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2023 discus preview

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

Just as we did in 2022, we asked Patrick Grosserode, the owner of the Trackville training facility in Lincoln, to provide a preview of field, sprint and hurdle events. We expected a paragraph on each event; instead, Patrick wrote an entire article for each discipline. Patrick is uniquely qualified to opine on the current state of field events, and we'll thrilled to work with him. Here is Patrick's recap of the discus.

A note from Nerd Senior: With much regret, there are several instances where we don't have a photo of the top returner in a throws event. It's really difficult for one volunteer Nerd photographer to cover all 17 events at a meet, particularly if the shot/discus is held far away from the track. On top of that, it takes a really expensive lens and an absence of fear to get good shots of the discus. So here's our offer to throwers for this spring: when a Nerd is shooting at your meet, seek them out, tell them you're a thrower, and ask them to take a picture of you. If you're creative, there's an awfully good chance you'll make our Twitter feed.

Class A Boys

Returning State Medalists (2022 State mark listed)

o Caiden Fredrick, 185-06 (1st) - Papio South (South Dakota State commit)

o Barrett Luce, 172-02 (3rd) - Millard North

o Sam Cappos, 169-11 (4th) - Lincoln East (Arizona State commit)


Outlook: Class A will be a battle this year with three of the top four medalists returning. Frederick and Cappos have both thrown over 180’ and both have been active this offseason. Bear Luce (Wayne State football) added 13’ last May to finish in 3rd at State. Joining Bear with 170’ plus lifetime best is J’dyn Bullion. J-Boogie is now at Bellevue West and a Wayne State football commit. Keep an eye on junior Cole Brandt of Kearney. He is becoming a very good weight thrower and should see a dramatic add to his discus this season.


With all this talent, a 200’ throw is not out of the question this season and if that happens, we may see a state record (Class A 202-01 Larry Station Omaha Central 1982, All Class 203-06 Andy Meyer Superior 1989).

Class A Girls

Returning State Medalists

o Kat Beachler, 133-10 (1st) - Millard North

o Madison Adams, 127-00 (2nd) - Lincoln East

o Dannika Rees, 123-06 (3rd) - Papio-La Vista

o Haidyn Skeen, 118-00 (5th) - Kearney

o Caroline Carrico, 115-01 (6th) - Papio-La Vista


Outlook: Returning State Champion Kat Beachler has started training again after off season surgery. She is hoping to be back in the ring late this season. Kat has a lifetime best over of 136-00 and was the Junior Olympic National Runner Up in hammer last summer. She threw over 130-00 at five meets in the spring and summer last year. Lincoln East junior Madison Adams has a PR of over 130’, while Dannika Rees and Hayden Skeen have PR’s over 120’. Evynn Shelton (LSW) also returns to this field with a PR over 120’. Evynn is the granddaughter of long-time throws coach Doug Shelton from Pierce. Coach Shelton hosts one of the biggest throws clinics in the Midwest each summer. Check out Nebraska Elite Throws Camp for more information.


Beachler swept the throws events last year, and she's the favorite to do so again. However, Adams is on her heels and a number of other girls could make big enough gains to make a challenge for the title.


Class B Boys

Returning Medalists

o Landon Ternus,167-10 (2nd) - Columbus Lakeview

o Aidan Betz, 162-08 (4th) - Elkhorn

o Jake Scanlon, 154-10 (5th) - Wahoo

o Jase Voorhees, 152-11 (7th) - Syracuse


Outlook: Last season Landon Ternus came within 12 inches of a State title with a 5’ lifetime best. Landon also has a 200m PR of 22.54 and was 8th at State in 2022. Aiden Betz (Elkhorn) has the farthest PR of all returners just over 170’ and he threw over 160-00 at two other meets. Non-medalists Luke Porter (St Paul, 163-02.5) and Sam Thomas (Elkhorn North, 161-00) have thrown over 160’. We have heard from a few coaches that the young group of throwers in Wahoo will make some noise over the next few seasons. Last year as a freshman, Jake Scanlon showed up at State, dropped a 6’ PR and earned himself a podium finish. Keep an eye on him this season.


There are four other returners with 2022 marks over 150-00: Jaden Vollenweider (153-10) of Cozad, Jase Vorhees (152-11) of Syracuse, Joseph Stein (152-10) of Northwest, and Jaxson Ninete (152-02, Wayne State commit) of Elkhorn. Given the unpredictability of the discus, we'd give Ternus a slight edge for the gold medal, but on any given day all eight of the boys mentioned above could win the title.

Class B Girls

Returning Medalists

o Madison Smith, 138-06 (1st) - Gothenburg

o Nyaluet Diew, 119-11 (8th) - South Sioux City


Outlook: Gothenburg Junior Madi Smith is the returning All Class State Champion and has a 5-01 high jump to compliment her throws. Madi has a lifetime best of 146-04, seven inches better than Seward's Lovely Hibbert's PR of 145-09. Hibbert threw over 135-00 at four meets in 2022 but finished 7th at Districts, so look for her to come back with motivation. While six of the top eight throwers (by PRs and on the podium) have graduated, there's some good talent behind Smith and Hibbert. Ella Jacobson (Holdrege, UNK commit) threw 132-01 last season, while Nyaluet Diew (SSC, 124-09), Brooklyn Kruse (Wayne, 123-00), Chloe Wagner (Ralston, 121-06) and Macie Brown (Norris, 121-04) are other top returners. Big jumps in PRs are the norm among developing discus athletes, so look for someone to step up and challenge the two top dogs.


