With the warmest weather of the spring season, Cardinal athletes turned in some of their finest performances during the 2010 Nebraska State Track & Field Championships May 21-22 at Omaha Burke Stadium.
In fact, several of the best performances in Boone Central school history.
Boone Central’s 4-x-100 and 4-x-400 meter relay team of sophomores Jaime Kennedy and Breann Thorberg, junior Bobbi Beckwith and senior Savannah Baker set new school records Saturday while capturing 2nd (4-x-400) and 5th (4-x-100) place medals. Beckwith established another school standard in the 400 meter prelims Friday.
While those were the only medaling performances by Cardinals at the 2010 meet, Boone Central Coach Kris Pestel felt all her competing athletes capped their seasons with commendable efforts.
“All season, all of our athletes have done a great job simply giving their very best effort in their given disciplines,” Pestel praised. “That trait was exactly what was exhibited at the state meet.
“As a coaching staff, we are very proud of how our kids represented the communities of Albion and Petersburg and our school as both athletes and high-character individuals.
“Our team was led all season by our upperclassmen and their work ethic. Three of our nine seniors – Kevin Carder, Savannah Baker and Megan Bygland – competed in the state meet and their experience and leadership were vital to our season.”
Once again, however, it was junior Bobbi Beckwith who was the bellwether for the Cardinals in Omaha.
“Bobbi had a hand in all of our scoring. She qualified in four events and was able to place 8th in the 400, as well as anchoring the relay teams to 2nd and 5th,” Pestel noted. “Bobbi’s effort never wavers – she gives all she has in every race.”
Beckwith set the new Boone Central mark of 1:00.92 in the 400 meter prelims Friday, then finished 8th in Saturday’s final in 1:01.182. She ran a 26.494 in the 200 meter prelims, consistent with her times throughout the season.
Beckwith and her teammates really shined in Saturday’s relays. Especially in the 4-x-400, where the Cards performed the difficult feat of placing high overall from the slower of two heats.
“The most exciting part of any track meet is the 4-x-100 and 4-x-400 relays, which was true this weekend,” said Pestel. “The 4-x-100 team was able to place 5th with a new Boone Central record time of 50.225. To top the day off, in the final event, they came out of the slow heat to place 2nd with a school record 4:06.981.
“This group has run well all season in both races!”
Pestel had further praise for Beckwith’s three mates in the events.
“Savannah ran the fastest split of her career in the 4-x-400 in the state meet, which is a great way to end a senior year,” she commented. “Savannah has been a great competitor who we will miss. She has been a solid performer for four years and her competitiveness can be matched by very few.
“Like Bobbi, Jaime qualified for four events. She ran 12.954 in the 100 and 26.819 in the 200, both consistent with times she has run during the season. She led off the 4-x-100 and got us off to a great start. She was the second leg on the 4-x-400 and gave us a little more cushion. Jaime has the internal drive to give her all and do well in everything she does.
“Breann competed in the relays – she has grown into a very competitive sprinter. Breann has gained endurance and confidence to become a strong lead-off runner on the 4-x-400 team. She was able to get us a good lead and give us the room we needed to win the heat, which was what we needed to place 2nd overall.”
Along with Baker, the Cardinals were represented by two additional seniors in Omaha – both repeat state meet performers.
“Megan Bygland battled through pneumonia at districts to qualify in the hurdle events,” Pestel noted. “Megan has been a four-year qualifier for this prestigious meet – something most do not ever get the honor of experiencing.
“In the 100 highs, Megan was running a great race until a series of events caused her to clip the final hurdle and prevented her from qualifying for the final. In the 300 lows, she finished the final race of her career stronger than she had finished any race all season, running a 48.858.
“Megan is a senior that will truly be missed next year.
“Kevin Carder saved his best for the final race of his high school career. Kevin fought hard in the 3200, but the pace was incredibly fast. He had a career-best time of 10:03.043 – four seconds better than his previous best – in a race where four runners went under 10 minutes.
“Kevin leads by example and we will miss him greatly next season.”
Boone Central also had some younger competitors in the 2010 state track & field championships, boding well for the Cardinal future.
Junior Sara Wells and sophomore Kattie Cleveland competed in the weight events at Omaha and freshman Blake Slizoski got a taste of the state meet in the 100 and 200 meter dashes.
“Sara competed against some very stiff competition,” Pestel said. “She threw aggressively, which led to getting out on her front leg a little too much. She was able to throw 111’3 and the experience will be great for her next season. She has become a leader who is looked up to by many.
“Kattie was in the shot put competition Saturday. She gave a great effort, but was a bit too aggressive, which didn’t allow her to get her legs under her. Kattie is a determined competitor who desires to do well – she will use this meet as a stepping stone to next season.
“Blake ran an 11.781 100 and 23.820 200 in Omaha. He was the only freshman competing in either of these Class B boys events, which is a huge accomplishment. This was a great experience for Blake and we hope his competitiveness will take him back three more years.”
Pestel also acknowledged Boone Central’s alternate at the state competition.
“Freshman Terri Molt did not compete, but was willing to participate in an extra week of practice to be an alternate for the 4-x-400 in case of injury,” she said. “She was able to enjoy the state meet experience, which was valuable for her.”
All in all, the Cardinal coach was very pleased with the season and state meet efforts of her charges.
“This year’s team has been a joy to work with,” she concluded. “We say goodbye to seniors Kevin Carder, Dustin Christo, Nathan Olson, Savannah Baker, Megan Bygland, Erica Carder, Anna Cleveland, Alicia Getzfred and Kia Kai who helped lead the team positively and in the right direction.
“Their leadership and work ethic were greatly appreciated and will be missed.”
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