Updated: Mar 23
Contributor: The Nerd
Most Nebraska track seasons start slowly due to subpar weather an limited indoor meets. However, this year is off to an incredible start and we only expect it to get better. Let's dive in.
Sievers and Dahl enter the history books
On Sunday, March 13, Jaci Sievers of Elkhorn South ran a 4:57.83 mile (4:56.31 1600) at the New Balance Nationals at the Armory in NYC. Jaci had run a 5:03 mile at UNL in January so we were pretty sure she had a sub-5:00 1600 in her - we just didn't expect it to happen before April. That converted time of 4:56.31 is - based on our records - the 7th-fastest 1600 in Nebraska high school history.
Elli Dahl (Nebraska commit) of Fremont, the defending State champ in the 1600 and 3200, didn't race over the winter but we knew she would also be aiming for the sub-5:00 club. She knocked that off her to-do list during her first meet on Saturday at Concordia, running a 4:58.81 1600 to land 12th on the all-time list. Brianna Rinn of LSW was 2nd in that race in a new PR of 5:09.50, and it's not a stretch to think that Rinn and Stella Miner of Westside could dip under 5:00 by season's end. Again, according to our records, here are the 16 Nebraska high school girls who have sub-5:00 1600 PRs (any mile times have been converted):
1 Elizabeth Lange, Lincoln Pius X, 4:49.3, 2003
2 Erin Lee, York, 4:49.6, 2016
3 Aubree Worden, Scottsbluff, 4:50.06, 2011
4 Emily Sisson, Millard North, 4:51.42, 2008
5 Katie Spencer, Millard South, 4:55.18, 2015
6 Jenny Stricker, Lincoln Southeast, 4:55.6, 1981
7 Jaci Sievers, Elkhorn South, 4:56.31, 2022
8 Anne Shadle, South Sioux City, 4:56.40, 2000
9 Taylor Somers, Millard South, 4:57.58, 2016
10 Donna Spickelmier, Hayes Center, 4:58.06, 1985
11 Sara Ensrud, Gering, 4:58.14, 2003
12 Elli Dahl, Fremont, 4:58.81, 2022
13 Meredith Snow, Millard West, 4:58.89, 2003
14 Pam Willey, Lincoln East, 4:59.54, 1984
15 Shona Jones, Hastings, 4:59.60, 1984
16 Karlene Erickson, Wheeler Center, 4:59.78, 1982
This is an elite list. Emily Sisson is a 2020 Olympian, Sara Ensrud Vaughn is a pro runner who won the 2021 California International Marathon in 2:26:53, and Ann Shadle was a two-time national champion at UNL and pro runner before beginning a career as a sports psychologist.
Searching for results
Nerd Junior and Nerd the Third are still compiling results for last week in an attempt to develop performance lists for each event and each Class. The Omaha World Herald has done this in the past, but we're not sure if they'll do it consistently, if at all, after downsizing their sports department. In addition, our experience last fall demonstrated that you have to work really hard to track down results when meets aren't posted to athletic.net. While meets held along the I-80 corridor typically get reported to athletic.net, athlete profiles for the northern half of Nebraska were pretty slim in 2021.
For now, you can go to www.preprunningnerd.com/trackresults to find the results for individual meets. Every Sunday I ask my Twitter and Facebook followers to tell me where there teams are competing that week, and then we do our best to track down the results for each meet. We had a 100% success rate in the fall, so with your help we hope to achieve that this spring.
Notable performances last week
I'd hazard a guess that less than 25% of schools competed during the first week of the season - primarily due to the limited number of indoor facilities - but we still saw some great results, including those listed below. Take note - these are not necessarily the best of the week, but they jumped out at us. 'O' designates outdoor performances when that designation seems relevant.
