Updated: Mar 15
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 and sprint events. And just like last year, Patrick wrote an entire article for each discipline. Patrick is uniquely qualified to opine on the current state of field events, and we're thrilled to work with him.
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. Consequently, we will make it our personal mission in 2023 to capture more shots of people like, say, Kat Beachler. More broadly, 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 - we love shots like this one we took of Kinsley Ragland last year - there's an awfully good chance you'll make our Twitter feed.
Class A Boys
Returning State Medalists (2022 State mark listed)
o Sam Cappos, 58-01.75 (2nd) - Lincoln East (Arizona State)
o Caiden Fredrick, 56-09.50 (4th) - Papio South (South Dakota State commit)
o Ashton Murphy, 53-11.25 (7th) - Elkhorn South
Outlook: Sam Cappos of Lincoln East is currently US #8 with a throw of 61-08. Sam finished 8th at Nike Indoor Nationals in the weight throw with a throw of 68-05, as well as 59-04.5 to place 4th in the shot put. Sam has been training, competing and improving all winter and a 65’ shot put is not out of range this season. The current Class A State record is held by Larry Station (Omaha Central, 1982) at 64-09.50. Caiden Frederick's main event is the discus but he recorded a lifetime best this indoor season of 59-06.75. Ashton Murphy of Elkhorn South was just a sophomore in 2022 when he recorded his PR of 55-07. We could see three or four boys over 60’ this season.
Sophomore Ike Ackerman threw a lifetime best of 52-02 this indoor season. Ike is a very decorated age group thrower and will keep adjusting to the heavier implement. We would not be surprised to see a podium finish this season.
Class A Girls
Returning State Medalists
o Kat Beachler, 43-05.25 (1st) - Millard North
o Avery Franzen, 40-06.50 (3rd) - Kearney
o Delaney Burge, 39-05.50 (5th) - Elkhorn South (Doane commit)
o Elle Heckenlively, 38-08.00 (7th) - Gretna
Outlook: Returning state champion Kat Beachler (still only a junior) of Millard North is recovering from off season surgery. She has been in the gym all winter and has recently stated throwing. She is working toward a late season return. As a side note, Kat's aunt Becky Beachler set the all-class shot put record at 52-09.25 before moving on to Nebraska and BYU. Avery Franzen threw over 40’ for the entire month of May in 2022 and will be looking for bigger throws this season. The junior will be in the mix this season. Delaney Burge (39-05.5 PR) and Elle Heckenlively (38-11.75) round out our returners. Elle Heckenlively is a rare athlete who quickly made an impression as a freshman in winning the State high jump (5-05) and medaling in the shot put; just like last year, she'll be running back and forth as the high jump and shot put are at the same time at the State meet.
Clare Ullery of Papio South has a PR of 37-11.5, the 5th best PR of all returners. Keep an eye on LSW junior Madison Rink (37-02.75 PR). She added eight feet over the course of last season and could score some points this season. Marie Bias of Millard South, who finished 11th last year, threw 37-08 over the winter, a 6.5 inch PR from last season. Haidyn Skeen of Kearney is also a 37-00+ thrower, so look for her to compete for a medal this season.
Class B Boys
o Eli Holt, 54-11.25 (3rd) - Norris
o Landon Ternus, 54-09.50 (4th) - Columbus Lakeview
o Max Denson, 53-01.00 (5th) - Broken Bow
o Aidan Betz, 52-09.75 (6th) - Elkhorn
o Sam Thomas, 51-06.50 (8th) - Elkhorn North
Outlook: Landon Ternus of Columbus Lakeview has the best PR of any returner at 55-03.5, but Eli Holt PR'd at the right time at 2022 State. Sam Thomas of Elkhorn North finished 8th at State but has the third best PR among returners at 54-02.25, and he is in the conversation for the State title. Aiden Betz (53-08.75 PR) of Elkhorn, Max Denson (53-01) of Broken Bow, Jaxson Ninete (51-09.5, Wayne State commit) of Elkhorn, and Jaden Cervantes (51-09) of Cozad are top returners.
Jake Scanlon of Wahoo improved his PR by over three feet when he threw 49-01.5 at Districts. That throw was an outlier for the freshman in 2022, but it suggests that he's got the potential to go big as he adds strength and experience.
We think it's a four-man race between Holt, Ternus, Denson and Thomas for the title. With only 12 of the top 25 throwers returning in 2023, we expect to see some new faces on the podium.
Class B Girls
o Sage Burbach, 46-04 (1st) - Norris (Nebraska commit)
o Nyaluet Diew, 42-00.50 (4th) - South Sioux City
o Gracie Kircher, 40-01.75 (6th) - Norris
o Brooklyn Kruse, 39-11.50 (7th) - Wayne
Outlook: Norris' Sage Burbach will be a Husker after this season and join one of the best throws groups in the nation. She has all of the tools to be a contributor at the next level. She is the class of this field and we expect to see some big throws this season. Nyluet Diew of South Sioux City is the next best returner with a lifetime best of 42-04.50. Gracie Kircher of Norris and Brooklyn Kruse of Wayne each threw their lifetime bests at State last season.
Claire Paasch of West Point-Beemer threw over 40-00 at Districts before finishing 11th at State. Cadie Anderson of Arlington has a PR of 37-09.5, 7th best among returners. Brittni Kinne of McCook (Concordia commit) competed indoor in 2023 with a throw of 37-07.75, improving her PR from 37-01, and she had the 8th best throw in 2022 among returners.
