Two-time cross-country state champion Keelianne Green is back for one more Arlington Eagles season.
The future Concordia University Bulldog is closing her high school athletic career in track and field this spring.
“Obviously, to win something,” she said of her goals. “Win a gold in track at state.”
AHS begins its season Friday at her future school in Seward during the Bulldog Challenge. It will be coach Tyler Spitser's first meet in charge after Steven Gubbels' retirement.
The opener is also a return to the track for seven Eagles who earned state qualifications a year ago. Green — who earned two silver medals last May in Omaha — will be joined by Hailey O'Daniel, Whitney Wollberg, Kevin Flesner, Kaden Foust, Dallin Franzluebbers and Nolan May this season.
“It's really exciting to be back with my team,” Green said. “Everybody gets closer again.”
While she earned third in the 1,600-meter relay with O'Daniel, Chase Andersen and current Iowa State Cyclone Kailynn Gubbels last spring, the Arlington standout is now focused on leading a top 3,200 relay team. She wants to take it to state.
“That's a big goal of mine,” Green said.
O'Daniel and Wollberg are top returning athletes in middle distance and distance races, but Green also expects freshman Macy Wolf to contribute within her event group. The senior brought her up when asked about an Eagle who may surprise this season.
“She's got some long legs,” Green said. “She's been keeping up with us and she's been doing really well on the distance side.”
For the boys, Foust returns to action after a football injury kept him from the basketball court. The Eagle qualified for state in the long jump last season, while Flesner, Franzluebbers and May are standout runners.
Senior Kyle Quinn believes the AHS throwers are in for a big spring, too.
“We have a very competitive group this year,” he said, noting that it'll be a battle to claim a top-three team spot to compete at varsity meets. The top Eagles will then be contenders when going up against everyone else.
“Those top-three will be competitors in every meet and will be medalers,” Quinn said.
When asked for his own standout teammate, the senior picked sophomore Zane Gerrish.
“He was throwing dang near 40 (feet) in the shot put,” Quinn said. “As a freshman, that's pretty insane and I'm just looking forward to watching him build on that this year.”
The Eagles' first meet in Seward is followed by a March 21 triangular at Blair. Later, Spitser's team hosts the Nebraska Capitol Conference meet April 29 and its home invite May 4.
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