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

Schedule

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