When athletes are pushed by competition, the best rise to the occasion and improve their own performances.
That was proven again Tuesday, April 26, at the Central Nebraska Track Championships at Grand Island Northwest. The annual event, sponsored by the G.I. Independent, is often called a ‘mini state meet’ and brings out the best in competitors invited to attend from all classes of Nebraska high schools.
Boone Central had a large contingent at the prestigious competition and those Cardinals took full advantage of their opportunity to shine. BC athletes brought home four gold medals, one silver and four bronze. Cards chalked up eight season-best performances in the process.
“We qualified more athletes than I can ever remember for this meet and we also brought home more medals than ever before,” lauded Cardinal Coach Kris Pestel. “This is a mini state meet, where medals are only given to those who place in the top three.
“In a meet of best vs. best, I was most proud of how our kids simply competed. We had some outstanding performances where the kids left it all on the track,” Pestel praised. “Our relay teams especially, not only fighting off opponents, but the pain inside to squeek out some valuable medals.
“The efforts of our kids were the best I have seen this season and I commend them for that!”
Boone Central was led by senior Sara Wells, who scored a pair of victories in the discus (136-1) and shot put (39-8¾), the latter a season and Albion News area best. Junior Jaime Kennedy also struck gold in the 200 meter dash, registering a season and area best clocking of 26.1. Kennedy joined junior Breann Thorberg, freshman Jade Gottier and senior Bobbi Beckwith to win the 4×400 relay – again a mark that was a season and area best.
Along with the Boone Central competitors, a number of News area athletes also made their mark at Grand Island.
Cedar Valley sophomore Trent Braun placed second in the 110 meter high hurdles, lowering his area best time to 15.2.
In girls competition, the Lady Mavericks were well-represented. Skyler Erickson took the bronze medal in the 300 meter low hurdles (48.2) and lowered her area-leading time in the 100 meter highs to 16.4 while placing 6th. Kim Wood was third in the 400 meter dash in an area-best 1:00.4 and the 4×800 relay team of Darian Erickson, Jami Nekoliczak, Kim and Ashlynn Wood grabbed bronze with a 10:30.3 clocking. The 4×400 squad of Darian Erickson, Tara Doughty, Kim Wood and Skyler Erickson took 5th in 4:15.4. The two relay times and Wood’s 400 mark all established new school records.
Steven Schmeits of Spalding/Spalding Academy could not match his area-best distance in the long jump and just missed a medal in Grand Island, finishing fourth (20-½).
Further Details in Print & Online Editions of Albion News.