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Girls should find themselves in the mix

Swedes return strong nucleus.

With a good mix of experienced upperclassmen and talented youngsters, the Gothenburg girls track and field team could find itself at the top of the team standings several times throughout the spring.

The Swedes have 20 returning letter winners including three with state meet experience.

State champion long jumper Tiani Reeves returns, along with fellow 4x400 relay members Regan Geiken and Aryn Meisinger.

The relay finished fourth at state last year in a school Top 10 time and Swede coach Steve Reeves believes if another 400 runner develops, the relay could be back in Omaha again.

In addition to the relay, field events will likely be Gothenburg’s strongest area, the coach said.

He expects the Swedes to score big points in the pit jumps as well as the pole vault during every meet and girls competing in the weight events have gotten stronger since last year so they should make their mark as well.

But while Reeves expects the Swede to dominate field events, he said his girls will definitely make their presence known on the track as well.

“We have potential to score in a lot of different areas. In a few cases, we’re still looking for the right events for girls,” Reeves said. “A lot of times, younger girls can contribute earlier in their careers than young boys because of the technical development. It’s always interesting to see how that goes.”

Cozad and Ogallala teams will likely provide stiff compeititon in the Southwest Conference as they bring back a strong core of athletes from last year’s successful teams.

The B-5 district should be exciting, Reeves said, with Lexington as the returning Class B state champs, Holdrege as last year’s Class B runner-up and Gothenburg, which finished ninth at state in 2012.

“We’ll be butting heads with some big schools and good athletes,” Reeves said. “We’ll just have to see how we stack up.”

The Swedes open the season on Thursday with an indoor meet at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Competition begins with field events at 1 p.m.

The girls then take their talents outdoors at the Sidney Invite on March 23, weather permitting.

“It’s been kind of difficult to get any continuity to practices so far,” Reeves said. “With the basketball team playing deeper into the post-season and then snow and spring break, I feel like we haven’t accomplished as much as I’d like in practice. Then all of a sudden you have a meet. But the girls will go out and compete hard and we’ll just have to see what happens.”

Members of the 2013 Swede girls track team are (*denotes letter winner):

SENIORS—Kenzi Hiebner*, Morgan Kowalewski*, Siera Schwanz*, Taylor Wolf*.

JUNIORS—Emily Franzen*, Regan Geiken*, Kyndal Holmes*, Shelby Mannel*, Abbie Mazour*, Aryn Meisinger*, Taylor Mroczek*, Bailey Rickertsen, Kennedy Wahlgren*.

SOPHOMORES—Bailey Aden, Kayla Anderson, Jessica Boehle, Haley Cline*, Alayna Collins*, Ashley Eskew*, MaKaela Franzen*, McKinley Harm*, Holly Hudson*, Amanda Kowalewski*, Kaitlyn Mannel, Tiani Reeves*, Becca Riley.

FRESHMEN—Lauren Andres, Kylee Beyea, Sarah Brown, Shae Brown, Blaire Gibbens, Sydney Gruber, Olivia Lafleur, Keely Lecher, Makayla Linnemeyer, Jennifer Maline, Natalie Mazour, Destiny McVay, Mady Vogel, Kim Whiting

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