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Six Cardinals fly to state track/field

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Quantity was not a strong suit for Boone Central/Newman Grove’s track and field program in 2018. Quality BC/NG had in spades, however, as Cardinal athletes proved once again in Thursday’s B-4 District track and field championships in Albion.
Six Cards qualified for the 2018 Nebraska State Track and Field Championships, winning five district gold medals in the process. Along with that tangible success, many more Boone Central/Newman Grove competitors capped their seasons with their best efforts Thursday.
“We have worked hard all year, and the district meet proved that,” commented Cardinal Coach Kris Pestel. “We had 33 season best performances in one meet! There were 20 by the boys and 13 by the girls.
“I am so proud of what these kids did this season, and the district meet was no exception. It’s great to get medals, but track is much more than medals. Track builds character, determination, stamina and grit.
“After watching what we did this season, I see a great future for our freshmen, sophomores and juniors!”
Along with senior leaders Jessie Sullivan and Cody Nelson, several of those underclassmen earned the chance to compete in the state championships in Omaha this weekend.
Sullivan and junior Jon Merten swept the gold medals in the boys’ B-4 throws, Sullivan winning the discus (158’10) and Merten nipping his teammate by one inch to win the shot put (50’6¾). Nelson cleared 6’1 to take gold in the B-4 high jump.
Two freshmen also won gold medals Thursday, Jordan Stopak running away in the 3200 meters (12:18.84) and Samantha Weeder making a gutty stretch run to win a battle with Blair’s Lily Johnson in the 800 meters (2:24.71). That duo also qualified for state competition in the 1600 meter run, Stopak (5:40.58) runner-up, less than one second behind Johnson (5:40.26), and Weeder (5:40.99) within a stride in third.
Freshman Jonny Lindgren will round out BC/NG’s Omaha contingent after placing third in the boys’ 3200 meter run in 10:26.85.
As always, there were several heartbreaks for Cardinal athletes Thursday.
Freshman Autumn Simons led much of the 800 meter run and finished fourth, one position from qualifying. Nelson missed a berth in the 200 meter dash, placing fourth in a very fast field of sprinters. Lindgren placed fourth in the 1600 meter run, and the Lady Cardinal 4×100 meter relay team of Mattie Young, Lauren Hedlund, Bailey Choat and Marysa Duerksen was one place shy in third.

Complete results in Print & Online editions of Albion News