By Ray Conner
The Lady Broncs track and field squad is ready to compete.
Head coach Brent Mixon enters his seventh year guiding the Kern Valley team. He will be assisted by Jimmy Thompson.
This year the Lady Broncs team has 12 members with six of those returning for another season.
Kern Valley has three seniors this year. They are Julia Amstutz, Magie Guarneros, and Aubree Barkley. The juniors on the squad are Maddison McMullen, Alyssa McKilop, Chayann Hiles, and Arika D’Amico. Sophomores include, Isabella Williams, Alyson Bangert, and Sharon Reyes. Two freshmen round out the team. They are Adeline Goulding and Brooklyn McKillop. The six athletes for the Lady Broncs that are returners are, Amstutz, McMullen, A. McKillop, Williams, Hiles, and D’Amico.
Mixon sees this year as a chance for his team to gain experience and the necessary skills to be competitive. When asked what his goal as a coach and the goal for his athletes he 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.”
Some of the key losses that the Lady Broncs will experience this year are two that are injured and four that were lost to the squad due to graduation.
According to Mixon, Rachel Driskell and Abby Achorn both had knee surgery and are big losses in sprints and jumping. The four graduates were Makayla Forbes, Abby Steers, Kaya Godinez, and Savannah Funk.
The potential key additions to the team are Barkley who took a year off and is now back to competing. The two freshmen should also help earn points in the dual meets.
When it comes to the non-league portion of the schedule, Mixon hopes to fulfill three requirements to success. He said, “To get better, stronger, and learn how to compete.”
In the High Desert League, Mixon has high hopes to beat every team, thus making them champions. He said, “We want to beat every HDL team. In track every team has their strenghths. So each team will be a challenge that we look forward to.”
He sees the strength of the Lady Broncs in three of the returners. He said, “Amstutz, D’Amico, and Williams scored a lot of points for us last year. I am looking forward to them doing the same this year.”
Some of the areas that need work are in the throwing events.
Mixon said, “Our throwers are young, but are a hard working group of girls. I look forward to them improving greatly since this is their second year in the program.”
In closing Mixon said, “I am excited. We have a great group of girls. We have our first and only home meet today (March 7.) We would love to have the community come out and support our Lady Broncs.”
With a young group of athletes the Lady Broncs will look to be competitive and show the rest of the athletes they compete against that they are a force to be reckoned with.