Optimism riding high with Killdeer girls track team

You can’t miss that grin that Janis Harris is wearing these days. And she has good reason for that smile that is wide as a Montana sky.

By Bryan Gallegos

Her girls track and field team from Killdeer High School is loaded, crazy loaded.

The Cowboys has 26 girls on the team including 16 letter winners from a squad that placed second in the Southwest Region meet last year. And from those letter winners are five girls who qualified for state, including medal winners Sydney Andersen, Shawnee Hansen and Rachel Voigt.

Although short-handed, the Cowboys flexed their muscles last week by winning their own Killdeer Cowboys “Quick Trigger” Invitational.

Hansen and Andersen each won two state medals last year, each in an individual event and teaming in a relay to win another.

Hansen, a former freshman sensation who qualified for state in five events, reached the podium by placing fifth in the 400-meter dash. During the regular season, Hansen set two school records – 26.38 seconds in the 200-meter dash and 59.31 in the 400.

Andersen was also a spark plug, earning a spot on the podium with an eight-place finish in the pole vault.

The tandem also teamed with Voigt and another runner to place eighth in the 3,200-meter relay.

Katelynn Lane also returns after qualifying for state in the hurdles, and Corrie Dobitz is back after she made it to state in the pole vault. Dobitz, the regional champion, tied the school record last year with a vault of nine feet, six inches.

Hansen, however, will be out for a few weeks because of a foot injury suffered during basketball season.

However, Killdeer has senior Gabi Flaget and junior Trae Murray return after injuries sidelined them last year. Both were state qualifiers in 2015.

“We are becoming diverse in the field events with several of our veteran athletes stepping into the ring for the first time,” Harris said.

Killdeer will also look to dominate the pole vault again this year. In addition to Andersen and Dobitz, the Cowboys have an abundance of talent in the event that last year often led to sweeping the top five spots. Such was the case last week when Killdeer has the top six placers at the “Quick Trigger”.

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