By Ray Conner
The Lady Broncs track squad gets back in action as they begin the new season.
Kern Valley will only have six that return from last year’s team. They will have a total of 22 athletes on the Lady Broncs squad to begin their quest of improving every chance they get.
This will be done in hopes of being competitive as a team, but more importantly as an individual.
Brent Mixon is back for his eighth season as the Kern Valley girls track teams’ head coach.
He will be assisted by Jimmy Thompson, Brian Bennett, and Bill Gallis.
The athletes that are presently on the team are: Bella Williams Sr., Alyson Bangert Sr., Faith Oetting Sr., Sharon Reyes Sr., Anne Keverline Sr., Adeline Goulding Jr., Dori Ross Jr., McKenna Ennis Jr., Elexis Romero Jr., Bryce Kelso Jr., Nina Gaudsmith Jr., Melissa Scoggan Jr., Alex Martinez Jr., Kaitlin Hall So., Jane Watson So., Korrine Wild Fr., Olivia Wagner Fr., Brookelynn Gallis Fr., Rylie Noble Fr., Karyssa Walker Fr., Eva Brennan Fr., and Annalyse Alton Fr.
The six Lady Broncs that are returners are, Williams, Bangert, Goulding, Oetting, Reyes, and Ross.
Mixon’s goal as the coach is to bind this group of young ladies into a team. This is the goal for his athletes on the team also. By doing so, they can be successful in their endeavors.
Mixon said, “I hope for each of the athletes we teach them not only to get better and stronger at the events they are doing, but I want them to come together as a team and learn how to work well with one another. Wins and losses will take care of themselves as long as the kids work hard to improve each week.”
Mixon mentioned two key losses from last year’s team in Julia Amstutz and Arika D’ Amico. The new athletes on the team that can show potential according to Mixon are Kaitlyn Hall, Olivia Wagner, Bryce Kelso, Brookelynn Gallis, and Annaylyse Alton. He said, “They could all be big scorers for us this year.”
In the so-called non-league the Lady Broncs will compete mostly in Invitational Meets. Mixon would like to see his team go through the learning process and to be able to participate in the All-Area Meet later on in the year. He commented, “To get better and stronger and learn how to compete. We want to get more athletes qualified for the all area meet this year and years to come. “In the High Desert League, he feels that although there are many quality teams, his is the one to beat. He said, “We want to beat every HDL team. In track every team has their strengths, so each team will be a challenge that we look forward to. Kern Valley will be the team to beat. Mixon sees the strength of his team in that they are a balanced team that in year’s past had holes in their scoring chances. This season it looks like they will be competitive in just being able to compete in events.
Mixon said, “I think we are a well-rounded team. Our throwers should do well along with our distance runners. These are two areas where we have lacked the last couple of years. We now have more athletes competing in these events so we should be able to score more points. Goulding, Ross, and Williams will lead our group in the sprints, jumps and hurdles. Our freshmen and sophomores that have joined the team this season will help us tremendously in all areas.” It looks as if the jumpers on the team are the one area of concern for Mixon. A lack of experience will be a tough leap for the Lady Broncs in keeping up with their opponents.
Mixon said, “Our jumpers lack experience but are a hard-working group of girls. I look forward to them improving greatly over the next couple of months.”
In closing Mixon said, “I am excited. They are a great group of girls. We have our first and only home meet on Wednesday, April 15th. We would love to have the community come out and support our Lady Broncs.”
The head coach of the Kern Valley girls’ team likes what he sees and will allow this team to become athletes in their own right to win events.
They began their season at the Burroughs Invitational on Tuesday.
After struggling with numbers over the last few years, the Broncs track squad this year is one of the largest ever.
Kern Valley currently has 32 athletes on the team headed by Brian Christianson. He is in his 10th year guiding the track team.
Numbers for a track squad is a positive as you can adjust certain events to maximize to the number of points you can earn for the team. Kern Valley will have no problem getting the maximum benefits from their athletes.
Christianson will be assisted by Bill Gallis who will be in charge of the relays and the high jump. Also coming back to help will be Jimmy Thompson to assist with the throwers on the team.
The 32 athletes that make up the Broncs include 12 that return from last year.
The team members are: Throwers: *Brett Grimsby (12th grade), *Michael McBride (12th grade), *Juan Carlos Lopez (12th grade), Ernesto Topete (12th grade), Kenneth King (12th grade), Nick Timms (12th grade), Richard Lambert (11th grade), Pardae Tuttle (11th grade), *Gerron Cassidy (10th grade), and Tyler Clark (10th grade).
Sprinters, Jumpers, Hurdlers: *Jeffrey Cawein (12th grade), Isaac Steers (12th grade), *Zach Goss (12th grade), Blake Waldrop (12th grade), Lucas Harris (12th grade), Adam Wood (12th grade), *James Davis (11th grade), *Noah Alexander (11th grade), *Carson Alten (11th grade), Kaden Preston (11th grade), Vincent Pearman (11th grade), *James Meachem (10th grade), Sky Brown (10th grade), Bryan Hernandez (ninth grade), Isaac Williams (ninth grade), Josh Papp (ninth grade), and Garrett Davis (ninth grade).
Middle, long-distance: *Davin Lee (12th grade), Gunner Davis (10th grade), Jasper (Will) Bunting (10th grade), and Will Salem (ninth grade).
Note: Those athletes that have an asterisk by their names are the ones that return to the Broncs squad this season.
Christianson’s goal as the coach for this year is to be successful in each phase of the season.
He said, “Our team goal is to win the High Desert League, to have individual league champions, and to qualify individuals for all-area.”
As for the athletes on the team, Christianson’s desire is for them to continue to improve and to put themselves in the All-Area Track meet. He commented, “We want each athlete to PR (personal record) throughout the year. We also want the athlete’s to shoot for becoming and all-league athlete, and to qualify for all-area at Liberty High.”
This year many new faces abound for the squad. Christianson will have to see who fits where in the team concept along with each athlete’s strength in their event. He said, “We have a number of new athletes this year that we are excited to see compete this year.”
Most of the season belongs to Invitational Meets, which makes up the non-league portion of the Broncs schedule. This will be the chance for the head coach to encourage his athletes into setting their sights on qualifying for the All-Area. Christianson said, “Athletes can qualify for the all-area meet at any invitational throughout the year, so I am looking forward to seeing athletes compete and get those qualifying marks.”
Turning to the HDL, according to Christianson, Cal City will be the one team that they have to look out for. But he also stated that there are teams that have a chance because of their athletes. He said, “Cal City is always good in track, but each school has its individual strengths.”
He sees the strength of his squad in the athleticism his charges are showing. He said, “We are going to have some very good athletes in a lot of different events.”
The flip side is that many of his athletes are new to track and will have to gain experience both in practice and at meets. When questioned on what are the areas that need work, Christianson replied, “We need to get athletes experience.”
In closing Christianson said, “This is the biggest team that we have had in the last 10 years. We are excited to see these athletes compete.”
With huge numbers, Kern Valley could easily gain success. They will still have to prove it when they compete, but it sounds as if the head coach is really excited for the season to begin.
The Broncs opened their year on Tuesday as they competed in the Burroughs Invitational.