Scottsbluff boys ride district title into state track meet
     2013-05-16      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Philip Eckerberg/for the Citizen - Scottsbluff freshman Chesney Walker sweeps the girls' hurdles. Walker won the 100 high hurdles in 15.57 seconeds and the 300 low hurdles in 46.76. 
A big battle cry from western Nebraska entering this week’s State High School Track and Field championships is: Here comes Scottsbluff, ready to defend another state championship.
The Bearcat boys turned in a solid 128 points last Thursday in winning the District B-6 title by 29 points over runner-up McCook at Bearcat Stadium.

And the Scottsbluff girls enter state, at Omaha Burke Stadium on Friday and Saturday, riding a district runner-up finish. The Bearcats scored a solid 112 points, second only to McCook’s 123-1/2-point winning total while Sidney was a distant third with 92-1/2.
Gering had three district champions, with senior Rachel Huffman winning the girls’ 1,600-meter run. And the Bulldogs earned a sweep in the high jumps with senior Zac Bibb taking the boys’ gold and senior Megan Upp tying for first in the girls’ high jump.

The Bulldog girls were fourth in the team race with 50 points, and the Gering boys were sixth in their division with 41 points.
The Scottsbluff boys were led in districts by senior Matthew D. “Kleiner” Klein, who won both hurdles races. He turned in a 14.92-second time in winning the 110 high hurdles and a 39.82-second victory in the 300 intermediate hurdles. Sophomore Daniel Rohrer qualified for state with his third-place finish in the intermediate hurdles.

The Bearcats also had two returning state qualifiers win district events, and both are headed to the University of South Dakota next fall to play football. Jon Maag won the shot put with a high mark of 54-4 and placed second in the discus with a throw of 144-7, while Luke Worden won the 100-meter dash in 10.95 seconds.
Worden, who placed sixth at state in the 100 as a sophomore and was second last year, looks for an individual state championship this year. He and Klein ran on the Bearcats’ state-winning 400-meter relay last year.

While Scottsbluff was unable to qualify the 4x100 relay again, the Bearcats’ depth in the distance events speaks volumes and is a carryover from Scottsbluff’s runner-up team finish in the state cross country meet in October.

Scottsbluff won the district 3,200 relay crown in 8:08.18. Seniors Tayler James and Justin Pritchard, sophomore Nathan Pritchard and Junior Ben Willis-Teff won the event by more than nine seconds over runner-up Alliance.

State cross country champion Matthew Barraza, just a sophomore, had a second-place finish in the district 3,200 run (9:59.85) in leading three straight Bearcats to the finish line. Junior Brendan Taedter was third and sophomore Shane Burkey came in a state-wildcard fourth place.

Three Bearcats also qualified in the state 1,600 meters, with senior Justin Pritchard finishing in second (4:36.99) just 0.67 second behind Ogallala senior James McKeag, who also won the 3,200 run. Barraza finished third in the 1,600 and Taedter earned a wildcard with his fifth-place finish.

In the 800 run, James finished second in 1:58.61 and Willis-Teff was a quarter-second behind in earning third and a state berth. Also for Scottsbluff, freshman Ben Heggem qualified in the 400 dash with a sixth-place wildcard time.

Scottsbluff’s 1,600 relay team of James, Willis-Teff, Heggem and sophomore Stetson Anderson qualified with a third-place district finish.

Besides Bibb winning the high jump at 6-3, Gering had another jumper qualify in junior Caleb Geary, who earned third place in the triple jump at 41-6.

“Zac has jumped well all year, although he would like to hit 6-5 or 6-6 at state,” Gering coach Randy Plummer said. “As a team, we qualified six boys and six girls, and that is about as good as we could have done.” 

On the track for the Bulldogs, junior Ryan Schwartzkopf took second in the 400 dash and classmate Dillon DeMott qualified in the 300 intermediate hurdles with his third-place finish.
DeMott opens the Bulldogs’ 1,600 relay with Schwartzkopf on the anchor leg after Gering took second to Alliance’s outstanding time of 3:23.37. Junior Aaron Pierce follows DeMott and hands off to freshman Austin Dolberg before giving the baton to Schwartzkopf for the anchor leg.

Mitchell junior Levi Avila added a fourth county runner to the B boys’ 1,600 meters field with his sixth-place district time, and he also earned a berth in the 800 with a fifth-place finish.
Also for the Tigers, senior Tanner Whitton took third in the 400 dash to qualify, as did freshman Drew Gilliland with a fourth-place wildcard time in the 110 high hurdles.

Mitchell also qualified its 3,200 relay with a third-place finish. Avila opens, followed by senior Jeremy Carrizales, junior Tate Harvey and Whitton.

Class B Girls
Huffman, who finished the state cross country meet in ninth in the fall, takes a winning district 1,600-meter time of 5:32.64. Huffman also was third in the 800, and sophomore Kali Rimington earned third in the 1,600.

“Rachel has run well all year long,” Plummer said. “She has qualified in three events and has a great chance to place high in all three.”

Upp tied at the top of the girls’ high jump competition by clearing 5 feet, which Plummer said was her season’s best mark.
Gering’s 3,200 relay qualified with a third-place finish. Huffman leads off, followed by Rimington, senior Dakota Gellner and freshman Jerilyn Laws.

