WAVERLY – Waverly Coach Brian Benson has been coaching at the school for more than two decades.
Losing the 2020 season due to a global pandemic was both difficult and disappointing.
Benson and the Waverly track and field teams returned to the track after nearly two years away from the sport on March 20 when they traveled to Crete to take part in the Class B Indoor Invitational at Doane Invitational.
Both teams were able to leave the meet with team titles with the girls scoring 96 team points and the boys finishing in a tie for first in the team race with Hastings.
“Losing last season was very disappointing. The senior class is hungry to get back on the track and our underclassmen are stepping up as well. We have over 100 kids out so we should be able to develop depth in all events,” Benson said.
Seniors Conrad Schroeder and Whitney Lauenstein and junior Hogan Wingrove all return with state meet experience for the Vikings.
Schroeder is an 800-meter specialist who is also expected to help out in the relay events.
Lauenstein, a Husker volleyball signee, is expected to be one of the top hurdlers and high jumpers in Class B. She won both the 60-meter hurdles and the high jump event at the season opening indoor meet.
Wingrove will compete in the hurdles and triple jump this season for the Vikings and appears in great form after crushing the rest of the field in the 60-meter hurdle event and winning the triple jump at Doane. He won the event with a time of 8.7.
Sprinters Will Armatys, Preston Harms, Grace Hartweg, Macy Persinger and AJ Heffelfinger all had impressive showings at the season opening indoor meet and figure to only get better as the season progresses.
Senior distance specialist Trae Greve crossed the finish line first in the two-mile event after crossing the finish line with a time of 10:50.
Freshman Millie Waldo and senior Grace Lange (returning state qualifier) will compete in the middle distance events for the Vikings and appear in good form after finishing 1-2 in the 800-meter run in Crete.
Senior Hunter Hanke and juniors Quinten Kastens and Trevor Brown will head up a team of quality throwers on the boys side.
“Our goal is to continue to develop as the season progresses. I think we can be in contention to win both conference and district titles and finish in the top five at state,” said Benson.