The Belle Fourche High School boys and girls track and field teams are down in numbers for the 2013 season.
“We are down in numbers from last year,” said Coach Randy Nicholas.
The Broncs currently list 22 boys and 17 girls on the roster.
Returning boys lettermen are seniors: Theadore Conner, Trevor Nicholas, Tyler Rehmeier, and Austin Westland; juniors: Aaron Babbs, Stephen Faulkner, Kevin Gabert, Thomas Green, Josh O’Byrne, Tayler Olson and Wyatt Pearson.
Other members of the boys squad are seniors: Creedence Fonder and Todd Westland; junior: Dillon Bryant; sophomores: Jacob Mauer, Ben Minor, Austin Rodriquez and Damian Tobar; freshmen: Tevin Gomez, Alan Gurnard, Jalen Powers and Bryson Westland.
Lost to graduation from last year’s team are Brian Gallagher, Colten Njos and Tyler Rogge.
“We don’t have a lot of depth and experience for the boys,” said Coach Nicholas.
Trevor Nicholas, O’Byrne, Austin Westland, Bryson Westland, Gomez and Powers compete in the sprints. Conner is the main competitor in the 800-meter run. “We’ll have 400 and 800-meter relay teams,” said Nicholas. “We don’t have the people to cover the other relays. We will put kids in events where they can best be successful.”
Green and Gomez are the hurdlers, while Green and Bryson Westland compete in the long jump and Pearson in the pole vault. “The triple jump is a big question mark,” said Nicholas.
Returning girls letter winners are senior: Stephanie Johnson; juniors:
Kassie Willard and Rachel Zacher; sophomores: Kasey Buresh, Brooke
Howell, Sentel Johnson, Nicole Kling, Janie McAmis and Alyx Mitchell.
Other members of the girls squad include sophomores: Alicia Absher,
Amber Rankin and Rhyanna Schleuning: ninth graders: Kaylee Fischer,
Jordan Hanson, TeaLayha Hill, Emily Vinyard and Allie Weinzetl.
Lost to graduation from last year’s team are Lily Walker (2012 state A pole vault champion), Camile Kling and Lyndee McAmis.
“We’re going to struggle with filling events for the girls,” said Coach Nicholas.
“Brooke Howell is our top sprinter from last year.” Vinyard, Willard, Buresh and McAmis will compete in the middle distance events. Vinyard and Kling lead the distance runners and hurdlers, respectively.
“Our relays are an experiment. We have to put the puzzle together,” said Nicholas.
Sentel Johnson qualified for state in the pole vault in 2012. Stephanie Johnson and Willard also compete in the pole vault.
“We have some people experimenting with the jumps. There are a couple of young girls in the throws. We’re hoping they improve throughout the season."
Hot Springs hosts the Black Hills Conference meet on May 10. Nicholas listed Spearfish, Custer and Douglas as the BHC favorites.
Lyle Hare Stadium in Spearfish is the host site for the Region 8A meet May 16.
“Our goal is to get better each practice and each meet,” said Nicholas. “We hope to qualify as many people as we can for State.”
Lennox hosts the first day of the State A meet on May 24. Sioux Falls hosts the combined State AA, A and B meet on May 25.
Belle Fourche competes in the Queen City Invitational in Spearfish on April 5.
Nicholas coaches the sprinters and relays and is assisted by Cathy Grubb (hurdles, long jump, high jump), Mathew Raba (pole vault, triple jump) and Nick Redden (shot put, discus).