OMAHA – The Sidney boys track team will be returning from the Nebraska School Activities Association Track & Field Championships in Omaha with a busload of hardware…including a state championship trophy. The Red Raiders jumped out to a quick lead in the team standings on Wednesday morning and stayed there for almost the entirety of the meet to capture their first state track championship since 2015.

Sidney got a big jump on the field Wednesday morning's scoring when the Red Raiders finished second, third, and fourth in the High Jump. Junior Jacob Dowse and senior Sawyer Dickman both cleared 6’6”, with Dowse taking second on fewer misses. Junior Cam Leeling cleared 6’4” to capture fourth and give Sidney 19 meet points to start the day.

The Red Raiders added to their total when Sidney’s 4x800 Meter Relay team of Mitchell Deer, Cameron Brauer, Treyson Johnstone, and Daniel Bashtovoi blew away their Class B leading time of 8:01.45 to set another school record and capture the gold by running a blistering 7:56.63.

Championship Thursday started with Sidney having competitors in six of eight finals on the track. Daniel Bashtovoi added to Sidney’s overnight lead in the first running event by running his personal best of 1:58.92 in the 800 Meters to capture fifth. The Red Raiders 4x100 Meter Relay team of Sawyer Dickman, Isak Doty, Jackson Russell, and Luke Holly followed that with a season best time of 43.04 to take third.

After the 110 Meter High Hurdle Final, which Sidney did not have a state qualifier in, it was Luke Holly’s turn on the track. The sophomore sprinted his way to a sixth-place finish in the 100 Meter Dash with a time of 11.11. The 400 Meter Dash was next and that meant it was Mitch Deer’s turn to shine. The UNK track recruit came into the finals with fastest 400 Meter time in Class B and the fastest preliminary qualifying time. The senior outraced St. Paul's Conner Wells to the tape to capture the gold in 49.42.

The 1600 Meter run was the next event on the schedule and Sidney got a great performance out of Cameron Brauer. The senior saved his best for last, running a personal best time of 4:29.90 to take second and bolster the Red Raiders lead. Sophomore Isak Doty the capped off the Sidney scoring by sprinting to fifth place finish in the 200 Meter Dash to add to the Red Raiders’ lead heading into the final event of the day, the 4x400 Relay.

In 2015, Sidney needed to win the 4x400 Relay if they were going to overtake Scottsbluff and win the state championship. The Red Raiders prevailed by one tenth of a second over Columbus Scotus and captured the title. There was no such drama in 2022 as Sidney entered the final event with a 20-point lead.

The Sidney girls only brought a trio of competitors to the state meet, but the Lady Raiders will bring home their share of hardware. Sophomore Karsyn Leeling captured third in the Long Jump with a leap of 17’6” and added a fourth-place tie in the High Jump, clearing 5’4”. Fellow sophomore Chloe Ahrens ran her way to a sixth-place finish in the 100 Meter High Hurdles with a time of 15.77.