Soto-Stopak, Merten lead Card state track medal winners

Jordan Soto-Stopak was the 2019 Class B 3200 meter runner-up (Photo, Jeremy Buss)

Senior Jon Merten and sophomore Jordan Soto-Stopak led a solid medal haul by Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals at the 2019 Nebraska State Track/Field Championships Friday and Saturday at Omaha Burke Stadium.
Soto-Stopak had an especially impressive state meet, with her best performances of the 2019 season. The Card soph finished runner-up to Fort Calhoun standout Taya Skelton in the 3200 meter run in a time of 11:58.20, nearly 16 seconds under her previous season best. She followed that Friday effort with a 5th place finish in Saturday’s 1600 meter run, eclipsing her season-best time (5:29.93) by almost 10 seconds.
Soto-Stopak added a third 2019 state medal in the 4×800 meter relay, joining teammates Samantha Weeder, Autumn Simons and Lauren Pugh to place 7th in 10:24.6.
Merten closed his decorated high school football, wrestling and track/field careers with a final state medal in the shot put competition, placing third with a heave of 53’¾. Senior eammate Dalton Rasmussen, second in the B-4 District shot put a week earlier, finished 13th in Omaha with a throw of 46’4½.
Boone Central/Newman Grove’s 2019 state contingent had sprint competitors in the girls and boys 100/200 meter dash. Junior Lauren Hedlund finished 8th in the 100 dash prelim’s second heat Friday (13.26) and 8th in the 200 meter dash heat one prelim (27.61). Sophomore Wyatt Nissen was 8th in the 100 dash heat three prelim (season-best 11.47) and 6th in the 200 dash prelim’s second heat (23.86). Neither runner reached the event finals.
Cardinal sophomore Ryan Kramer, B-4 District champion, finished 7th in the first heat of Friday’s 300 meter intermediate hurdle prelims in a time of 42.92.