillsboro 2 p.m.
May 19 Regionals TBA
May 26-27 State @ Cessna Stadium, Wichita TBA