Bearcat boys take 2nd in state track team race
     2013-05-23      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo courtesy of Leah Wright - Scottsbluff’s Jon Maag scores second place in the discus with a mark of 157 feet, 3 inches and was runner-up in the shot put at 54-1¼. 
Elkhorn South wins last event to surpass defending champions

OMAHA – While the order of events from the Class B State Track and Field Championships will reflect that Elkhorn South surpassed defending team champion Scottsbluff in the final race, Bearcats coach Jim Barker said the team had its highs and lows in the two-day meet at Omaha Burke Stadium.

Led by its winning 3,200-meter relay team and a pair of second-place finishes by senior Jon Maag in the shot put and discus, Scottsbluff finished second with 55 team points. Elkhorn South jumped past the Bearcats with its second-place finish in the 1,600-meter relay to amass 59.5 points.

“Our goal was to win state,” a disappointed Barker said Monday night. “We had some great things happen, like the relay and Jon had a tremendous state meet getting two seconds.”

On Friday, the 3,200 relay quartet of seniors Tayler James and Justin Pritchard, sophomore Matthew Barraza and junior Ben Willis-Teff combined for a state-winning time of 7 minutes, 57.373 seconds.
Of those individuals, Barraza had a double-medal performance in the open events. He took fourth in the 3,200 run Friday in 10:00.774 and fifth in Saturday’s 1,600 in 4:34.05.

In the open 800 meters, Willis-Teff took fourth in 1:56.57 and James came in sixth in 1:57.49.
“Our 4x800 was about 10 seconds quicker that they have all season and was close to breaking the Class B record (7:56.02),” Barker said. “Out of that bunch, besides Matthew, I thought Ben had just a superb state meet, scoring fourth in the 800 and anchoring the relay. He ran a 1:56 open time and a 1:56 split.

“Matthew placed in two events in his first state meet, our 800 guys came through and both ran personal bests and ran a quality race. Things we were counting on to score in just didn’t pan out.”
Maag scored second place in the discus with a mark of 157 feet, 3 inches and was runner-up in the shot put at 54-1¼.

“I know Elkhorn South had some things that didn’t go their way but they made up for it in other areas,” Barker said. “In the state meet, there’s no margin for error, but this one really stung. It was heartbreaking to lose this meet when we had our expectations so high, and it just didn’t pan out.

“Runner-up is OK, but it wasn’t what we were after, so that was a pretty bitter pill to swallow. But we absolutely had some positives.”
In short-distance events, senior Matthew D. Klein medaled in both hurdles races. He was third in the 110 high hurdles at 15.30 seconds and finished eighth in the 300 intermediates in 42.66.
Senior Luke Worden, while dealing with a hamstring injury, finished fourth in the 100-meter dash, which Barker considered a pleasant surprise. Worden, who crossed in 11.01 seconds, had finished second in last year’s state 100.

Gering had a pair of fifth-place finishes scoring eight team points, tying Sidney for 26th in the boys’ standings.
Gering’s 1,600 relay of junior Ryan Schwartzkopf, freshman Austin Dolberg, and juniors Dillon DeMott and Aaron Pierce finished fifth in 3:27.53.

Bulldog senior Zac Bibb cleared 6-2 for fifth in the high jump.

Class B girls
Scottsbluff freshman Chesney Walker scored a pair of fifth-place finishes in the hurdles and sophomore Taylor Muncie nabbed two distance medals in combining for the Bearcats’ 15 points for a 15th-place tie.

Walker’s time in the 100 highs was 15.57 seconds and her clocking in the 300 lows was 47.01.
Muncie took fourth in Friday’s 3,200 run in 11:43.91, and she finished seventh on Saturday in the 1,600 run in 5:22.68.
“Both Chesney and Taylor had very high quality and superb state meets. Chesney is a freshman and scored in both hurdles events, getting fifth in both,” Barker said. “I was really impressed with Taylor, getting fourth in the 3,200 and then come back the next day and score in the mile (1,600) and had personal bests in both.”

Gering got 5.5 points to finish 33rd, led by senior Megan Upp with her tie for fourth in the high jump at 5-2.
Gering’s 3,200 relay quartet of freshman Lauren Shaul, senior Dakota Gellner, sophomore Kali Rimington and senior Rachel Huffman placed eighth in 10:03.195.

Mitchell senior Taylor Peters took sixth in the girls’ 800 in 2:21.95 for the Tigers’ three team points.

Class C
Thanks to senior Cody Franklin’s sweep of the boys’ distance races, Bridgeport led area Class C schools with 20 points and finishing in 11th place.
Franklin, the Class C cross country champion in the fall, won the 3,200 meters on Friday in 9:43.463 and the 1,600 on Saturday in 4:30.95.

Bayard had the lone area girls’ placers in Class C, placing 12th with 16.83 points.
Senior Alanda Kildow was a double medalist for the Tigers, taking fifth in the triple jump at 34-11¾ and eighth in the high jump at 5 feet.

Junior Megan Stuart and freshman Jessi Smith earned one individual medal apiece and another as part of the Tigers’ eighth-place 1,600 relay. Senior Breanna Korell, Smith, senior Sinahi Garcia and Stuart finished in 4:15.33.

On Friday, Stuart earned Bayard’s first points Friday with her fifth-place tie in the pole vault, clearing 9-6. Smith took second in the 800 meters in 2:20.72.
In class D, qualifiers from Banner County and Minatare were shut out from the top-eight medal finishes.

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