Monday lent further proof – it’s tough to beat Mother Nature.
The always-anticipated Grand Island Independent Central Nebraska Track and Field Championships were cut short at Northwest High School Monday when cold rain and wind hit the Grand Island area.
Field events were completed, but on the track, only the 3200 meter relay, 110/100 meter high hurdles and 100 meter dash were contested in the girls’ and boys’ divisions before weather interrupted.
Longtime Northwest Coach Dave Gee, a former Albion High School teacher and coach, said it was an easy decision for meet officials.
“These are kids you are going to see down at the state meet next month. You don’t want to risk an injury to any of the athletes,” Gee commented. “It’s unfortunate we had to do that because people get excited about competing in this meet.”
Although conditions were less-than-pleasant and the meet short, there were highlights, several by Albion News area athletes.
Sheldon Beierman of Boone Central/Newman Grove ran third in the 100 meter high hurdles behind Aurora’s Taylor Thiele and Kayla Bachle of Northwest, but lowered her area-leading time in the event from 15.9 to 15.79. Cardinal teammate Olivia Slizoski placed seventh in 17.19.
Boone Central/Newman Grove’s 4×800 meter relay team of Jade Gottier, Kendra Gonzalez, Ashlynn Baker and Catherine Weeder ran third in that event in 10:43.31. Weeder, who has the area’s best high jump this season (5’1), placed sixth Monday with a jump of 4’10. News area leader Dana Pelster of Boone Central/Newman Grove was eighth in the 100 meter dash (13.42).
Joe and Matt Brugger, who have both matched the Boone Central pole vault record of 12’6 this year, both cleared 12’3 at Northwest to place sixth and seventh, respectively. Zac Glidden of BC/NG, another News area leader, took seventh in the long jump (19’5½), area-leading Cardinal Austin Zoucha placed eighth in the shot put (45’10½), and Card Travis Kennedy finished sixth in the 100 meter dash in 11.42, just off his News area-best time of 11.40.
The major highlight of the CNTC abbreviated competition may have had a little help from the strong winds, but was impressive nonetheless.
Zach Brittain of G.I. Central Catholic unleashed a meet-record discus throw of 195’9 on his first attempt Monday. The effort broke the meet mark previously held by another Crusader standout, Kenny Howard (182’7). Brittain’s throw is the third best prep mark in the nation this year according to athletic.net. It is eighth in Nebraska history and the best discus effort all-time on meet sponsor G.I. Independent track and field charts.
Brittain added a throw of 191’5 on his second attempt.
“The first throw felt pretty good when I released it,” Brittain told the Independent. “With the wind as strong as it was, I knew that was going to help a lot.
“It was still a pretty good throw, no matter what.”