Killdeer track & field teams ready to roll in 2024

Mar. 26—KILLDEER, N.D. — The Killdeer Cowboys track and field teams already are raring to go, and with 25 boys joining 26 girls on the two squads there is an abundance of returning state-qualifiers to boast and they are almost certain to lasso some more positive results in the coming weeks and months en route to the Class B State Meet at the Bismarck Community Bowl on May 23.

While it's the same for all North Dakota track & field teams — with a truncated season that goes by like the speed of sound — all the teams seem to be on the same page. Boys head coach Andy Murphy is joined by girls head coach Nathan Horgeshimer and an assistant-coaching staff composed of Lou Dobitz, Janis Harris, Macinda Klatt and Nick Klatt. They all are steady-at-work in the gymnasium due to recent snowfall amounts that seem to come down at just the wrong time and potentially inhibit the tracksters from being able to get off to a solid start. But they routinely find creative ways to get the athletes up-to-speed quickly, and that's been the case in 2024 as well.

"So far, it's been good, but it's been a little bit of a hectic start to the season because we started right away and went for three days and then we hosted a regional basketball tournament and then our boys qualified for state ... but it's been good," Murphy said. "We have a senior-driven team this year and a lot of them made it to the state track meet last year."

Horgeshimer added, "Looking at who we have returning and coming back from last year, our long-distance and mid-distance crew should be pretty strong."

For the boys, Gus Bohmbach was the top-draw with a third-place finish in the pole-vault and a fourth-place ribbon in the javelin. But there also will be Dayne Dorval on his way back after qualifying in the 100m dash and 16th place and Ethan Hendickson will most likely be able to improve on his 100m and 400m times in the coming season. The 4x100m team of Bohmbach, Hendrickson, Cayden Neurohr and Dorval is still intact and ready for another shot after finishing ninth in 2023, and the 4x200m team of Tucker Bohmbach, Neurohr, Dorval and Hendrickson also returns to the fore. Nekori Dahlen, Dean Dumas and Jekori Dahlen will be looking for a new teammate in the 4x400m relay after Isaac Jaggi's graduation, but they will likely be headed back to state in May.

Other non-qualifiers to look out for are Calvin Dobitz, Cooper Bang, Kale Hansen, Elijah Ramos, Michael Dukart and Jaxon Reese, who will likely be stronger after a year of growth and improvement.

For the girls team, Addie Miller was a clear standout after placing fourth in the 800m run and seventh in the 1600m race, and she is joined on the 4x400m relay team by Mickellyn Walker, Taylee Andersen and Abby Hardersen after finishing 11th at state last year. The same four athletes will look to get into the medal round after finishing sixth in the 4x800m relay in 2023.

For the field events, Madeline Lambert is back in the high-jump after tying for 11th last year and Josey Andersen also returns to the pole-vault pit following her eighth-place showing last-time-around.

"I think our sprints will be tougher than last year and we'll be better and see some gains in there; it's an area we struggled in last year, but I think we're better than we were a year ago," Horgeshimer said. "We scored 20 points in the state meet in 2023 and the girls had an outstanding end to the season. We had some kids do really well at the region meet and exceed some expectations there and had a nice number of kids get to the state meet."

Murphy added, "Our kids are just stronger and faster, and we've seen the dedication in the weight-room in the last year or two and we've seen the dedication in our outside programs ... and we're starting to see their growth and it's really showing this year."

Among the meets on the early season schedule include the April 9 Watford Early Bird Meet, followed by the Baker Invitational in Montana on April 13 and the Bowman County Invite on April 16. The Sidney, Mont. Invitational will be hosted on April 20 with a meet in Stanley on April 23 and then it's back to Watford City for the invitational on May 3 and the Bowman County Hollinger Classic on May 7 with the Southwest Regional to close out the regular-season calendar in Bowman on May 17.

"A lot of our kids are multi-sport athletes and that's awesome," Murphy said. "A lot of them play football and some of them were cross-country runners and we have tons of state-qualifiers in wrestling that are on the team and we had our basketball team go to state, too."

He added, "We have a lot of kids that do a lot of things throughout the year, and that benefits them."

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