Class A Boys
the caliber of the glory days of Fremont Track in the 1980s when names like Bahe,
Myers, Rhode, and Gdowski wore the classic “F” on their chests. What has made
Fremont #1 in the last 2 weeks? Watching 3 different distance athletes sweep the
Millard South Invite distance event with solid competition in CJ Martinez (3200), Chase
Cate (1600), and Jose Gonzalez (800) has changed us. Coupled with all their other
studs from Lucas Arps who looked impressive in the 200 and 400, to the 15+ foot
potential of Jake Sellon in the vault, to other state potentials – this is Nebraska’s MidSeason
2. Lincoln High – The Links are still amazing and likely the best team from downtown
Lincoln in quite some time, maybe ever. They will undoubtedly be right there with their
bevy of jumpers, Berks in the middle distance, and Luff hurdling to lead the way. The
Links looked dominant at the Titan Classic, sweeping the individual track events from
the 100-800 and both hurdle events. Fremont and the Links will have top 4x4s in the
State. Wouldn’t it be great to see it come down to that final event for a championship?
Maybe it will.
3. Lincoln SW – Only a couple of teams in the last quarter century have ever gone to
the Kearney Invite and walked away with an invite championship like the Silverhawks
did this year. Facing solid competition from the Bearcats and Junior Jays of Creighton
Prep, the Silverhawks won the invite with over 20 points to spare. Southwest continues
to be led by a strong jumps group in duo Jesse Lewis and Blake Van Ert along with the
Nolley’s and Tyler Boyle in the distance events. Points come at premium at State in the
new 24 competitor format for Class A, and seeing the Silverhawks hold their own with
the Fremont distance crew will be telling.
4. Kearney – Miko Maessner dropped some times we have not seen from Kearney
since Tyler Gillen a few years ago. Maessner’s performances could lead to 20 points at
State in the 100 and 200, making for a strong Bearcat start. Coupled with throws points
and growing talent in the 400 for James Smith, high jumper Seth Stroh and talent
across both hurdle events – this is a strong team Kearney fans should be proud of.
5. Omaha North – The Vikings didn’t get to show their improvements with the Benson
Invite being cancelled, but we know this North Omaha squad has loads of talent across
the track and into the field events. We will continue to see how the Vikings improve at
the Dennis Smith Invite this next week and against Metro Conference Competition in
May. North, Prep, and Burke should have the strongest teams on the boys side fighting
for the Metro Conference Championship.
Contenders – Omaha Burke, Creighton Prep
Class A Girls
1. Kearney – The Bearcats have left no question as to who the frontrunner is at the
midpoint of the track and field season to raise the championship trophy at Burke on May
19th. The rise of freshman Phenom Hannah Goodwin in the distance events and 200
state leader Sammie Scarlet in the sprints gives Kearney all the fire power that they
need to bring another championship to this storied program. The depth of this team is
just overwhelming. The only event that Kearney does not have a top four leader in is
the 4×800 meter relay. The distance events are their weakness but what they are doing
in all the other events will more than make up for their lack of depth there. While the
other contenders on the list below will be fighting for points in the distance events
Kearney will be piling 2-3 medals in all the other events with what appears could be a
runaway at Burke.
2. Lincoln Southwest – The Silverhawks keep piling up points and have girls all over
the state leaders charts. Caelyn Christiancy, Danielle Rinn and Carson Fischer appear
to be the heart of this team. Each could walk away with two gold medals at the state
track and field meet, which would put their team on pace to score 100 points at Burke.
The problem is Kearney might be on pace to score 130 or more. For the Silverhawks to
win it all they are going to need lots of help from the rest of their team. Amber Storer,
Abbie Squier and Annica Johnson could score huge points in the throws to give
Southwest a chance. If you want to know who will walk out of Burke with the
championship keep an eye on the field events throughout Friday and Saturday. If
Lincoln Southwest can put together some solid performances and Kearney falters we
could have an upset brewing.
3. Lincoln East – The Spartans showed that they have the strongest distance crew in
the state at the Titan Classic. They swept both the 800 and 1600 and missed the trifecta
by only placing 1, 3, and 4 in the 3200. Madi Muma, Jena Muma, Ani Schutz, and
Abigail Schmidt give Lincoln East a chance to put up over 60 points at the state track
and field meet. They are clearly going to make an impact and Madi Muma might walk
away the most decorated athlete at Burke stadium, but when you are talking about
Kearney and Lincoln Southwest possibly scoring 100 points, there is not much else you
can do. The Lincoln East distance crew is outstanding, one of the best the state has
ever seen, but they are going to need much more than them this year to take home a
4. Millard West – Millard West falls to fourth place here in rankings. They are still a top
contender for the title in May but their path to winning a championship has become
much tougher over the last two weeks as meets and warm weather (I know as I write
this there is a blizzard outside, but it was warm for a couple of days!) has really shown
everyone where they sit. Gabby McGinn is still the “Belle of the Ball” and will be the
favorite to sweep the 1600 and 3200 come May 18th and 19th and Alyssa Schlaht is
jumping like she could win the high jump crown come May, but beyond that Millard West
appears to have a whole bunch of girls watching the party from the outside. Lindsay
Adams, Emma Nyffeler, Devyn McDonald, and company will have to turn what looks like a slew of 7th, 8th or 10th place finishes at Burke into 3rd, 4th or 5th place finishes. If they
can do this which we all know they are capable of then they could find themselves
sending Kearney or Lincoln Southwest walking out of Burke Stadium without any team
5. Papillion-LaVista South – The Titans might be one of the best Invite teams around
the state. At the Titan Classic, they took down number three Lincoln East for the team
title and have beat number 4 Millard West, but when it comes to the state track and field
meet and raising trophies on the podium you are going to need some major firepower.