60 - Jaylen Lloyd (Central) - 7.00, Ethan Bessler (Blair) - 7.01
60H - Tyler Carroll (Central City) - 8.36, Evan Shephard (Ashland Greenwood) - 8.49
100 - Dominic Sedlacek (Gretna) – 10.87 O, Mitchell Hupp (Sutton) - 10.9
110H - Noah Smith (Gretna) - 15.10 O, Jackson Roberts (Boone Central) - 15.34 O
200 - Dominic Sedlacek (Gretna) - 22.32 O, Micah Moore (Fremont) - 23.17
400 - Tyson Baker (Fremont) – 51.44, Gabe Miles (Lincoln East) - 51.64 O, Mitch Rudie (Platteview) - 52.40, Christian Lanphier (Prep) - 52.57, Devon Carel (Fairbury) - 53.27, Alex Winkleman (Osceola) - 54.37
800 - Braden Taylor (Fremont) – 1:57.01, Ben Alberts (GICC) - 2:04.39
1600 - Carter Waters (Fremont) – 4:18.73, Jack Witte (Millard West) - 4:23.7, Sam Kirchner (MWest) - 4:23.7, Cole Haith 4:24.5, Luke Bonifas (Adams Central) - 4:35.28
3200 - Gabe Hinrichs (Elkhorn South) - 9:39 O, Piercze Marshall (MW) - 9:48, Joe Volkmer (Lincoln East) - 9:50 O, Nolan Miller (Fremont) - 9:53, Juan Gonzalez (GI) - 9:54
PV - Drew Sellon (Fremont) – 14-06, Paul Lampert (Prep) - 14-00, Jack Oettinger (North Platte) - 13-06, Ashton Pulliam (Wilber-Clatonia) - 13-06, Taylor Krebs (Neligh-Oakdale) - 12-06
TJ - Jaylen Lloyd (Central) – 47-04.50, Reese Grosserode (Pius) - 46-7.05, Adam Dugger (McCook) 43-07, Connor Schutt (Wahoo Neumann) - 43-06.75
LJ - Jaylen Lloyd (Central) - 22-11.5, Reese Grosserode (Pius) - 22-08.5, Kaidyn Jackson (LNS) - 22-01, Kaden Miller (Kearney) - 21-09, Chayton Bynes (Chadron) - 21-02
HJ - Myles Sadd (Doniphan Trumbull) - 6-04
Discus - Caiden Frederick (Papio LaVista) - 172-00, Nic Davis (North Platte) - 160-07, Nathan Baldwin (Sutton) - 158-00
SP - Sam Cappos (Lincoln East) - 58-10, Nic Davis (North Platte) - 56-00
60 - Zakeirah Johnson (Burke) - 7.77, Jaida Rowe (LSW) - 7.94, Kaylee Crosby (Aurora) - 8.13, Savannah Horne (Centennial) - 8.13, Macy Stock (Columbus Lakeview) - 8.17, Leah Hatch (Sandy Creek) - 8.17
60H - Adrianna Rodencal (Lincoln Lutheran) - 8.99, Jaida Rowe (LSW) - 9.03
100 - Maggie Madsen (Elkhorn South) - 12.76 O
100H - Laney Songster (Lincoln East) - 15.48 O
200 - Elizabeth Wemhoff (Columbus) - 26.42, Sadie Millard (MWest) - 26.63, Maggie Madsen (Elkhorn South) - 26.89 O
400 - Lucy Dillon (Fremont) - 59.74, Reba Maer (Northwest) - 1:00.63, Shawna Wilkinson (McCook) - 1:00.71, Jaelynne Clarke (Alliance) - 1:01.46, Carli Bailey (Ansley-Litchfield) - 1:01.92, Jose Noble (Cross County) - 1:02.41
800 - Stella Miner (Westside) - 2:14.7, Keeli Green (Arlington) - 2:25.15, Brynn Hirschfeld (York) - 2:27.37, Kenzi Mosel (Elkhorn Valley) - 2:33.90
1600 - Mia Murray (Lincoln East) - 5:25, Deavion Deleon (Papio South) - 5:26, Lilly Kenning (Milford) - 5:43, Lindee Henning (Ogallala) - 5:46
3200 - Isabelle Hartnett (MW) - 11:36 3200, Claire White (Westside) – 11:43, Isabella Bricker (Gretna) - 11:48
PV - Hailey Newill (Fremont) and Hailey Watermeier (LSW) - 11-00, Bradie Medina (Holdrege) - 10-06, Marissa Rerucha (GICC) - 10-06
TJ - Jaida Rowe (LSW) - 36-06.50, Grace Henry (Elkhorn South) - 36-02.5, Keeli Green (Arlington) - 36-00.5, Rosalyn Roggasch (Kearney Catholic) - 35-04.5, Cassidy Gallagher (Kenesaw) - 35-01
LJ - Grace Henry (Elkhorn South) - 17-09.50, Keaton Musiel (Lincoln East) - 17-06.00, Keeli Green (Arlington) - 17-06, Teagan Gouser (Fullerton) - 16-10.75, Leah Hatch (Sandy Creek) - 16-06.25
HJ - Kailynn Gubbels (Arlington) - 5-06, Alyssa Peoples (Burke) – 5-04.00, Tatum Bailey (Chadron) - 5-04, Ali Jacobs (LNS) - 5-03, Makenzi Mutum (Elkhorn Valley) - 5-02
Discus - Jessica Stieb (Arcadia-Loup City) - 125-07, Ella Jacobsen (Holdrege) - 124-04
SP - Jessica Stieb (Arcadia-Loup City) - 43-06, Kinsley Ragland (LNS) - 40-05, Kat Beachler (Millard North) - 38-04, Emily Berglund (Shelton) - 38.00, Cailey Stout (Scribner-Sumpter) - 36-09
What exactly is notable?
