Contributor: The Nerd
We've got to get back into writing shape, so it's time to push out another Nerdsletter. If you've got any T&F news we've overlooked, shoot an e-mail to email@example.com and we'll take a look at it.
Holy Batman, these indoor meets are rocking
We need to give a big shout-out to the T&F nerds at Concordia University who launched their indoor meet series three or four years ago when there weren't many other indoor options in Nebraska. Whereas there were maybe five or six drivable meets in 2019, Nebraska athletes had over 20 options this indoor season. Concordia, Trackville and College of St. Mary have really helped fill up the schedule. (Here's a thought - what if these Nebraska venues coordinated a season-long series of meets that culminated with a championship meet at Devaney on the last Saturday of off-season?)
There are three weekends remaining before the open season ends, and athletes still have plenty of great options at Concordia this weekend, College of St. Mary, NWMSU and Topeka the weekend of February 19/20, and a meet at the KC HyVee arena on February 27. Links for each of the meets are at https://www.preprunningnerd.com/post/indoor-open-meets.
In Omaha, Braden Taylor and Carter Waters of Fremont blazed to 4:25 and 4:26 1600 times at CSM (video), with Cole Haith of MWest finishing in 4:33, Alex Rice of Skutt in 4:35 and Bo Crews of PapioSouth in 4:37. In Seward, Grant Wasserman of LNS captured the 1600 in 4:30 followed Colby Erdkamp of Gretna and Juan Garcia of GI, both in 4:31.
In Omaha, the Westside gang took the top three 1600 spots (video). Stella Miner ran a solid 5:11, just off her goal of 5:10, Claire White ran 5:18, and Reese Young-Oestmann finished in 5:34. Eight girls finished under 5:45, an impressive feat for early February. In Seward, Lincoln East teammates Berlyn Schutz and Ella Herzberg finished in 5:31 and 5:37, and Clarinda's Mayson Hartley was third in 5:41.
The CSM 800 was also very competitive, with Nolan Miller of Fremont winning in 2:00. Ahmed Muse of Omaha Central ran an impressive 2:02, and Alex Rice of Skutt finished third in 2:02 roughly 70 minutes after his 4:35 mile. Deavion Deleon of PapioSouth won the girls' race in 2:20, followed by 800/1600 doublers Gabrielle Calderon of Bennington (5:40/2:27) and Kaitlyn Swartz of PapioSouth (5:35/2:33).
The Concordia meet includes throws, and defending Class B shot put champ Gage Griffiths of Aurora won the shot in 57'7" (better than his 2021 PR of 57'1.5") with Lincoln East's Sam Cappos 2nd in 55'3". Andrew Schmitz of Papio South, a Class A shot put State qualifier in 2021, won the indoor-only weight throw event in a meet record 61'11"; Jordan Shaw of Kearney and Joe Kieny of Creighton Prep also broke the previous record. Only four girls competed in the weight throw, but three broke the previous record, led by Carissa Kolle of Linn, KS in 33'9". Kinsely Ragland of LNS won the shot in a meet record 39'5".
Reece Grosserode of Pius continued his strong indoor season, jumping 22'9", just off the 23'1" he recorded earlier this year. Reece also crushed the meet record for the triple jump, going 46'2.5". Hannah Dunning of Doniphan-Trumbull was the top Nebraska finisher, going 17'0.75". A 17' jump would have been a top-10 mark for Class C in 2021. Kyla Davis of Palmyra won the girls TJ with 35'6.25", which would have also been a top-10 mark in Class C last year.
Eli Alaga of Millard South won the CSM 60 in 7.02, followed by Jack Gillogly of Prep in 7.03. Gillogly won the CSM event a few weeks ago in 7.02, won Sunday's 200 race in 22.76 and seems to be ready to shift his emphasis from hurdling to sprinting. Zakeirah Johnson of Burke swept the 60/200.
We're mixing things up this season now that Nerd Junior has allowed us to expand our coverage. I spoke with Stella Miner and Braden Taylor after their CSM 1600 wins.
Stella's 5:11 is impressive, but perhaps even more so because she's smack in the middle of Westside's swim season. She's achieved two secondary qualifying marks for the State swim meet but is primarily swimming to stay healthy for track season. Due to swim obligations, she's mostly only able to fit in a run on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and her mileage is no more than 15 miles per week. Her goal this season is to break the 5:00 barrier, and that seems within reach given what she's done thus far (2:15 800 and 5:11 1600) with so little base.