Papio South has their share of superstars: Nina Cuevas hasn’t lost in two weeks in the
100 and 200 and Olivia Sattlefield is an easy bet to be seen in the finals of both hurdles
events at the state meet. They will certainly be walking away from Burke Stadium with
plenty of medals hanging around her neck, but the Titans don’t have the firepower these
other teams have above them in the rankings. They can compete and beat any team
on this list at an eight-team invitational, but it is just not going to be in the cards at the
state meet for them this year.
Contenders – Lincoln Pius X, Omaha North, Papillion LaVista, Elkhorn South, Omaha
Class B Boys
1. Boys Town- Cowboys charge up the ranks led by Tijaih Davis who ranks number one
in the 110HH and 300LH in Class B. His times rank him second in State overall. The
Cowboys have a solid team, which includes DaShawn Bates and Larry Graham just to
name a few. Together they have put up the fastest times in the 4×100 and 4×400.
2. Scottsbluff- The Bearcats move down one position this week. Their strength comes
from the sprint events led by Junior, Chris Busby, and Senior Hunter Drake. Scottsbluff
and Boys Town will be in a battle come May and if the Bearcats can find some points in
the mid distance and distance race they may move back up to that top spot.
3. York- The Dukes look to continue their winning ways as they look for that Third State
Title this school year. Football, basketball, and now Track and Field is in sight. Led by
New Balance National Champion High Jumper Mayson Conner and one of the best
distance runners in state Luke Stuckey. Add to the mix long jumper Morgan Conner and
110HH Braxton Nunnenkamp and the York Dukes look to challenge both the Cowboys
4. McCook- Maybe the biggest question in the top five are the Bison of McCook. They
may move up these charts fast as they have a team built on speed and power. DJ
Gross in discus and Seth Dugger in the triple jump both rank second in state in their
respected events. If York is 3a then McCook is 3b. That is how close these two teams
5. Crete- The Cardinals vault their way on the chart with State leading vaulter Zach Muff
taking flight with a 15’3” performance at the Waverly Invite on April 6. Zach also ranks in
the top 5 in the 110HH. However, they are not a one man show and will heavily rely on
their three relays if they want to move up.
Contenders- Elkhorn, Beatrice, and Gothenburg
Class B Girls
1. Syracuse- The Rockets may be the highest flyers as they return almost their entire
squad from last year’s team. This statement was true last rankings and is confirmed as
they ascend to the top spot in this week’s rankings. Ellie Wilkinson, Meredith Clark,
Jesse Moss, and Lauren Meyer just to name a few will continue to be the fuel for this
2. Platteview- From contender to a serious threat to take over that top spot come State
Track time. The Trojans have a small squad, but don’t let that fool you. They have a
determined group of young ladies who love to have fun and love to compete. Their 4×1
team leads Class B along with sprint sensation Carrie Simonsin and Phenom high
jumper Anna Koehler the Trojans look poised to make a run at a championship.
3. Elkhorn- This may be a team that has some growing pains along the way, but the
Antlers return most of their team from last year that helped them place 4th at state.
Those growing pains did not last long as Lexie Gilbert blazed times of 12.33 in the
100m dash and 25.73 in the 200m dash. Surprise freshman Taylor Kimnach posted a
solid time in the 800m dash which helps the team with solid depth. Elkhorn not only sits
behind Platteview in the rankings, but also in the 4×100. That will be a race at state that
may implications on the team title.
4. Scottsbluff- One of two new comers this week are the Bearcats. Kaylee Bentley a
senior who has committed to run at the University of Wyoming has a protégé in
freshman, Brooke Holzworth. Both sit in the top 5 in state in the 1600 and 3200. Eyes
will be on if Bentley runs the 800 providing a chance for the team to move up.
5. Beatrice- Our other new comer to this week’s rankings are the Orangemen of
Beatrice. Similar to Scottsbluff, Beatrice will rely on points from the mid-distance and
distance races. Veronica Pinkerton, Jamison Theye, and Hannah Lytle will be the trio
that provides a strong foundation to which they will be able to build from and can leap to
Contenders– Waverly, Lexington, Aurora
Class C Boys
1. Mitchell – Speed, speed, speed. Kadin Perez, Drake Gilliand, Rylan Aguallo will
paint the sprints and likely lead their 4×1. Gilliand will also likely score hurdle points and
with Justin Spencer in the PV vaulting 14-0 you have the makings of a mid-season #1
team who could score 55+ points at State.
