Contributor: The Nerd
We're a bit light on fresh content but we're including a summary of the news we've been tracking since our last Nerdsletter.
Holy high school meets!
Nebraska doesn't have an official indoor track season but you wouldn't know it by the professionally-run meets that Concordia University and College of St. Mary have been hosting all winter. Concordia wrapped up its fourth and final meet last Sunday, while CSM holds its third and final meet this Sunday. If you thought that the Super Bowl would reduce the number of great athletes on Concordia... you were wrong. In addition to attracting great Nebraska athletes, Coach Beisel has been able to draw top athletes from Colorado, Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas and Oklahoma. The CSM meet has drawn a bit more of Omaha-area athletes, but this Sunday should include a broader reach based on the early entries I've seen.
Of course, there are meets beyond Nebraska, and there are more meets on the final weekend of February if you're willing to travel. Keep in mind that the official NSAA track season starts on Monday, February 27, so any open competition after that point will require coordination with your high school coach and the NSAA. Whatever you do, don't put yourself in the position of being ineligible for Districts and/or State.
College of St. Mary meet - Sunday afternoon
More info at https://www.csmflames.com/d/Metro_Indoor_Athletics_Challenge_2023__Revised_.pdf. Registration deadline is Friday at 8:00 p.m. There are already great entries. For example, the girls 1600 entries includes Maddie Seiler (Gering), Kassidy Stuckey (York), Lilly Kenning (Milford), Ella Ford (Elkhorn North) and Kaitlyn Swartz (Papio South), while the boys 1600 field includes Zack Schultz (Millard North), Mesuidi Ejerso (SSC), Piercze Marshall (Millard West), Porter Bickley (Millard West) and Max McCoy (Elkhorn MM). CSM ran out of spectator seating three weeks ago, so they'll be bringing in extra bleachers for this final meet.
Best marks of the winter
We've been tracking the best Nebraska high school marks of the winter at https://www.preprunningnerd.com/post/winter2023marks, and we can already tell the spring T&F season is going to be great. Here are a few performances that stand out:
* Kate Campos of Pius is on a tear, lowering her 60H time to 8.75 at Concordia. She also ran a 58.59 at Texas Tech in January. Think she's ready for the 300 hurdles?
* Kate's sister Samantha is only in 7th grade, but she's the co-leader in the pole vault after clearing 10-06 at two meets.
* I watched EJ Brown (Elkhorn South) narrowly advance to State last spring after she was one of six girls who cleared 5-01 at A-3 Districts, but she bounced back to jump 5-05 at State and finish 4th. Now a sophomore, EJ cleared 5-07 on Sunday in what appears to be her only winter meet.
* Alyssa Onnen, a freshman at Kearney Catholic, has made the top marks list in the triple jump (36-11.50), long jump (17-08.25) and pole vault (9-00.00). She's also got a solid 60 time (8.29). A heptathlete in the making?
* Four girls have run sub-5:17 this winter and another two are sub-5:25. Lilly Kenning of Milford has arguably made the biggest jump, going from 5:39 last spring to 5:15 in January. She laid down a 5:18 on Sunday to finish just behind Kassidy Stuckey (5:16) of York. Claire White of Westside has run 2:19 and 5:11 this winter and aims to improve on one of those marks this weekend.
* Jaiya Patillo is an 8th grader from Omaha who ran a 57.74 400 at Concordia to take the winter lead from Kate Campos. It's not a big deal; last summer as a 7th grader Jaiya won the Nike Nationals middle school 400 (56.13) and the USATF Nationals 13-14 400 (56.05).
On the boys' side:
* Andrew Jones (Prep, Notre Dame) and Jack Gillogly (Prep, UNL) are the two leaders in the 60 and 200 this winter. Gillogly is the defending State 200 champ and was also 4th in the 100, while Jones was 6th (100) and 8th (200) last May.
* Tyler Carroll of Central City is tearing up the hurdles, posting a 8.19 at Concordia last Sunday to pass by the 8.28 set by Jacob Horner (Elkhorn North) the week prior. Tyler finished 3rd in the State 110HH last spring while Horner was 8th. Both are in prime form.
* Sticking with Class B, Nolan Slominksi of Blair grabbed the 800 lead on Sunday with a 2:02.23.