Braden had an incredible State track meet last season, finishing 3rd in the 800 in 1:53 and 4th in the 1600 in 4:19. He has the unfortunate luck of being in the same grade as phenoms Gabe Hinrichs and Daniel Romary, but his 4:25 on Sunday suggests that his final season may be even better. He told me that he's only doing speed work about once every two weeks right now. If success is dependent on high-quality training partners, then the Fremont crew (including Carter Waters and Nolan Miller) are in for a big season.
Speaking of swimming... and diving
Clark Grell of the Lincoln Journal Star had a great article on 2/10/22 regarding Sam Cappos of Lincoln East and his return to diving competition. Sam tweeted that he thinks he's the heaviest Nebraska diver to qualify for the State meet, and that may well be true. Sam's primary passion are the throws in track and field but he's also being recruited by D1 schools in football.
Videos are cool
Nerd Junior is bringing us into the 21th century with some solid video work. Check out his video recap of the Husker Sevigne Invite from Saturday. We hope to do this kind of work for high school meets this season. Rumor has it that Junior is giving away a t-shirt to our 100th YouTube subscriber, but I sure hope that person wears a medium (because that's all we have).
But photos are old school cool
We've posted a few hundred photos from the USD Alumni meet as well as a wrap up video. You can see links to all of the photos we've posted at https://www.preprunningnerd.com/pictures.
I suspect that one of the reasons that the 3200 isn't offered at most open meets is that it's really difficult to count laps with so many runners of varied talents. The first heat of the CSM 1600 ended up being just a 1400-meter race, but we took a few things away from the results. First, Fremont freshman Juan Gonzalez won the abbreviated race in 4:10, which translates to about a 4:45 1600. Juan placed 11th at Class A State XC in October, a clutch performance that likely sealed the State title for Fremont.
Marrs Magnet 8th grader Eli Murillo finished that same race in a projected 4:57, just off his 4:52 PR set in 7th grade. Eli won the State junior high XC meet last fall and seems likely to dip under 4:50 this spring. Eli will probably attend Omaha South for high school and should make an immediate impact.
After two years away from varsity competition, Nick Abdella continues to make waves at UNK. Nick finished 7th at State XC as a sophomore and we were excited to see him compete for a State title. However, he lost his HS junior XC season to transfer rules and his junior track and senior XC seasons to COVID before deciding to play soccer in spring 2021. Based on his lack of official results, we were surprised but thrilled that he joined the UNK program last fall. He earned his way onto UNK's D2 national meet squad, and in the last month he has run a 4:23 mile and 14:49 5000.
Old guys rule
Well, they're technically not old, but Noah Rasmussen (Millard South alum) and Andy Vasquez (Burke/Wesleyan alum) are hitting low times this season as unattached runners. Noah won the UNL Grad Classic mile in 4:10 and then finished second in 4:05.73 this past weekend at the Husker Invite. Andy has posted four mile times in the past month and two bettered his pre-2022 PR: 4:18, 4:15, 4:20 and then 4:14.06 this past weekend.
Nebraska colleges feature a number of ranked athletes at every level of competition, and the GPAC Conference meet at Doane on February 18/19 is a great place to catch some of Nebraska's best teams. The multi-events start on Friday and then the rest of the meet runs from 12:00 to 9:00 on Saturday. Here's the schedule.
The Devaney Center has hosted a meet almost every weekend, and the last of the indoor season will be on Friday, February 18. Here's the schedule for that event.
Seth Hirsch, arguably one of the best distance runners in Nebraska high school history, has entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal as a graduate transfer. He's got at least a year left of eligibility due to COVID and injuries, and he would be a great catch if he decides to leave Wisconsin.
All in the family
I interviewed sophomore Jordyn Arens last fall just before she captured her second consecutive Class D XC title. After just three seasons, she's a five-time State champion, and talent definitely runs in the family. At the South Dakota Alumni meet this past weekend, I was able to watch her sister Haley win the 800 for USD, and brother Tanner competed in the 1600 for Morningside.
High school news
Colin Sahlman of Newbury Park (CA) ran a 3:58.81 mile at the NYC Armory facility on Saturday in a pack of professional racers. He's planning to attend Northern Arizona.
Nerd Senior will be off this weekend but Nerd Junior is hoping to make it to a high school meet. We'll be at the UNL Tune-Up meet on Friday, 2/18, and hopefully Nerd Junior and the Nerd the Third will have a head-to-head battle on the track.
Originally written for and posted at www.preprunningnerd.com by Jay Slagle.
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