Seven Broncs crowned league champs.

Nine of the 11 athletes from Kern Valley that earned league champion status at the HDL Finals. (L-R) Aspen Hacker, Jayda Bushling, Jessie Bunting, Ed Bunting, Jack Montgomery, Kyle Denys, Tristan Beckham, Daniel Hinkey, and Baden Mota. Missing from photo were Jackson Weghorst and Marissa Tate. Submitted Photo

Story by Ray Conner

The Kern Valley boys track team continued their winning ways at the HDL Finals. 

They would finish in first place as a team with 129 points. They outlasted Bishop who placed second with 118 points.

Six individual Broncs and one athlete that was part of the 4x 100 relay team took home the first-place medals at the finals. Note: the other three runners in the relay won individual events. Two athletes finished as runner ups, while two others completed the scoring for the Broncs by taking third in events.

The winning 4x 100 relay team consisted of Kyle Denys, Daniel Hinkey, Tristam Beckham, and Jack Montgomery. They ran the race in a time of 45.99 to come across the finish line in first place.

Including the relay win, Baden Mota, Hinkey and Denys were three-time champions in league. Mota won the 1600m (4:56.93) and he would also win the 400m (53.73) Both of these marks were PR’s. Denys, another relay winner, finished first in the 200m (24.28). This time was a PR. He also collected a season record in the long jump (19’ 6.5”) to win that event. Hinkey, another realia winner finished first in the 110m hurdles (18.79) and also won the 300m (47.06). Montgomery was a two-time HDL champion as he was part of the relay team. He leaped his way to a first-place finish in the high jump (5’ 6”). He would tie with the second-place finisher, but was declared the winner with less attempts to reach the mark.

Ed Bunting and Jackson Weghorst were also part of the HDL champions for the Broncs. Bunting threw the shot put 38’ 4” to claim the league championship. This was also a PR for Bunting. Weghorst jumped his way into the winner’s circle with his own PR. He was first in the triple jump by leaping 36’ 8”.

Denys and Weghorst were just off the mark as they would take second in events. Denys was runner up in the 100m (12.07), while Weghorst was second in the high jump (5’ 6”). Bunting and Colin Clark each collected third-place spots for Kern Valley. Bunting was third in the discus (81’ 7.5”), while Clark was third in the 110m hurdles (20.91).

With the scoring places in the books, other finishers for Kern Valley were Beckham who took a pair of sixth-place spots. He would take sixth in the 100m (12.37) and the 200m (25.22). Brian Webster came in sixth-place, as he threw the discus 76’ 6”.  Jonas Bordner was seventh in the shot put (30’ 2”), while Christopher Richey finished ninth in the discus (70’ 9”). Webster was 10th in the 200m (26.68), while he took 11th in the 100m (12.53). Michael Porter heaved the shot put 28’ 7” which was good for 11th place. Aiden Rapp was 14th in the long jump (9’ 8”) to complete the Broncs athletes’ competition on the day.

Head coach Sabine Mixon said, “The Kern Valley team had a good showing, bringing home champion medals in 10 events. I know I said it before, but I couldn’t be prouder of these young men. Five athletes set seven personal records during this meet. Here we are at the end of the season and they continue to strive to better themselves. It has been a great season. We are really going to miss our amazing seniors, but several still have a chance to compete at the Division 4 level.” 

She would go on to say., “The Broncs (would) find out on Monday which athletes will be moving on to the CIF Division 4 Championships held in Caruthers on Friday.”

Whichever athletes continue on this season, the whole Broncs team can be proud of their efforts.