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02/02/22 Nerdsletter

Updated: Feb 24

Contributor: The Nerd


How about them brains?


The USTFCCCA (isn't the primary purpose of acronyms is that they're supposed to be short?) is the national association of track and XC coaches, and each semester they track the average GPAs for each college program. Nebraska XC programs absolutely killed it during the fall semester, with the following programs ranked 1st or 2nd in their NCAA division:


D3 - Nebraska Wesleyan women 1st in division and highest GPA among all divisions

D2 - Wayne State women 1st, Wayne State men 2nd

D1 - Creighton men 1st, and combined men/women GPA 1st


While these three schools were all ranked first, other Nebraska programs were not far behind. Here's the complete list courtesy of the USTFCCCA.


The USTFCCCA also identifies All-Academic Athletes in each division. At the risk of omitting someone with Nebraska ties, these are the names I recognized:


Augustana - Evan Johnson (Lincoln native)

Concordia - Calvin Rohde, Camden Sesna, Rylee Haecker

Doane - Kalen Dockweiler

Hastings - Elizabeth Baade, Madison Gerken, Landry Hinkson, Veronica Pinkerton

Nebraska-Kearney - Ben Arens, Luke Stuckey, Justin Vrooman, Grace Bonsall, Elizabeth Polk, Hannah Pollan, Destiny Reinke

Nebraska-Lincoln - Erika Freyhoff

Nebraska Wesleyan - Norbert Weijenberg, Gabby Thomas


High school kids doing crazy things

During the winter before the start of the official high school track season, athletes are free to enter any number of open meets hosted by colleges. (In case you've missed my tweets, there are still a number of available meets remaining at https://www.preprunningnerd.com/post/indoor-open-meets). After watching Stella Miner of Westside run a 2:15 a few weeks ago, this weekend I was wondering if she would be allowed to join a boys' race at one of these open meets to get pushed even harder. Is a 2:15 impressive? Well, UNL has hosted three track meets in January, and only two collegiate women ran faster times than 2:15. Her time also places her among the top 20 nationally for all high school girls thus far this winter. So yes, it's impressive.


As I was pondering how Stella could knock that 800 time lower, Jaci Sievers of Elkhorn South found another option - just jump into a collegiate women's race. Jaci ran the mile at UNL's Adidas Classic and finished in 5:03, which converts to a 5:01 1600.


According to my quick search on athletic.net, only four other Nebraska girls have ran faster than 5:01 since 2015: Katie Spencer (4:55 in-season 1600 in 2015), Erin Lee (5:00 in-season 1600 in 2015, 4:49 post-season mile in 2016), Taylor Somers (4:57 post-season mile in 2016), and Elli Dahl (5:00 in-season 1600 in 2021). As of last Saturday, MileSplit.com listed just 12 Class of 2023 high school girls with faster indoor times in January than Jaci. If Jaci, Elli and Stella remain healthy, this spring could be one for the record books.


College meets

You may have noticed that we're covering a bit more collegiate racing than in past years. There's are two primary reasons for that: (a) I've been going to meets where Nerd Junior and Nerd the Third compete and (b) there have been great meets every weekend where we can see a lot of Nebraska athletes compete. We've posted pics and videos (a new venture for us) at www.facebook.com/preprunningnerd, and we're trying to improve our coverage so we'll be ready to dive into the high school season. One thing we'd also like to do this spring is hit D2, D3 and NAIA meets, so we'll see if time allows for that. This weekend Nerd Junior will be on the scene for the Frank Sevigne Invite at UNL, and I'll try to hit a different high school or college meet.


If you're desperate for more high school coverage, be patient. With better video capabilities and more involvement from Nerd Junior, we hope to blow you away once track season begins.


High school meet results

College of St. Mary, January 16

Concordia, January 23

Northwest Missouri State, January 23


Gatorade player of the year


In what have been the least surprising awards of the 2021 XC season, Elli Dahl and Gabe Hinrichs were awarded the Gatorade player of the year awards in January.