We expect to see Burbach and Diew at the top of the podium, but the rest of the medals should be competitive.
Class C Boys
o Kade Pieper, 57-08.50 (1st) - Norfolk Catholic
o Nathan Baldwin, 53-08.50 (3rd) - Sutton (Concordia commit)
o Jacob Ottis, 53-02.75 (4th) - Battle Creek
o Barrett Wilke, 52-11.50 (5th) - Stanton
o Trent Uhlir, 51-05.0 (7th) - Battle Creek
Outlook: Pieper is the defending state champion with a 57-08.50 PR at State. Nathan Baldwin threw 59-06.25 in the first meet of 2022 but did not throw over 54’ from that point forward. If he can return to form, he will be in the mix for a gold medal. Barrett Wilke was just a freshman last year and has continued to develop with a 53-01.75 throw during the winter indoor season. Battle Creek’s Jacob Ottis and Trent Uhlir will look to add big points in the throws for the Braves; they have the 4th and 6th best PRs of all returners.
J.T. Brands of Oakland-Craig had the third-best Class C throw last year at 56-08.5 but threw 49-00 at State. Six returners cleared 50-00 last year while at least six more have PRs between 46-00 and 50-00. Assuming Baldwin is healthy, we'd look for a battle between Pieper, Baldwin and Brands for the top three spots.
Class C Girls
o Jessica Stieb, 47-05.25 (1st) - Arcadia-Loup City (Michigan State commit)
o Maddie Schneider, 38-00.25 (5th) - Grand Island CC
o Berniece McCorkindale, 37-05.75 (6th) - Laurel-Concorde-Coleridge
o Marin Reilly, 36-03.50 (8th) - Ord
Outlook: *** State record watch *** Jessica Stieb was the all class state champion last year and returned to form this indoor season with a throw of 44-02. The future Spartan is nine feet ahead of the returning field and is the odds on favorite to repeat. The Class C State record of 49-06 was set by Jenny Svoboda of Howells in 2005. while Kalynn Meyer of Superior set the Class C State meet record of 49-05 in 2019. Stieb improved her PR by almost three feet last year; if she's healthy all year, we think she's got a solid chance at the State record.
Schneider, McCorkindale and Reilley all reached their PR’s around state so look for this field to start adding distance late in the season. Interestingly, Reilly had only the 15th-best Class C throw in 2022 at 36-06.25, but she delivered at State when it mattered.
Twelve of the twenty-four longest throwers in 2022 have graduated but that leaves room for new blood. Among non-medalists, the top returners are Regan Brummels (38-00 PR) of Battle Creek, McKinley Grover (37-07.5) of Gordon-Rushville, Kaysha Swartz (37-04.5) of Bishop Neuman and Lexi Eickhoff (36-05.75) of Cedar Catholic.
As a side note, we're pretty invested in Stieb's season. Her aunt coached Nerd the Third in junior high track, and Nerds always support Nerds.
Class D Boys
o Tad Dimmitt, 54-03.75 (1st) - Sandhills Valley (Doane commit)
o Dylan Nasland, 49-00.00 (6th) - Cody-Kilgore
o Clayton Meyer, 48-05.25 (7th) - Loomis
Outlook: (Tyler Hanson, a distance runner at Axtell, is helping us with the Class D previews.) The Class D shot put loses 17 of the top 24 throwers from 2022 based on season bests, and there are only three returning medalists. Tad Dimmitt is the favorite for both weight events, with PRs of 56-10.5 and 161-03. He was quite active over the winter and threw 52-02 at Concordia in December. Tad's PR is seven feet longer than the PRs of the other two returning medalists, Clayton Meyer (49-10) and Dylan Naslund (49-00). After Dimmitt, seniors accounted for the next six longest throws in 2022, so we will see plenty of new faces on the podium.
Among the returning non-medalists, look out for Keegan Shuler (48-04.5 PR) of Hitchcock County, Sammy Fasso (47-04.5) of Dundy County Stratton, Adrian Gomez (46-03.5) of Silver Lake, and Tanner Bolte (45-09.75) of BDS.
Based on PRs, Dimmitt is the heavy favorite for the gold medal, but the other seven medal spots are wide open.
Class D Girls
o JessaLynn Hudson, 40-04.00 (1st) - BDS
o Emmily Berglund, 39-09.25 (2nd) - Shelton
o Peyton Cox, 36-01.25 (7th) - Wauneta-Palisade
o MaKenna Willis, 35-11.25 (8th) - Shelton
Outlook: (Tyler Hanson) Jessalynn Hudson returns as the favorite in both discus and shot, but Emily Berglund is lurking. Hudson has a PR of 42-07.5 while Berglund's PR of 39-09.25 is from the State meet. Berglund competed in several winter meets and threw 39-04, so she's closing in on a new PR. These two ladies are our strong favorites to go 1-2 this spring.
Chloe Anderson of Loomis had the fifth best mark in 2022 at 38-10.25 before throwing 35-10.75 at State for 9th, and she's got the third best PR of any returner. She also threw 36-07.75 at Concordia in December. Peyton Cox steadily improved her shot PR over five feet from the beginning to end of last season, and a two-foot improvement this year could put her solidly on the podium. Makkenna Willis of Shelton has the fourth-best PR among returners, and we suspect that working out with teammate Emmily Berglund every day will pay dividends in 2023.
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 email@example.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/.
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