Class C Boys

Returning Medalists

o Nathan Baldwin, 179-00 (1st) - Sutton (Concordia commit)

o Trent Uhlir, 167-01 (2nd) – Battle Creek

o Jacob Ottis, 149-08 (4th) - Battle Creek

o Jaxson Bernecker, 148-01 (6th) - Hartington CC

o Samuel Boettcher, 148-01 (7th) - Ord (UNK commit)

o Kade Pieper, 144-05 (8th) - Norfolk Catholic


Outlook: In Class C, four athletes return to the ring with PRs that are about 20’ farther than all other State Qualifiers. Nathan Baldwin threw a PR of 179’ at State last season to win the Class C state Championship. Kade Pieper (Iowa football) finished 8th last season but has a lifetime best of 169’ and two other meets with throws over 150’. Battle Creek junior Trent Uhlir also threw a 12’ PR (167-01) at state for silver.


Other top returners include Hunter Carpenter (BLRD, 156-04 PR), Thomas Thomas (St. Cecilia, 150-06), Jacob Ottis (149-08) and Jaxson Bernecker (148-07).


The darkhorse in this field is Mr. Everything Carter Nelson of Ainsworth. He threw 175-00 last season but did not qualify for State after throwing 143-09 at Districts, nine inches short of the final extra qualifying spot. (As a side note, Trent Uhlir was third at Carter's District meet and took the final extra qualifying spot with his 144-00 effort; Uhlir captured the silver medal at State out of his 24th qualifying spot, which tells you have fickle the discus can be.) This season discus and pole vault are at the same time at State, so we don’t know if we will see Carter in the ring. If he drops the discus, the 100, 400 or a relay may be another option to add to the 200, high jump and pole vault.


Class C Girls

Returning Medalists

o Jessica Stieb, 137-11 (1st) - Arcadia-Loup City (Michigan State commit)

o Ruthie Loomis-Gol, 137-08 (2nd) - Bridgeport

o Abby Stallbaumer, 134-09 (4th) - South Loup

o McKinley Grover, 125-07 (5th) - Gordon-Rushville

o Kaylie Lotspeich, 124-07 (6th) - Chase County (Doane commit)

o Michalee Brownawell, 120-11 (8th) - Hershey (UNK commit)


Outlook: Jessica Stieb has a PR of just over 151’ which is the farthest of any active thrower in any class in in Nebraska. Last year’s State competition saw Ruthie Loomis-Gol (137-08 PR) come within 3 inches of state gold with a massive 10’ PR; Ruthie is also a top-notch high jumper. Abby Stallbummer will be in the mix again this season with a PR over 138’. Michalee Brownawell (Hershey) will also return this season with a PR of 133-00. McKinley Grover (127-09, Gordon-Rushville), Kaylie Lotspeich (124-07, Chase County), Maddie Schneider (122-09, GICC) and Sarah McKeon (122-07, Ravenna) are other top returners.

Class D Boys

Returning Medalists

o Tad Dimmitt, 144-09 (7th) - Sandhills Valley


Outlook: (Tyler Hanson, a distance runner at Axtell, is helping us with the Class D previews.) The Discus landscape is also completely new in 2023 due nine of of the top ten State performers were seniors. Tad Dimmitt returns as the favorite in both the shot and discus; his PR of 161-03 is over 17 feet better than the next best returner, Keegan Shuler of Hitchcock County. Other top returners include Dylan Naslund (135-11 PR) of Cody-Kilgore, Dylan Bahe (135-10) of Arapahoe, Clayton Meyer (135-10) of Loomis, and Xander Brown (135-02) of Osmond. After the gold medal, for which Dimmitt is the the strong favorite, the rest of the discus medals are up for grabs.


Class D Girls

Returning Medalists

JessaLynn Hudson, 122-09 (2nd) – BDS

Emmily Berglund, 119-08 (3rd) - Shelton

Taylor Alexander, 117-04 (5th) - Wausa

Jayda Schroeder, 112-11 (7th) - Elm Creek

McKenzie Snyder, 111-03 (8th) - Boyd County


Outlook: (Tyler Hanson) Jessalynn Hudson is the defending champ in both the discus and shot, but Emily Berglund's PR of (140-0) is twelve feet better than Hudson's. These two will be the favorites coming into the season, with a sizable lead over the other discus returners. Taylor Alexander is a wild card in the disc this season, with very few athletic.net results for 2022, but a PR of 122-10 at the Lewis and Clark Conference meet puts her in contention with the top two. Jayda Schroeder (119-04 PR) of Elm Creek, Lauren Harms (118-00) of Sterling and McKenzie Snyder (115-10) are the top returners. With 7 of the 14 longest throwers in 2022 lost to graduation, there will a number of new faces on the podium.




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Originally written for and posted at www.preprunningnerd.com by Patrick Grosserode, Tyler Hanson and Jay Slagle in March 2023. If you find an error, please DM or e-mail us at jayslagle@hotmail.com and we'll get it fixed.


Patrick Grosserode is the owner of Trackville, an indoor training facility devoted to developing youth, high school and collegiate athletes. He's also the Director of the Lincoln Community Track Club, the jump coach at Lincoln Pius X, and a USATF level 2 jump and sprint/hurdle coach. Lean more about Trackville at https://thetrackville.com/.


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 jumper who became a quadrapalegic after a swimming accident.

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