As I was preparing the above list, I quickly realized that I don't have a great frame of reference for what might be considered notable in Classes B through D. After I finished the list, I decided to create a spreadsheet that lists the 2021 State championship mark as well as the 16th-place finish at State for each event so that (a) I'd know when someone has a great performance and (b) fans have an idea of how good someone needs to be to qualify for State.
Photos, more photos and even a video
Nerd Junior suddenly fell in love with NCAA basketball, so I had to go it alone at meets this past weekend. I've posted photos of the Elkhorn South meet from Friday and the College of St. Mary meet on Saturday at https://www.facebook.com/PrepRunningNerd/photos. In addition, we created a video of some of the events at the College of St. Mary meet.
Can't get enough of T&F coverage?
Maybe you're new to the sport. Maybe you just found the Nerd. Either way, we've got the best coverage of T&F and XC in Nebraska. In mid-March, we published a series of articles that previewed all 14 individual events for boys and girls for Class A through Class D. Those articles include returning medalists for each Class plus our observations - and the observations of field event expert Patrick Grosserode of Trackville - of who excelled over the fall XC season and winter training season. Here is a link to the pre-season articles.
When we publish an article, the article gets posted on the Blog tab of our website. During T&F season, we tend to focus more on photos/videos and less on long-form articles, so most of our written content will come via our Nerdsletter or our social media accounts.
Don't sleep on the NAIA
On March 5, I had the privilege of watching Zouhair Talbi of Oklahoma City University sweep the 1500, 3000 and 5000 in just over three hours at the NAIA nationals in Brookings. Fifteen days later, Talbi was competing for Morocco at the World Indoor Championships in Serbia. He advanced to the finals where he finished 6th in the 3000 in 7:43.45.
At that same Worlds meet, Trevor Bassitt of D2 Ashland University was the silver medalist in the 400. Talent at any level can translate.
We tipped our hats to the Nebraska NAIA medalists in the 3/9/22 Nerdsletter, and D1-D3 held their championships the following weekend. Here are medalists with local ties:
Lincoln Southeast alum Evan Johnson earned All-American honors when his DMR team finished 6th in 9:40.73.
