After missing out on the 2020 high school track season last year because of COVID-19, the Sidney Lady Raider and Red Raider track and field teams are eager to burst from the blocks in 2021. They will do exactly that on Saturday when they host the 11 team Sidney Invitational Track Meet at Weymouth Field. Teams that will be competing are Alliance, Burns WY, Chadron, Cheyenne WY South, Creek Valley, Gering, Gothenburg, Laramie WY, McCook, Ogallala, and Sidney. Teams can enter athletes to compete in events in one of two divisions, regardless of class.

Sidney Head Coach Matt McKay is excited about the prospects for the 2021 season. With a total of 77 athletes out for track, McKay feels he’s got the kids that he needs to compete. But, like every coach, he would like to see a few more kids participating.

As far as missing out on the entire track season last year, McKay says “It’s kind of a hindrance. But also, nobody learned any bad habits from the year before. They can teach them what they want them to know. McKay noted the biggest void from last year is in the middle school. “I was talking to the Junior High coaches, for the first time ever, they have kids who have never been in junior high track, for both grades. So, it’s not just half the kids they’re working with, it’s all the kids. We’re all in the same boat. We’re all dealing with it. It’s an interesting time, but I’m just glad to be out on the track, and so are all the kids.”

McKay feels like the girl’s side will be pretty balanced throughout. One of their main strengths will be in the throws. McKay says “We’ve got three girls that all signed college scholarships that are going to be throwing for us. We’ve got a returning state qualifier in Karly (Sylvester).” Sidney should also do well in the other field events as well. The Lady Raiders have three solid vaulters plus a pair of freshmen in Karsyn Leeling and Chloe Ahrens that should compete in the high jump. In the sprints Logan Holly will set the pace for the Lady Raiders while state qualifier Morgan Jaggers spearheads the distance events.

After a second-place finish at the state Cross Country meet, the boy’s will be strongest in the distance events. Coach McKay says the team of Mitch Deer, Camron Brauer Daniel Bashtovoi and Jacob Dowse has really set the boy’s up for success. The jumps should also be a bright spot led by Sawyer Dickman who cleared 6’2” in the high jump and went 42’3½” in the triple jump in last Saturday’s scrimmage.

Saturday’s Sidney Invitational Track Meet will get under way at 9:00 a.m. with the Field Events. Running events will start at 11:00 a.m.