A large contingent of seniors provides a good foundation for North Platte.
The Panthers have 10 returning seniors who will look to finish their careers at the Missouri State Track and Field Championships. Some have been there before and others have come up just short at the sectional meet, but all will provide the senior leadership to the younger runners on the squad.
“There is a lot to be excited for this season for North Platte track and field,” Panthers coach Brendan Cary said. “For both teams, we will be looking for our seniors to bring a lot of experience and strong leadership. We have a lot of sectional and state experience and we need to build on that. We will be working on physical and mental consistency through the season, looking to improve throughout and peak when we get to May. We have depth that will allow us to try some different things throughout the season in order to find the best combinations.”
Senior Corbin Green leads the returning group as the reigning district and KCI Conference champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. He finished 13th and 11th at state in those events, respectively.
Seniors Van French and Caleb Crumley will look to make the next step after coming up just short of state the previous two seasons, running together on the 4x400-meter relay team. The group finished sixth, just two seconds behind the final state-qualifying team in fourth place. Senior Ben Heese, juniors Tyler Meadows, Joe Demarcus, Zach Lee, Chase Chestnut and Chance Chestnut all bring valuable varsity experience to this season.
“For the boys, our senior group will look to finish out strong careers as well,” Cary said. “They have embraced the process over the last four years and appear poised to make the best of their last season. Corbin heads the pack with his state meet experience, but he is a part of group of eight seniors who have had varying levels of success throughout their careers. While our seniors bring great experience and will lead us in the sprints, jumps and hurdles, our middle and long distances, as well the throws and pole vault, will be led by a group of juniors and sophomores that will be looking to make a competitive leap to the top of their events. A hard-working group of freshman will bring us needed depth in all of our events and will have an opportunity to develop this season alongside a tremendous group of upperclassmen.”
On the girls side, McKenna Fulton returns as a state qualifier in the 300 hurdles. She has plenty of big meet experience as a four-time state cross country meet qualifier. She will also run the middle distance events for the Panthers.
Bailee Romaker, a sectional qualifier in the 100 and 300 hurdles, and senior thrower Miranda Daniel will also provide experience.
“For the girls, McKenna and Bailee will look to finish out strong careers at the State Meet in May. Both have big meet experience,” Cary said. “Miranda will look to take the next step as she leads a deep group of girls throwers.”
Fulton is a four-year state qualifier in cross country and a three-year state qualifier in track, including a 4x4 medal in 2016. Daniel qualified for state in cross country as a freshman 2014 and sectional track last spring.