D-1 District Track
May 13, 2015 – Auburn HS
4. Pawnee City73
6. Lourdes Central Catholic41
1. Pawnee City146
2. NC Lourdes Central72
Class B-2 District Track
May 14, 2015 – Auburn HS
1. Syracuse Rockets107
4. Nebraska City HS62
5. Gretna High School54
6. Gross Catholic44
8. Falls City31
10. Ashland Greenwood19
2. Gretna HS89.50
4. Ralston Rams57
6. Syracuse Rockets34
7. Ashland Greenwood32
8. Gross Catholic31
9. Nebraska City HS26
10. Falls City12
The defending Class D State Track Champion FC Sacred Heart Irish last Wednesday at Auburn High School took a big and much necessary step forward in its attempt at repeating last year’s cherry-on-top finale.
The Irish guys will be represented in eight events during this Friday and Saturday’s state track meet at Omaha Burke, as they ran swiftly past the competition last Wednesday at the D-1 District Meet, winning five events and scoring 101 total points. Runner-up Diller-Odell finished 17 points behind in the team standings.
The Irish guys had the most collective success at districts, but at state there will also be plenty of focus on FCSH’s lady jumpers, senior Elizabeth Magdanz, junior Maggie Goltz and sophomore Jade Hill, as well as the three Falls City Tigers — distance runner Lainey Larsen, thrower Tucker Merz and jumper Lee Huettner — who qualified with outstanding individual performances at Auburn on a rainy Thursday at the Class B-2 District Meet.
A year after dramatically capturing the boys’ Class D team title for the seventh time in school history and first since 2006, Sacred Heart returns to the site of last year’s triumph with their hero leading the charge. Junior Henry Arnold, who won a real, live photo finish at Burke in ‘14 to clinch the state title, last week was golden in the 200- (:23.1) and 400-meter (:52.8) dashes, ran the second leg of the winning 400-meter relay team and, at the end of the day, has to be the kid’s favorite hour, anchored the mile relay team to state qualification, bringing his state entries to the maximum total of four.
Arnold, who has seemingly recovered very well from a broken leg injury suffered last fall during football season, senior Austin Malone, sophomore Keith Salimo and freshman William Morehead finished second to Diller-Odell in the relay, but ultimately not in the horse race. The team didn’t need the two points and the foursome did enough to run again at the conclusion of this year’s state meet. Not the very same horses will go, necessarily, but FCSH will have four in the race come sundown Saturday.
They’ll have four in the 400, as well, as Arnold, Malone, Salimo and senior Sawyer Kean ran :46.3 to take the gold at Auburn. Don’t count on that lineup changing much.
Malone will run in both, naturally, and he’ll also compete in the triple jump, where he went 42-5.5 to win the district. Kean, who returned to the track after nursing a sore hamstring for a couple weeks, ran :11.1 to finish runner-up and qualify in the 100-meters, and sophomore man mountain Bryant Jorn qualified in both weight events, winning the shot (49-1.5) and finishing second in the discus (134-6).
A year ago at Burke, the Irish didn’t take the team title until the sun had mostly disappeared behind the press box early Saturday evening. On the final leg of the 17thandfinal event of the two-day meet, Arnold was the first to carry the baton across the finish line in a 1600-meter relay race that was truly one for the ages.
Track and field, when it comes to dramatic storylines, often takes a backseat to the games kids play, but on this day, Arnold and his buddies collectively hit the knockout punch out of the park in the bottom of the ninth inning as time expired. Needing to better Sterling’s time of 3:34.1 – a time quicker than the Irish foursome of Arnold, Kean, Malone and Chaz Dunn had produced throughout the entire spring – to win the team championship. When Arnold hit the tape, the clock read 3:31.19 (.19 faster than runner-up Hartington) and the scoreboard read FCSH 49.5, Sterling 44.0. The team had arrived on alert Saturday morning with all of five points and left in a fantastic dreamlike state, carrying the biggest trophy.
You can’t expect theater that gripping this time around, but if Sacred Heart is going to repeat, expect a similar formula. That is, a team effort. Last year, FCSH was entered in 10 events and had 13 opportunities to score points. They left the building with nine medals – just one of which was cast with gold – but the grandest prize.
This spring, there’s some precious medals seemingly out there for the taking. Depending on that tender hamstring, Kean could contend in the 100. Wausa senior Austin Hegge (fifth in ‘14) was the only sprinter to break 11 seconds at districts (:10.9), but Trevor Carlson (third in ‘14), Kenesaw’s Preston Schnitzler and Christian Best of Elm Creek each ran 11-flat at districts.