Wes Ferguson - 800-meter run (Fremont) - 1st, 1:50.05
Brayden Sorenson - high jump (Kearney) - 7th, 6-09.75
DMR team of Seth Simonson (Hastings), Micah Swedberg (Wallace), Luke Stuckey (York) and Cole Willis (Kearney) - 8th, 9:41.41
Burger Lambrechts, Jr - shot put (Pretoria, South Africa) - 4th, 67-00.5
Darius Luff - 60-meter hurdles (Lincoln High) - 7th, 7.82
Jenna Rogers - high jump (Rutherford, NJ) - 7th, 6-00
Alex Talley - weight throw (West Fargo, ND) - 7th, 72-9.25
Nebraska Wesleyan (D3)
Isabella Hogue - 200-meter dash - 1st, 24.66
Garrett Lenners - men's 800-meter run (Freeman) - 5th, 1:52.13
Maddie Moran - women's 60-meter dash (Johnson County) - 6th, 7.66
4x400 team of Isabella Hilger (DC Aquinas), Alexa Koza - (Millard West), Isabella Hogue (Conestoga) and Reagan Janzen (Giltner) - 6th, 3:53.01
Wayne State (D2)
Mckenzie Scheil - weight throw (Fillmore Central) - 6th, 64-00.25
Stuck in the middle
The Arcadia (CA) Invitational is a track meet held each April - this year it's April 8-9 - that attracts some of the nation's best T&F athletes, and particularly some of the best distance runners. Kearney legend Colby Wissel ran a 8:55.55 3200 at Arcadia in 2004. In 2017, Seth Hirsch of Millard West ran 8:57.81 (despite falling during the race) and Milo Greder of Westside ran 9:05.97 in a race won by Cooper Teare, an Oregon commit who went on to win the 2021 NCAA 5000 title before turning pro. At the 2017 Arcadia meet, 25 boys broke 9:00 - in one race. So, yes, Arcadia is kind of a big deal.
Of course, Arcadia isn't for just anyone. You need to be a generational-type runner, say someone like, I don't know... maybe Gabe Hinrichs? After all, Gabe (Notre Dame commit) has PRs of 4:12 and 8:59, so he would seem to be a lock for the top tier race at Arcadia. Unfortunately, it appears he won't be going.
The NSAA/NFHS has a rule that in order for a Nebraska athlete to complete at in-season out-of-state meets held under NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) rules, it must be a school-sponsored competition, meaning the athlete must be accompanied by a coach from his or her high school. A request was made to the NSAA to allow Gabe to compete in the race and represent Elkhorn South without a coach present but that request was denied (and the NFHS does not allow unattached runners to compete). Since the deadline for entry into the Arcadia meet has now passed, Gabe will likely be competing at the Benson meet that weekend.
Jaci Sievers also competes for Elkhorn South, and she ran at the New Balance Nationals in NYC on March 14. That event fell 'in-season' for Jaci, but a coach was not required to attend because the event was not held under NFHS rules. Same elite competition, entirely different rules.
A similar situation happened a few years ago when a high-level volleyball player from Nebraska missed the start of the school year and the volleyball season to compete for the a US national team at an overseas tournament.
I understand the NSAA's concerns about out-of-state competition, but it only regulates athletes competing in a sport that's considered in-season. If the concern is over-use injuries and over-commitment, I don't think it applies to T&F athletes competing in national meets; they're highly incentivized to maximize rest so they perform well at the national meet. A bigger concern should be athletes competing in-season in one sport (say, basketball) while spending much of their free time competing in another sport (club volleyball), or the high-profile football player who has 7-on-7 tourneys or recruiting visits nearly every weekend during track season. I can guarantee you that the track athlete is far less extended and exhausted than the volleyball or football player.
The on-site coaching requirement is also suspect. My sons have both told me that they rarely hear advice yelled at them during a high-stakes race, and any pre/post-race coaching can easily be done by phone. In Gabe's situation, he has a mom who was a distance runner in college and who could easily play the dual role of coach and parent.
Either the NSAA/NFHS rule should be scrapped or it should be changed to allow the NSAA more flexibility to grant participation waivers for exceptional athletes to compete at high-level competitions like Arcadia. Worse things will probably happen to Gabe during his running career, but we have a hard time understanding why the athlete is the only party that is penalized.
We're still compiling our commitment list, and we know that not every announcement hits our social media feed. If we're missing someone at our list at https://www.preprunningnerd.com/post/class-of-2022-commitment-list, send us a DM or just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While there were great performances last week, we're still waiting for the season of debut of studs like Dajaz Defrand, Carson Noecker and others. Nerd Senior will hit a meet on Saturday, and one of the other nerds may try to make a meet on Friday. Photos will be shared in due time.
In the works
In addition to the Nerdsletter, we are working on a long-form article about a current T&F athlete who has fought through tremendous adversity over the past year. I hope to publish the article in early April but I'm not going to rush it. When it's done, I think it will blow you away.
Yes, we make mistakes
Did you find any errors in this article? We know there are likely a few, so shoot us a DM on Twitter or Facebook, or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Originally written for and posted at www.preprunningnerd.com by Jay Slagle.
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