If you win gold – or simply win a medal – in the Mid-State Conference Track & Field Championships, you know you’ve done something special.
The annual event always features outstanding athletes and riveting competition and, with perfect weather conditions at the Norfolk Catholic High School facilities Saturday, competitors put on another terrific show for Northeast Nebraska fans.
Among those winning coveted Mid-State gold were a pair of Cardinals – senior Austin Zoucha (shot put) and sophomore Sheldon Beierman (100 high hurdles).
Boone Central/Newman Grove had 28 additional medal performances, as the Cardinal boys took team runner-up honors and the Lady Cards placed fourth.
“It was a beautiful day for the Mid-State Conference meet. We felt our kids stepped up their level of competition for this meet,” praised Cardinal Coach Kris Pestel. “The boys were able to finish conference runner-up, while the girls took fourth.
“Several of the kids were able to have their best performances of the season. Overall, this is a very determined group of athletes who push each other to do their very best every day in practice, along with supporting each other and cheering for each other at the meets.
“We are excited about where we are in the season, but we have to continue to prepare hard for the district meet next week.”
There was certainly cause for Beierman and Zoucha to be excited Saturday.
Beierman had her best day of the season in the 100 meter highs, running a 15.5 in the prelims, then recording a sizzling 15.4 to win the event final, lowering her Albion News area-best time by almost four-tenths of a second in the process. Zoucha didn’t quite reach his News area-best mark in the shot put, but took conference gold with a strong 48’9 effort.
Both Cardinals were close to multi-gold at Norfolk, as well. Zoucha was runner-up in the discus (136’7) by a scant three inches, while Beierman placed second in the 400 meter dash (1:04.0), third in the 300 meter hurdles (49.0) and ran the anchor leg on BC/NG’s runner-up 4×400 relay team (4:16.5).
Boone Central/Newman Grove had plenty of additional highlights on the day. In one of the most exciting and dramatic race finishes of the afternoon, Ashlynn Baker used a frenetic kick-sprint in the final stretch of the 1600 meter run to place second by a stride, lowering the News area-best time in the event by eight seconds (5:45.7). Damian Backus came even closer to joining the gold medal winners, as his triple jump of 40’5¼ was a mere quarter-inch behind winner Jared Bellar.
Further details & complete results in Print & Online editions of Albion News