Commitments

We waited until May 2021 to post a list of college distance running commitments, but this year we'll try to give updates throughout the spring. So far we have:


Distance - girls

Noelle Abels

Westside

UNK

Alivia Austin

Papio South

College of St. Mary

Tyson Baker

Fremont

UNK

Jozlyn Barnes

Plattsmouth

Wayne State

Maelee Beacom

Logan View

Wayne State

Ella Buhlke

Central City

UNK

Elli Dahl

Fremont

Nebraska

Morgann Johnson

Boone Central

College of St. Mary

Ava McGown

Brady

Wayne State

Corrine Mead

Elkhorn North

College of St. Mary

Lydia Peters

Sidney

Chadron State

Reagan Shoemaker

Hastings

Doane

Madeline Swanson

Beatrice

UNO

Sammi Vojslavek

Millard West

Concordia

Calla Wittland

Bennington

Doane

Distance - boys

Tyson Baker

Fremont

UNK

Luke Bonifas

Adams Central

Doane

Evan Caudy

North Platte

UNK

Tanner Cooper

Norris

UNK

Mitch Deer

Sidney

UNK

Seth Fey

Millard West

South Dakota

Michael Grigsby

Elkhorn North

Doane

Gabe Hinrichs

Elkhorn South

Notre Dame

Sam Kirchner

Millard West

Nebraska

Casey Kruger

Papio South

Morningside

Trevor Kuncl

Mullen

Concordia

Carson Lauterbach

Lincoln Southeast

NW Missouri State

Evan Liewer

Gretna

North Dakota State

Nolan Miller

Fremont

Nebraska

Robert Nizzi

Creighton Prep

NW Missouri State

Daniel Romary

Lincoln Northeast

Iowa State

Bradey Taylor

Fremont

Tulsa

Daine Wardyn

Broken Bow

Iowa Western

Carter Waters

Fremont

Alabama

Connor Wells

St. Paul

UNK

Gabriel Wilson

Grand Island

Chadron State


Sprints/Field

Brad Agostino

Omaha Skutt

UNK

High Jump

Savannah Bishop

Elkhorn North

Washburn

Hurdles/Pole Vault

Brea Branic

Sandhills/Thedford

Midlands

Sprints/HJ

Kaylee Crosby

Aurora

Nebraska Wesleyan

Sprints

Melanie Driewer

York

UNK

Pole Vault

Josie Garrett

Columbus

Doane

Hurdles/Sprints

Tania Gleason

Fremont

UNO

Sprints

Paul Lampert

Creighton Point

Army

Pole Vault

Morgan Mahoney

Beatrice

Doane

Sprints

Hayley Miles

NP St. Pats

Concordia

Sprints/Jumps

Sadie Millard

Millard West

Wichita State

Sprints/Long Jump

Grace Mustard

Columbus Scotus

UNO

Hurdles

D'Andre Ndugwa

Kearney

UNK

Hurdles

Abrielle Nelson

Wausau

Mount Marty

Hurdles

Josi Noble

Cross County

Concordia

Sprints/Jumps

Waylon Sherman

Wahoo

Wayne State

Sprints

Noah Smith

Gretna

Nebraska Wesleyan

Hurdles

Payton Taylor

Gretna

Briar Cliff

Pole Vault

Lauren Wehrbein

Weeping Water

Morningside

Sprints

Throws

Courtney Covington

Lincoln Southwest

Concordia

Throws

Kylee Hasselmann

GICC

Hastings

Throws

Kassidy Hiesterman

Columbus

Concordia

Throws

Ella Hofer

Fremont

North Central

Throws

Mia Knigge

Fremont

Doane

Throws

Josh Oleson

Allen

Wayne State

Throws

Jordan Shaw

Kearney

Concordia

Throws

Tyler Thomas

Broken Bow

Concordia

Throws

Chloe Walker

Columbus Scotus

UNO

Throws


If you've committed to a collegiate T&F or XC program as a walk-on or scholarship runner, we'd love to hear about it. Shoot an e-mail to jayslagle@hotmail.com or give us a DM on Twitter, FB or Insta. Proud parents and friends are welcome to let us know too.


Like what you see?

Are you a track and field fan who thinks the sport should have greater coverage? If so, send us a DM on Facebook, Twitter or Insta, or shoot an e-mail to jayslagle@hotmail.com, and let us know what you'd like us to tackle.

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