Scottsbluff’s youth movement turned in big dividends, especially with freshman Chesney Walker swept the hurdles races. Walker won the 100 high hurdles in 15.57 seconds and the 300 low hurdles in 46.76.

Freshman Shanell Primes was second in the 100 dash in 13.06 seconds, while sophomore Taylor Muncie finished third in both the 1,600 and 3,200 races.

Outstanding results for the Bearcat girls in the field events included senior Christina Peters’ second-place finish in the pole vault at 8-11 to qualify for Omaha and junior SteaVen Becker’s runner-up toss of 123-2 in the discus.

Senior Liz Cunningham, who went to state as a Mitchell Tiger last season, finished third in both the 200 dash and the long jump for Scottsbluff. Scottsbluff senior Zoey Rada added a third place in the shot put.

Junior Kylie Guerue earned a fourth-place wildcard in the 800 run, and she is third leg on the Bearcats’ second-place district 400 relay quartet that turned in a 50.97-second time. Primes leads off, followed by Cunningham, Guerue and Walker.

Scottsbluff also finished second in the 3,200 relay in 1:01.77. That quartet has Guerue as leadoff, followed by freshman Shayleigh James and sophomores Vanessa Avalos and Muncie.

For Mitchell, senior Taylor Peters was second in the 800 meters in 2:24.07.

In field events, Mitchell sophomore Aspen Reifschneider was second in the long jump and senior Havannah Newens finished in a tie for third in the high jump.

Reifschneider also qualified with a fourth-place wildcard in the 200 dash, as was the case for sophomore McKenna Zulkoski in the 400 dash.

Class C
Bayard captured the District C-11 team title at Grant last Thursday by rolling up 123 points, 33 ahead of runner-up Chase County, led by seven total victories.
The Bayard boys finished in fourth with 41 points, and both Morrill teams finished in eighth – the boys with 27 points and the girls with eight. Chase County won the boys’ team title with 144 points.
In the girls’ competition, Bayard freshman Jessi Smith earned double gold in the distance races, while senior Alanda Kildow won the high jump and triple jump and junior Megan Stuart won the pole vault in leading the Tigers’ team run.

Bayard’s 400 and 1,600 relay teams also won their district titles.
In the 400 relay, senior Breanna Korell, freshman Miah Vera, Stuart and Smith turned in a 52.0-second winning time. In the 1,600 relay, Korell, Smith, senior Sinahi Garci and Stuart won in 4:18.3.
In the open events, Smith won the 800 run in 2:32.1 and the 1,600 in 5:51.8.

Kildow cleared 4-11 for the winning height in the high jump and leaped 35-4-1/2 to win the triple jump for the Tigers. Kildow also placed third in the 100 high hurdles in 17.3 seconds, a race Hemingford senior standout Kelsy Wood won in 15.3 as part of her four-event championship day.

Stuart cleared 9 feet to win the pole vault, and she finished third in the 300 low hurdles, three seconds behind Wood. And in the long jump, Bayard freshman Miah Vera was second at 16-11, just 4.5 inches behind Wood.

Korell scored second in the 100 dash in 13.0 seconds, 0.4 second behind Wood, and Korell also was second in the 200 dash in 27.5 seconds.
Morrill senior Morgan Nortness finished second in the shot put with a mark of 35-1-1/2.

Morrill senior Taylor Lackey led area boys in the C-11 meet with his victory in the high jump at 5-9.
Bayard junior Travis Willhoite led the Tigers with runner-up finishes in the 200 dash (23.2 seconds) and the 400 sprint (52.5).
The Tigers also were second in the 400 relay (45.0) anchored by Willhoite. Seniors Allen Denton and Raine Miller were followed by junior Jadon Smith and Willhoite.

Class D
Minatare senior Andres Mendoza was perfect in four open events and junior Steven Juarez was golden in one, leading the Indians to a third-place boys’ team finish last Wednesday at Creek Valley High School in Chappell.

Banner County sophomore Tyson Dahlgrin was a two-time winner for the Wildcats, who finished in fifth with 39 points. Potter Dix had 110.33 points, edging runner-up Garden County by three points in the boys’ team race.

Mendoza won the long jump at 20 feet, 7-1/4 inches and the triple jump with a mark of 40 feet, 7-1/2 inches. On the track, Mendoza motored to first-place finishes in the 100 dash in 10.8 seconds and the 200 sprint in 23.1 seconds.
Juarez won the 3,200 run in 10:53.4 and was second in the 1,600 in 5:09.9.

Also for Minatare, sophomore Mario Sanchez was second to Mendoza in the 100 in 10.9 seconds and in the 200 in 23.5. Indians junior Tylor Grumbles was second in the discus throw at 121 feet.
Dahlgrin won his gold medals in the hurdles, winning the 110 highs in 16.4 seconds and the 300 intermediates in 44.1.

In the girls’ division, Banner County junior Amanda Harrison earned runner-up finishes in both long-distance races. Harrison was second in the 1,600 in 6:19.2 and silver medalist in the 3,200 in 13:16.1.
Harrison led the Wildcats’ eighth-place total of 37 points. Crawford won the girls’ team title with 100 points, five ahead of runner-up Potter-Dix.


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