Contributor: The Nerd
Although track season is over, we'll occasionally post Nerdsletters when we have enough material to warrant it. Here's a quick summary of what is on our radar this week:
OWH Athlete of the Year
I heartily support the World Herald's Athletes of the Year selections. Taylor McCabe of Fremont is the all-time Class A girls' basketball scoring leader, medaled in the State 800 all three years (her sophomore year was lost to COVID), and earned four gold medals and one silver on Fremont's 4x400 and 4x800 State teams. Lucy Dillon and Taylor have been the heart of Fremont's relay teams the last four years.
Similarly, Vince Genatone of North Platte was an absolute beast in football, wrestling and track. He rushed for over 900 yards last fall, won two State wrestling titles and finished 3rd in a stacked 100 at State. At the Central meet earlier this spring, three grizzled track coaches joined me in the photographer section at the end of the 100 meter dash so they'd have a better view of Vince. One even had a picture of Vince on his phone that a wrestling coach had texted him. I've seen the evidence; Vince looks like the Incredible Hulk on both the mat and the track.
I do question a few omissions on the World Herald's list of 12 finalists. It did not include Lincoln High's Dajaz DeFrand or Elkhorn South's Gabe Hinrichs. Dajaz set the all-class State record in the 100 and 200 this spring, and she won every high school 100, 200 and 4x100 final she raced over the last two years. Gabe swept the four Class A distance events (XC, 800, 1600, 3200) as a senior and was the first Class A boy to do this since Brian Turner (Millard North) did it over 20 year ago. He was undefeated in 18 individual races this spring, ended his career ranked in the all-time top 10 for all three track events (7th in the 800, 2nd in the 1600 and 3200), earned five all-class golds over the last thirteen months, and became the first Nebraskan to win the Nike XC regionals.
There are incredible high school athletes all over Nebraska and I don't mean to diminish any of their accomplishments. However, it's a head scratcher why Dajaz and Gabe - who are legitimately in the Nebraska T&F G.O.A.T. conversations - weren't named finalists.
We've done the math. Since indoor meets began in January, we have posted 21,508 photos from 39 track meets to our Facebook page (links at https://www.preprunningnerd.com/copy-of-pictures). All told, we think we devoted about 1,000 hours this spring to attending meets, editing photos, compiling rankings and writing Nerdsletters. As we've noted before, it takes a lot of time to create original content for the running community, but that has been our goal since we founded the Nerd in 2017.
Over the past five years, we've run into a number of folks who love running as much as we do and whom have offered to help. Consequently, we're expanding the Nerd team despite our rotten sales pitch: (a) no one gets paid to be a Nerd, (b) our volunteers must have access to a very expensive camera setup, (c) it's a time consuming hobby, and (d) the only perqs are free Nerd gear and a limited amount of street cred. Despite those obstacles, we'll be adding at least four Nerds to the team this fall - they're from west Omaha, Fremont, North Platte and a little ol' town not far from Wyoming. They'll be posting meet pictures on our Facebook page and begin contributing content to our Nerdsletters.
With the Junior Olympic season winding to a close, it's exciting to see that pole vaulters still have opportunities to compete this summer - in unique venues. There are a number of 'street vaulting' events in Nebraska over the next month, according to the www.vaultdogs.com website:
6/18 - North Platte
6/24 - 6/25 Aurora
7/4 - Seward
7/8-7/9 Capitol District in Omaha
The July 8th event includes a college/elite evening competition in downtown Omaha, preceded by a five-hour pole vault clinic at Trackville in Lincoln. Trackville-trained athletes had amazing success in field events this season, so I have to imagine that the pole vault clinic will be exceptional. You can find links to all four events at the Vault Dogs website.
Master of jumps
Scott Haug, a fellow running nerd, tipped us off to this gem from last weekend's open meet at Westside. Angee Henry was a 10-time All American jumper and sprinter at UNL back in the day, as well as the 1996 indoor and outdoor national champion in the long jump. She hasn't jumped competitively since college but recently started practicing again to teach technique to her jumpers at College of St. Mary. In her first competition back, she jumped 18-06, which would have qualified as a US Masters record if the meet had included a wind reading. For reference, she won the all-class gold at the Nebraska State meet in 1992 with a jump of 18-02.25.
During the indoor season we saw Angee in a few sprint races at the Devaney, and we're hoping to catch her in a few long jump competitions next year.
Fast high school dudes
According to the Citius Twitter account and other sources, Simeon Birnbaum of Rapid City Stevens High School ran a sub-4:00 mile at the Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle earlier this week. With his 3:59.51, he becomes the 17th U.S. high school boy to break four minutes for the mile and the fifth high schooler to do it this year. He's only a junior.
Based on a somewhat spotty list of performances on his athletic.net account, Simeon's high school PRs as a sophomore were 1:55/4:23/9:42. He ran a 4:07.88 full mile at Arcadia earlier this year so the sub-4:00 mile was not a complete shock. We've got quite a few Nebraska juniors who ran around 4:25/9:40 this spring; what can they achieve as seniors if they stay healthy?
Speaking of the four-minute mile...