2. DC Stratton – Lead by all around athlete Phalen Sanford in the hurdles and the field
events along with Wyatt Lemon in the 400s and solid relays, DC Stratton vaults quickly
up our rankings.
3. Chase County – We have now seen enough of Chase County to move them up to
#3 after some strong performances the last few weeks. They don’t appear to have
amazing stand out individuals on the track for firsts or seconds but they will put together
championship-caliber relays and with thrower Jack Bauerle contending, this is another
solid Chase County team.
4. David City Aquinas – The Monarchs can throw with Kyle Ruth and run with distance
stud Eli Frasher and middle distance runner Payton Davis and sprint with Andy Lyons.
With a strong 400 Relay, these Butler County boys can make some noise come May.
5. Fremont Bergan – The Knights have thrown themselves into the mix quite literally.
Dylan Kucera has made huge strides in the throws this year. Kucera has a chance to
sweep both throws at State and with potential hurdle points in Derek Smith and possible
jump points with Grant Frickenstein and Ethan Villwok, Bergan can push above the 40+
point mark at State.
Contenders – Sutton, Norfolk Catholic, Thayer Central, South Loup, Shelby-RC
Class C Girls
1. Chase County – Led by sprinter Mallie McNair and hurdler Peyton Fiedler this a
group now that we’ve seen enough results from to be our #1 girls team at the midseason
point. They should be able to put together relays that will score across the
board and coupled with points in the throws from Allison Owings this is another great
squad from the Panhandle who will come to Omaha in May with 50+ point scoring
2. Lincoln Lutheran – This is still a Warrior team to be reckoned with come May with
Josie Puelz and company leading the way. Their drop to #2 is much more of what
we’ve seen from Chase County than anything this group has not done. We continue to
see the Warriors to score tons of field event points and we’ll continue to watch how they
can piece together points on the track in the hurdles and other events to see where they
are at compared to the others in Class C.
3. Heartland – When you attempt to put points together to predict the Class C Girls
race, Heartland has all the trimmings of a top team. We’ll go with Heartland for now at
#3. Vaulters/sprinters Olivia Casper and Sadie Carr and jumpers/runners Taylor and
Brittany Quiring will have a lot to say about keeping this spot and possibly moving up in
the coming weeks.
4. Fillmore Central – Led by sprinter Jamey Broman, distance runner Grace Jacobson,
and thrower Alexis Schmidt, Fillmore Central has had a great start to their 2018
5. Kearney Catholic – These Stars have great speed across the board in Nicole
Messbarger, Kayla Lee, and Ashlynn Schmaderer in the sprints and will have a solid
4×1. They will also score in the distance events with Grace Oberg. If these Stars can
find some field event points along the way they will finish with a great season among the
top few teams in C.
Contenders – Malcolm, Mitchell, Johnson County Central, Superior
Class D Boys
1. Axtell – The Wildcats continue to impress with 100m state champion and 200m state
runner-up Braiden Gomez. Add in their returning state runner-up in the triple jump
Creighton Kring and hurdler Lane Bertrand and you can see why these Wildcats are on
the prowl for a championship.
2. North Central – With Griffin Smith in the jumps and Walker Shaw in the throws,
North Central has become a group to be reckoned with come this season. We shall see
if they can develop some added talent to hold this position from some high rising teams
3. Mullen – With Lane Edis in the jumps and sprints coupled with Tell Spies in the
throws and all-around guy Luke Christen hurdling and running middle distance this is a
group moving up our rankings considerably.
4. Central Valley – Jackson McIntyre and Central Valley will be taking some of their
talent to Papillion for TrackFest. We’re looking forward to seeing how these boys
compete against the best in Nebraska.
5. Johnson Brock – J-B has strong throw potential in Seth Moerer and Ben Bohling
along with some other developing pieces on the track.
Contenders- Shelton, East Butler
Class D Girls
1. Elm Creek – We shall see if Claire Cornell can handle the necessary load at State.
It will be a pleasure to see her compete against the best of the best at TrackFest again
2. East Butler – East Butler has Amanda Aerts running 800 and 1600 and with
additional depth that is forming, EB could find a place near the top by May.
3. Axtell – The Axtell girls will have very strong relays in all 3 events and are led by
Jacey Smidt in the distance events and Erica Bertrand and Ayanna Garza in the
sprints. With strong additional showings, these girls could move up our rankings.
4. Giltner – Giltner continues to be led by sprinters Alexa Preissler and Sydney and
Reagan Janzen and potent 4×1 and 4×4. We shall see through the next few meets if
Giltner has the girls to move back up.
5. Friend – With Claire Kubicek and company on the track, Emma Niemeier in the
jumps, and Raeleigh Menke and Madison Zumpfe in the throws this is a team moving
up in our rankings to the #5 spot this week.
Contenders- Riverside, Tri County, North Central