Panhandle athletes save best for state track and field meet in Omaha
OMAHA – The Classes C and D NSAA State Track and Field Championships concluded on Saturday at Omaha Burke High School in Omaha. The Chase County girls ran away with the Class C Girls title while Grand Island Central Catholic edged Battle Creek for the boys crown. North Platte St. Pats swept the Class D titles. The Irish captured a total of 18 medals while winning three events on the way to hoisting both State Championship trophies.
Although no panhandle teams were in the running for a state title, several panhandle athletes set personal and school records with their performances in Omaha. In Class C Girls, Bridgeport’s Ruthie Loomis-Goltl saved her best in the Discus Throw for the state meet. The junior took second place with a toss of 137'8", which was not only a personal best, but a new Bulldog school record. Loomis-Goltl followed that up by clearing 5’2” in the High Jump to finish in sixth place.
Gordon-Rushville had a pair of athletes set personal bests on Saturday. Sophomore Haley Johnson ran her best time of 2:25.55 in the Girls 800 Meter to capture eighth. Teammate Tyrah American Horse ran to a fifth-place finish in the Girls 1600 Meter in her personal best time of 5:33.59. Sophomore McKinley Grover competed the Mustangs’ scoring with a fifth-place in the Discus with a throw of 125'7".
A couple of personal records were set or equaled in the Class C Pole Vault by panhandle representatives. Junior Bryce Hodsden equaled his career best by clearing 13'6" to take fourth-place. Fellow Western Trails Conference competitor Kolby Houchin of Bayard netted a seventh-place medal clearing his personal best of 13'0".
In the Class D Girls, Leyton’s Axi Benish added to her resume by earning a pair of state medals. The junior set another personal and school record by running to a sixth-place finish in the 3200 Meter in a time of 12:42.71. She also took seventh in the 1600 Meter in a time of 5:41.66. Freshman Shawnee Gamble added to the Warriors total with a fifth place in the 400 Meter Dash in a time of 1:02.19. Sioux County senior Skylar Edmund finished eighth in the 400 Meter in a time of 1:04.13.
Crawford’s Kiera Brennan earned a pair of medals over the weekend. The sophomore ran a personal best time of 2:28.29 in the 800 Meter to capture fifth-place. Then she teamed up with Dalli Anders, Kylah Vogel, and Kyler Gortsema and anchored the Rams’ 4x400 Meter Relay team, taking third with a time of 4:16.70. Crawford senior added to the Rams medal count with an eighth-place finish in the 3200 Meter Run, completing the race in 12:49.91.
In Class D Boys, Thomas Muldoon of Potter-Dix scored all of the Coyotes’ points by capturing eighth-place in the High Jump on Friday, equaling his personal best of 6'0". The senior followed that up on Saturday by taking seventh in the 800 Meter by running a 2:05.93.
Garden County got on the board Friday when junior Johnny Vargas took eighth in the Triple Jump with a leap of 40'6½". The Eagles added to their total when Vargas joined with Zeke Christiansen, Gunner Roberson, and Nate Billey to finish sixth in the 4x800 Meter Relay. Dillon Christiansen wrapped up Garden County’s scoring placing eighth in the 300 Hurdles in a time of 42.46. The senior ran a person record time of 42.00 in the preliminaries.
The rest of the boys scoring by panhandle schools came on a pair of personal bests in the 1600 Meter Run. Hay Springs’ junior Wes Jacobs took fourth place in a PR of 4:48.73 while Crawford junior Ty Brady ran a PR of 4:51.29 to capture eighth.