McCook and Oklahoma State alum Molly Sughroue, now a pro runner (and looking for a sponsor), is a great Twitter follow at @mollySughroue and she tweeted a few days ago that women don't have an eye-catching mile benchmark like men have with the four-minute mile. A former professional runner (Jen St. Jean, @JenSaintJean) replied to Molly's tweet, and their exchange included such good information that it's worth repeating here:
Per Molly: What is the equivalent mark for women - is it 4:30 or 4:35? By Molly's count, 658 American men have run sub-4:00, including 16 high schoolers (now 17 with Simeon's mark) while 93 American women have broken 4:30, including only one high schooler (Mary Cain in 2014).
Per Jen: According to the World Athletics website… 1,663 men have broken 4 minutes in the mile. Only 93 women have broken 4:30. Only 697 women have broken 4:40 and the WA list stops at 4:43 which includes only 847 names worldwide. Focusing on 4 minutes leaves out half the population. It is also reported that at most 1% of the total population can actually run a 5 minute mile but 10% of men can. The women’s mile does not have adequate data & rankings. I can’t even find the statistics for masters men & women.
Nike Nationals is underway. Patrick Grosserode of Trackville has compiled a list (updated with help from Coach Williams of Millard South) of Nebraska athletes who are registered to compete:
Jaci Sievers, Elkhorn South
Kate Campos, Pius
Lilee Kaasch, Millard South
Taylor Bredthauer, Norris
Makayla Thompson, Omaha Burke
Reece Grosserode, Pius
Jaylen Lloyd, Omaha Central
Sam Cappos, Lincoln East
Andrew Schmitz, Papio LaVista
Andrew Jones, Creighton Prep
Jack Gillogly, Creighton prep
4x800 relay - Pius boys
We haven't had time to find event times for the Nebraska athletes, but you can search for them at https://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=14188&do=news&news_id=643284. We do know that Jaci Sievers of Elkhorn South is competing in the 2 mile on Saturday and the mile on Sunday. Good luck to all of the athletes who are competing - we're cheering for you from Nebraska. In addition, if Patrick is able to use Prep Running Nerd for a media credential, we might end up with some sweet action pictures from the new Hayward Field.
Following up on a post we shared in mid-May, here is a list of T&F camps that remain this summer:
Concordia - https://www.cune.edu/athletics/teams/track-and-field/camps - Offers a series of 90-minute to two-hour camps from June 6-29 to high school students in a variety of track disciplines. It also offers a full-day pole vault camp on June 20.
Creighton University - https://www.bluejayrunningcamps.com/ - Creighton is offering a day XC camp on July 11, as well as a two-day 'elite camp' for rising juniors and seniors on July 18-19 that is limited to the first 16 registrants (although the elite camp may be filled by now).
Nike - https://www.ussportscamps.com/running/nike/nike-colorado-springs-running-camp - This camp is not cheap but likely offers some Nike swag. It runs July 13-16 in Colorado Springs and the website suggests it will sell out. It doesn't list age eligibility but seems to be geared towards high school athletes.
Smarter Training for Faster Running CC Camp - http://www.ccrunningcamps.org/ - Led by Coach David Ramsey, this camp was a popular destination for some of Nebraska's top runners prior to COVID. It runs July 10-17 in Fort Collins, CO.
Wisconsin - http://uwcamps.com/sport.aspx?id=21 - Creighton Prep athletes attended this large XC camp in Madison for many years prior to the pandemic. With Seth Hirsch transferring to Colorado, the camp staff has one less celebrity, but the Prep boys met a number of future Olympians during this late-summer camp.
West Valley Track - https://www.westvalleytrack.com/season - This is the only camp we have found thus far that is explicitly for the younger set - Kindergarten through 6th grade. Starts May 31 and runs through June 30th every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00pm-7:00pm at the Omaha Westside track.
Throws Camp - UNL assistant coach Scott Cappos is offering throws camps on Sunday nights at Trackville in Lincoln. Go to https://throwspro.com/camps/ for more info.
Cambridge High School - The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is hosting a horizontal jump and throws camp at Cambridge High on July 22nd. Cost is $20 for high school athletes, $10 for coaches, and coaches are free if they bring at least two athletes. You can pre-register by contacting Jeremy Young at 308-340-2024 or email@example.com.
D3 Glory Days interview
D3 Glory Days is a podcast and social media account that provides the nation's best coverage of D3 running. They interviewed national champion Bella Hogue of Wesleyan recently, and that podcast is available via Apple Podcasts at https://apple.co/3zFNwGu or on Spotify at https://spoti.fi/3aXoAQd.
Big honor for the Hastings women
The USTFCCCA (the US collegiate coaches for T&F and XC) released their 'Program of the Year' awards last week, and the Hastings College women's program was listed in the NAIA top 5. We saw all of the top five teams when we attended the NAIA national indoor meet in March, and this is quite an honor for Hastings.
Have a great summer!
We're shifting into CWS and summer vacation mode, but we'll occasionally tweet and post on Facebook if something important comes up. We hope your summer is full of laughter, family time, fun runs and injury-free base miles.
Yes, we make mistakes
Did you find any errors in this article? We do this as a hobby, so we don't have editors looking over our shoulder. If you find an error, shoot us a DM on Twitter or Facebook, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, thank you for all of your gentle corrections.
Originally written for and posted at www.preprunningnerd.com by Jay Slagle. Did you love reading about Nebraska high school running? Visit www.preprunningnerd.com for rankings, results, photos, long-form articles, frequent updates on our blog page, and a bunch of other cool stuff that only running nerds would think to do. If you want to see meet photos or just need to kill a few hours on social media, follow @PrepRunningNerd on Twitter and Instagram, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/preprunningnerd.