A team of veterans, newcomers
The Buc boys track and field team is coming off a third-place finish in the South Central Conference Meet and fourth place in the Section Meet.
Before the start of the season, the team figured to have 20 letterwinners, but two have decided not to return for another season.
“We have some newcomers out and are looking to see how that develops,” says Plocker.
Through graduation the Bucs lost eight lettermen, two were five-time letterwinners and two others earned four letters each.
“Our focus is going to be on improving throughout the season, up to the big meets” Plocker says.
Leading the way for the squad will be senior Nick Beattie.
The Buc sprinter is a four-time letterwinner who earned all-conference in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
Beattie won gold medals in both events with time of 10.9 seconds and 22.6 seconds, respectively.
At the Section Meet, he won a silver medal in the 100 with a time of 11.61 seconds and qualified for State.
Beattie and junior Justin Ritter were member of the All-SCC 4 x 100-meter relay that took first place in 45 second.
Ritter enters the season with three varsity letters.
Five other seniors return as lettermen, led by three-time winners Taylor Olson and Steven Plocker.
Brad More has two varsity letters, while Garrett Christensen and Micah Twedt have one apiece.
Junior Isaac Miranda enters the season with three varsity letters, and Dakota Jahnke has two.
Danny Krieger and Brandon Purvis are seeking their second.
Sophomore Nick Shure has earned two letters and Mike Ankeny has one.
The remaining letterwinners are freshmen Brandon Olson and Bailey Olson with two each, and Tyler Hannaman, John Lindsey and Zach Vaske, all with one.
In total, in grades eight through 12 there are nearly 30 out for the team.
Plocker expects the conference to be more balanced this year, with defending champions Waseca and Fairmont being the favorites.
In the True Team Meet, the veteran coach believes there are a number of teams that will be in contention to earn a State berth.
“It will be wide open this year. That’s going to be a big focus for us,” he says.