Another Schnitzler, Austin, is one of Arnold’s toughest competitors in the 400, where Henry may need to break 52 seconds to qualify for finals, and the brothers from Kenesaw are likely the men to beat in the 200, as well.
Malone placed third in last year’s long jump at 20-10 and should again be right in the thick of things this weekend. Hegge won Class D a year ago at 21-4.75 and two athletes – Justin Lee of Sandhills (21-7.75) and Breyden Eckhout of Amherst (21-2.75) broke 21-feet at districts. The same guys, naturally, are top triple-jumpers, too, though Eckhout went 45-0.5 to win his district. No other competitor even touched 43-feet, though Malone does own the FCSH school record at 44-7.25, which he set the first day of his junior track season.
In the weights, Jorn should medal in the shot, though four guys, led by CWC’s Jayle Hinkle (53-06), threw 50-feet or better at districts. In discus, he’ll play the underdog role, competing in the first of three flights.
For the Lady Irish, the focus is on junior Maggie Goltz, who in April set a 20-year-old school triple jump record at 35-3.75, only to increase it three inches Wednesday in Auburn. Sophomore Jade Hill was right behind and finished second at 34-6.5 and the two are part of an outstanding field of Class D lady triple jumpers. Jordan Rush of South Loup leads the pack at 36-8, four others (including Goltz) cleared 35 feet at districts, and yet another five sailed past 34 feet, so some very talented jumpers won’t even make the finals of the Class D girls TJ this spring.
Senior Elizabeth Magdanz went 8-0 in vault to finish runner-up and qualify for state. Catherine Mick, of Bruning-Davenport, leads the field, having broken her own Class D record with a jump of 11-10 at districts. She jumped 11-0.5 at last year’s meet to set a new Class D record. The girls’ state pole vault record is 13-3, set by Jenny Green of Grand Island CC in 2003.
The Falls City High athletes will face stiffer competition in Class B and likely have an uphill climb en route to the medal stand. Huettner’s 20-10 long jump was good for third at districts, but keeps him in the first of two flights at state. The winner will likely need to get 23-feet to win and Omaha Concordia senior Jonathan Greene did just that to win his respective district.
Merz, who threw 140-10 for second place last week, is entering a field where two guys – Tanner Borchardt of Gothenburg and Cole Beckius of Ogallala – easily cleared 170 feet at the same district site Thursday. To make the second flight in Class B disc, you had to throw 152 feet or further, which nine guys did.
Larsen placed fifth at Auburn, but her time of 12:45.30 was good enough to send her to Burke. Seven girls enter having cracked the 12-minute mark, led by Northwest’s Megan Billington, who won her district with a time of 11:29.96.
Class B-2 District Track
400 Relay – 4. FC (Huettner, Heckenlively, Stoller, Jordening), :45.29.
3200 Relay – 6. FC (Gibson, Baker, Eickhoff, Campbell), 9:32.26.
Long Jump – 3. Huettner, FC, 20-10.5.
Discus – 2. Merz, FC, 140-10, also; 5. Adams, FC, 128-00; 6. Bauman, FC, 122-02.
Triple Jump – 4. Huettner, FC, 4-02.50.
High Jump – 4. Jordening, FC, 6-00.01.Pole Vault – 6. Ernst, FC, 10-00.
3200 – 5. Larsen, FC, 12:45.30.
3200 Relay – 3. FC (Larsen, Bierman, Dovel, Poppe), 10:41.71.
Pole Vault – 4. Samqua, FC, 8-6.
Class D-1 District Track
100 – 2. Kean, FCSH, :11.1.
200 – 1. H. Arnold, FCSH, :23.1.
400 – 1. H. Arnold, FCSH, :52.8.
400 Relay – 1. FCSH (Malone, H. Arnold, Salimo, Kean), 46.3.
1600 Relay – 2. FCSH (Malone, Salimo, Morehead, H. Arnold), 3:38.4.
3200 Relay – 6. FCSH, (Morehead, Keller, Finck, S. Arnold), 9:42.3.
Long Jump – 1. Malone, FCSH, 20-9.
Triple Jump – 1. Malone, FCSH, 42-4.5.
Shot Put – 1. Jorn, FCSH, 49-1.5.
Discus – 2. Jorn, FCSH, 134-6.
400 Relay – 6. FCSH (Strasheim, Fiegener, Parrish, Fouraker) :57.1.
1600 Relay – 3. FCSH (Hill, Fouraker, Fiegener, Parrish), 4:36.2.
3200 Relay – 3. FCSH (Dunn, Fiegener, Huppert, Fouraker), 11:34.4.
Pole Vault – 2. E. Magdanz, 8-0.
Triple Jump – 1. Goltz, FCSH, 35-6.25; also: 2. Hill, FCSH, 34-6.5.