SIDNEY – The Sidney High School track and field team placed three athletes in the top five of the Class B boys high jump event and the Red Raiders won their fifth state championship in school history last week in Omaha. 

Jacob Dowse (2nd), Sawyer Dickman (3rd) and Cameron Leeling (4th) combined to score 19 of Sidney’s 66 points at the Nebraska School Activities Association State Track and Field Championships at Burke Stadium.   

“It was fun, because the past two meets we went first, second and third,” Dowse, who was the defending all-class gold state champion, said. “To go second, third and fourth at state was pretty cool.” 

High Jump Coach Austin Lewis said he felt fortunate to get to coach the three talented jumpers. 

“Coming out of there with three higher jumpers who placed and 19 points is awesome,” Lewis said. “Whether we would have won the whole meet or not, it’s a pretty neat thing just to have this caliber of guys.” 

The high jump trio helped the Red Raiders claim their first state championship since 2015. Sidney’s 66 total team points outpaced runner-up Waverly at 52 and Norris’ 50 points.   

“One reason they’ve done so well this year is because they’re good friends,” Lewis said. “Each one of them through the year won at least two different meets and they were always happy for each other. There’s never any animosity between who was winning and who was beating the other one. They were just happy for each other and I think that’s part of the reason they all did so well together.” 

Head Coach Matt McKay said he was partially expecting to win the state meet. 

“We felt good going into day two,” McKay said. “We had everything in place to go ahead and win it. It all fell right. We had some guys perform really well, move up and get points for us we weren’t expecting. With three events left we kind of knew we had it.” 

McKay said track and field meets were easier than their actual practices and they won every meet this season besides two. 

“A lot of expectations were put on us, but I try to keep them as grounded as possible,” McKay said. 

The high jump team said placing at state together made the experience even better.