Bearcat boys capture state track crown
     2012-05-25      By Terry Gaston    news@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen Scottsbluff senior Isaiah Castellaw tears up the hurdles event earlier this season at Best in the West in Scottsbluff. Castellaw took first place in the intermediate hurdles with a time of 39.062 seconds at the State Track Meet in Omaha on Friday. 
Scottsbluff hauls home third NSAA team title of year

All school year long, Scottsbluff boys’ athletic programs have pooled their students’ individual talents into team championships.

And in the Class B State Track and Field Championships at Burke Stadium in Omaha on Friday and Saturday, the Bearcats added the team title to Scottsbluff’s cross country state title in the fall and the boys’ basketball championship during the winter.

The Bearcats rode senior Isaiah Castellaw’s gold-medal performance in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles and their 4x100 relay victory to the championship score, which totaled 48 points.

Gering, which had two runner-up finishes to which senior Danny O’Boyle contributed, finished in a tie for 13th with 21 points. McCook finished second to the Bearcats with 41 points.

The state championship is Scottsbluff’s seventh in boys’ competition but the first since 1968 when the Bearcats shared the team title with Grand Island in Class A. Other Class A titles captured by the Bearcats came in 1930, 1938, 1950, 1953 and 1964.

“Everybody contributed and realized what a team championship could be,” said Scottsbluff boys’ coach Jim Barker, who completed his fifth season as head coach and 31st on the Bearcat coaching staff with the title. “In track, they are very difficult to come by.”

“I am elated and happy for our team. It’s been a long time coming, and there have been a lot of emotions we have gone through this year.”

Castellaw’s victory in the intermediate hurdles came in 39.062 seconds, and junior teammate Matt D. Klein was sixth in 40.976 seconds. The pair gave Scottsbluff 13 team points.

“I had to step out of my stride and jump over the fourth hurdle,” Castellaw said. “But I corrected it fast and had to start from scratch and knew that the goal was to get to the finish line. Had I not stepped out, I might have broken 39 seconds.”

Castellaw, Matt D. Klein, Matt T. Klein and junior Luke Worden won the 4x100 relay in 43.161 seconds.

Worden improved on his sixth-place state finish in the 100-meter dash from last year to finish second in Saturday’s final with a time of 10.913 seconds. Cozad sophomore Jake Paulsen won the race in 10.877 seconds.

“Some things might not have looked as well in districts or preliminaries that turn out all right at state,” Barker said. “Luke didn’t qualify well in the preliminaries, but then he gets a second in the final.”

Junior Tayler James finished sixth and sophomore Ben Willis-Teff was eighth for the Bearcats in the 800 meters. James finished in 1:57.955 seconds, and Willis-Teff broke the line in 2:00.053. Omaha Gross Catholic senior Anton Rice won the 800 in 1:53.725.

“The points we got in the 800 were like bonus points,” Barker said of the four team points James and Willis-Teff added to the Bearcats’ total. “Sometimes you have things you don’t plan on that happen to go our way, and sometimes you are able to pick up points where we lost points somewhere else.”

Both Scottsbluff and Gering scored in the final event, the 4x400 relay, into which the Bearcats entered with a 43-41 lead over McCook.

The Bearcats’ foursome of Castellaw, senior Warren Eubanks, Matt T. Klein and James finished fourth in 3:25.566.

“The 4x400 was fun to watch because basically all we had to do was beat McCook,” Barker said. “We knew we couldn’t beat Gering, but our guys took off and that was exciting.”

Gering’s season-long outstanding quartet of senior Dillon Wademan, sophomores Ryan Schwartzkopf and Dillon DeMott and senior Danny O’Boyle finished second in 3:22.952. Grand Island Northwest, paced by state meet record-setting senior Cody Rush in the open 400 dash, won in 3:21.938.

Danny O’Boyle finished second in the 400 dash with a time of 48.634 seconds, which bettered his qualification time of 49.152. Rush, who won the 400 final in 47.308 seconds, set an all-class state meet record in the preliminary heat with a clocking of 47.045 seconds.

Bulldog senior Ryan Bustinza began Gering’s scoring on Friday with a fourth-place finish in the 3,200 meters. His time was 10:06.015, while the winner came across in 9:40.977.

Class B girls
In the girls’ standings, Gering rode senior Stephanie Coley’s runner-up shot put finish to a tie for 14th place with 18 team points. Scottsbluff collected eight points tie for 27th. Lexington outscored Holdrege 65-56 for the B girls’ team title.
Gering senior Chelsea Wickard, after winning her preliminary heat in the 300 low hurdles, finished third in the finals in 46.161 seconds.

Coley took second in the Class B girls’ shot put with a mark of 41 feet, 10.25 inches, while Scottsbluff junior Zoey Rada finished in sixth with a measurement of 39-1. Beatrice sophomore Torian Sutter’s winning distance was 42-2.

Gering senior Morgan Greene finished in a three-way tie for fourth place in the high jump by clearing 5-2. The winning height was 5-6.

Bearcats were 6-7 in the discus, with senior Taylor Muzzey marking at 119-10 and sophomore SteaVen Becker next at 116-3. The winning mark was 134-9.

Classes C and D
Class C, Morrill tied for 20th with 13 points as the only county area school to place in the C boys’ meet. Hastings St. Cecelia won the C boys’ title with 42 points.
Senior Nathan Rice led the Lions with his second-place finish in the 400-meter dash. His time of 50.397 seconds trailed only Lincoln Christian senior Levi Gipson’s winning time of 48.611.

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