The Nerd origin story
In 2015, after retiring from high school coaching at Millard South, Dustin Lewellyn founded Nebraska Elite Track Club (NETC) to promote high school distance running. While media coverage of high school of cross country and track and field has never been great in metropolitan areas, several years ago Omaha newspapers and television began limiting their coverage to State meets and record performances. Dustin aimed to fix that, and he began providing on-site meet coverage, recording athlete video interviews, publishing individual XC rankings, launching the Nebraska Cross Country Festival, and serving as the news aggregator for Nebraska high school running.
Jay Slagle was simply a Creighton Prep parent who appreciated Dustin’s efforts to promote the sport, and in late 2016 he volunteered to begin writing for the NETC website to supplement Dustin’s efforts. Starting with Milo Greder (1600 State record holder), Jay has interviewed over 50 high school distance runners for featured articles, first published on NETC and now on this website. His most popular story, “The Runner with the Broken Heart,” has been viewed over 250,000 times at the NETC website and at www.ovalsandtrails.com.
Dustin joined the coaching staff at Doane University in 2018, and he stepped away from NETC in order to prevent any conflicts of interest. Reno Law and Noah Rasmussen, two Millard South graduates, ran the NETC website and Twitter account until 2021.
Jay created the PrepRunningNerd moniker in 2017. The Nerd largely focused on Class A distance runners until August 2021, but he now does his best to serve the XC and T&F community in Classes A through D. Through featured stories, blog posts, social media and photography, the Nerd hopes to give high school running the attention it deserves. Starting in fall 2021, he also begin covering collegiate meets as he chases his two sons across the Midwest.
The Nerd was a mediocre high school runner who has loved the sport for over 40 years. He is married to Mrs. Nerd, who was never a runner but has truly fallen in love with the sport. Nerd Junior is a senior distance runner at Nebraska-Lincoln and Nerd the Third is a freshman distance runner at Creighton. Their sister, Designer Nerd, is a fashion design student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and she isn’t quite sure why the rest of her family cares so much about running.
We do this for fun and to promote the sport. Team rankings are typically prepared by coaches, and we’ll dabble in individual rankings. The goal of the rankings is simply to shine a light on the sport, so please don’t take offense. If you have story ideas or information you’d like to share, shoot the Nerd an e-mail at email@example.com.