* We probably will only see Juan Gonzalez (Fremont) once this winter, but the 2022 XC champ ripped a 4:23.56 three weeks ago. That's already better than his 4:27 PR from last spring.
* Cory Vaughn Jr. (Westside) went 45-09.75 in the TJ last month, a full two feet better than the next best mark, while Dae'vonn Hall's (Bellevue West) 6-09 in the high jump is six inches better than the field. Westside and Bellevue West both appear to have top-shelf talent in the field events and sprints.
* Seven boys have cleared at least 13-00 in the pole vault this winter, led by Kalen Knott (14-08) of Seward.
We've been trying to collect results for high school and collegiate meets, and links to many of those Nebraska meets are located at https://www.preprunningnerd.com/trackresults.
I don't have a link to the Pitt State meet posted just yet, but I'm blown away by Luke Stuckey (UNK/York High) and his 4:04 mile from last weekend. I'm even more blown away that a 4:04 is only the 18th-best mark in Division II. The top 16 marks advance to Indoor Nationals, so there's a chance Luke will still qualify if a few athletes ahead of him choose to compete in other events. Luke's 1600 PR in high school was 4:21. A 4:04... indoors... crazy. We have some incredible athletes all over Nebraska, at every high school and collegiate level. Track and field is awesome.
I haven't been to a meet in three weeks but, thankfully, our other Nerds are still hard at work. We posted the following albums earlier this week:
Concordia collegiate - Nerd Dawg & High Mileage Nerd
Trackville pole vault meet - Nerd Ricky Bobby
Concordia high school meet - Nerd Ricky Bobby
You can find links to those albums, as well as any other meets we've shot in the past year, on our website at https://www.preprunningnerd.com/2022.
I'll be shooting the UNL meet this Friday afternoon/evening as well as the College of St. Mary meet on Sunday. Nerd Dawg appears to live underneath the grandstand at the Concordia track, so he'll likely make an appearance at the GPAC Conference meet on Friday and/or Saturday. I'm guessing we'll see at least one other Nerd at CSM on Sunday.
We continue to monitor college commitments on social media and update our T&F/XC list as best we can. Here's our updated list. If we're missing you or your athlete, shoot us a DM or an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Too early to talk XC?
The Omaha Sports Commission is co-hosting the Platte River Rumble high school meet on September 8 at Mahoney State park. This beautiful course will be the site of at least one collegiate meet (plus potentially one not yet announced) later in the fall. Millard West is already confirmed as a participant in the high school field, and the unconfirmed list of teams I've seen suggests that the River Rumble is going to have a pretty salty field for both the large and small school divisions. You can find more info on the meet at https://omahasports.org/platte-river-rumble.
On that note, Weeping Water is looking to add more teams to its Cross Country meet August 24th (the first Thursday of Competition). It will be a 10:00 a.m. start with varsity, JV and junior high divisions. There are currently five teams registered and Coach Charles Cover is open to registrants from any class. Medals to the top 15 varsity, 10 JV and 10 JH. Contact email@example.com if interested.
Trackfest will be taking a lap year
The hosting duties for Trackfest were to be transitioned from Papio LaVista to Westside this spring. Due to some scheduling issues, there will not be a 2023 Trackfest. The organizers are planning to have it return in 2024.
Originally written for and posted in February 2023 at www.preprunningnerd.com by Jay Slagle. Do you see any errors, typos or key omissions? It's even more likely this week since we're still typing at midnight. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do our best to correct the article.
Like this coverage of Nebraska high school distance running? There's more of this at www.preprunningnerd.com. Check out the Blog tab for our frequent stories, the Articles tab for long-form articles, the Results tab for every Nebraska high school race we could find this year, and the Rankings tab for team and individual rankings. If you want to see meet photos or just need to kill a few hours on social media, follow us on Twitter @PrepRunningNerd or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/preprunningnerd.
Finally, if you think runners and jumpers are the best thing on earth, you'll enjoy our two most popular articles. In 2018 we published "The Runner with the Broken Heart" about a high school boy who finished last in nearly every race he ran. In 2022 we published, "The Fall and Rise of Emmett Hassenstab," a story about a high school triple who became a quadrapalegic after a swimming accident.