The Central City Bison Invitational is not a big meet in terms of team numbers.
Competition is a different matter, however, as the meet annually involves not only a number of the area’s top track and field performers, but athletes that rank among the best in the entire state.
Boone Central/Newman Grove competitors were up to the challenge Thursday, although the Cardinals did not have the necessary depth to push for high finishes in the team standings.
The Lady Cardinals placed fourth in the six-team girls’ field won by a G.I. Northwest team that has to be considered a legitimate threat for the Class B championship this spring. The BC/NG boys finished fifth, as stellar York and Aurora squads battled for the top spot.
The Cardinals did produce a number of their best times and distances to date and scored three event victories, which left Coach Kris Pestel pleased.
“This was a pretty tough meet,” Pestel acknowledged. “We had several kids who really competed well and we know a number of the athletes we saw in this meet will be participating at the state track meet in May.
“We have a few kids not feeling well and some that are still dealing with nagging injuries, so hopefully the Easter break gets us back on track to full strength.”
Card sophomore Sheldon Beierman was plenty strong at Central City, winning the 100 meter high hurdles and placing second in the 300 lows in a duel with Aurora standout Taylor Thiele.
Thiele edged Beierman in the 100 prelims, but the Cardinal performer roared back in the event final to nip Thiele by .10 of a second, matching her best time of the young campaign (15.9).
Thiele was able to turn the tables in the 300 lows, winning in a time of 48.2. Beierman was runner-up, lowering her own Albion News area-best time to 49.0.
BC/NG’s Olivia Slizoski added points in both events, placing fifth in the 100 highs (17.0) and fourth in the 300 lows (50.6). Slizoski also took fourth place in the 100 meter dash (13.81).
Boone Central/Newman Grove’s other event triumph in girls competition came from Catherine Weeder, who matched her season-best of 5’0 in the high jump. Weeder added a fourth-place finish in the 800 meter run with her best clocking of 2014 (2:30.1) and anchored the 4×800 relay (including Jade Gottier, Ashlynn Baker, and Kendra Gonzalez), which placed third despite lowering its season-best time by more than six seconds (10:22.5).
Celine Dunlap placed third in the pole vault (8’6) for Boone Central/Newman Grove, Christina Stopak placed fourth in the 3200 while lowering her News area-best time to 13:29.4 and the Cardinal 4×400 relay squad of Dana Pelster, Gottier, Weeder and Beierman lopped 11 seconds off its previous best time to place fourth (4:16.1).
BC/NG got one individual victory in the boys competition Thursday. Junior Andrew Rasmussen steadily pulled away from the competition throughout the 3200 meter run and won by a full 10 seconds with his best clocking of the spring (10:41.1).
Travis Kennedy had an impressive effort in the 200 meter dash, finishing runner-up by .10 seconds to York’s Ian McDougall in a time of 23.8. Senior Austin Zoucha had another strong day in the weight events, placing second in the shot put (46’11) and fourth in the discus (124’9).
The Card 4×400 relay team of Kyle Kramer, Matt Brugger, Joe Brugger and Kennedy finished second to York with a 3:47.8 clocking.
Complete results in Print & Online editions of Albion News