Contributor: The Nerd
For the first weekend in six weeks, I did not attend a track meet. Instead, I went to a beach and did virtually nothing for four days except spend time with Mrs. Nerd. I did take some cool pictures, however, and the one above may be my new screen saver.
While you ponder how you can live as good a life as the dog pictured above, I have a few track and field topics for you to consider.
High school indoor meets
Nerd Junior headed out to Seward on Sunday for the final Concordia open meet. This series keeps getting better and better, and the field events really hit their stride this year. The results are posted here. It seemed like meet records were being set in about half of the events, and here are a few highlights:
Dajaz DeFrand of Lincoln High and Dominic Sedlacek of Gretna were double winners in the 60 and 200. The Florida State commit DeFrand looks prepared for another dominating season.
Ahmed Muse of Omaha Central won the 800 in 2:01. The OPS distance squads took a serious hit last spring after losing the Fall 2020 XC season (don't get me started), so we hope Ahmed's strong results are the start of an OPS rebound.
Berlyn Schutz of Lincoln East and Isabella Bricker of Gretna have had several good battles at Concordia this winter, with Berlyn winning on Sunday in 5:23 and Isabella 2nd in 5:27. Look for both to build on those times once the outdoor season begins.
Colby Erdkamp of Gretna, Grant Wasserman of North Star and Juan Garcia of GI have put in solid 1600's in Seward over the last month. Colby recorded a winter-best time of 4:24:85, with Wasserman in 4:25.08. Grant doubled back in the 800 less than 90 minutes later and ran a 2:04.
Reece Grosserode of Pius won both jumps in 23'3.75' and 46'1.75". Reece and Jaylen Lloyd of Omaha Central are going to have some great duals this year.
Jessica Stieb, the defending Class C shot put champion from Arcadia-Loup City, won the SP title with what appears to be a new PR of 44'9".
In the midst of diving season, Lincoln East's Sam Cappos threw 58'11" on back-to-back days, over two feet longer than his best in-season mark from 2021.
Nerd Junior prepared a compilation of the three 1600 races and it's posted on our YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUJoBxUMoOg.
Nerd the Third is working on a top-10 performance list for this winter's Concordia and College of St. Mary meets, and we'll post in a few weeks.
Speaking of College of St. Mary...
The final installment of the Metro Indoor Series is this Sunday. The Nerd team has some family obligations that will prevent us from attending, but there have been some exceptional performances in CSM's first two meets. You've got until Friday, 2/18 to sign up for the meet: http://www.csmflames.com/d/2021-22/Metro_Indoor_Athletics_Challenge_2022__final.pdf. Coach Fey has also posted a hype video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj_E1SM-kLI.
Coach Fey followed up with me regarding the first heat of the boys' 1600 on February 6th where it appeared that the boys had only run 1400 meters. It appears that the clock display stopped early but the boys did run the entire race, so now we don't have to guess what Juan Martinez (freshman at Fremont) and Eli Murillo (8th grader at Marrs) might have run. Juan clocked a 4:42 and Eli ran 4:53. The results have been updated at https://live.athletic.net/meets/12158/events/410609/results.
Two more weekends of open meets
Nebraska high school athletes have two more weekends to compete before the the start of the NSAA season. Sunday's events are at College of St. Mary and Northwest Missouri State, and there's a larger regional meet in Kansas City on 2/27. Check out the links at https://www.preprunningnerd.com/post/indoor-open-meets for more info. Northwest Missouri State also offers a meet in March, but Nebraska high school kids should steer clear; competing in that meet with render you ineligible for the spring track season.
We'll keep periodically updating the college commit list, although I think our next rush may not be until April. If you're an athlete or know of one who is not on our latest list, DM us or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We're still waiting to hear where Juan Garcia of Grand Island, Joe Volkmer of Lincoln East and Grant Wasserman of LNS might end up. Juan is a three-time State XC medalist - 8th, 7th and 7th - with PRs of 4:32 and 9:40. He's a high-mileage beast and seems well-suited for the longer distances in college. Joe's a 4:31/9:53 who should make a big leap this spring based on his Strava posts and the reports I'm getting from a few of his UNL training partners. Grant just popped off a 4:25 indoor mile after working through a few injury setbacks in the spring and fall 2021.
GPAC meet on Friday/Saturday
Doane hosts the GPAC conference meet this Friday and Saturday, although most of the action will be on Saturday. Tickets needed to be purchased online in advance of the meet at https://happsnow.com/team/doane-athletic-tickets. Not sure if you're going to attend? The GPAC includes four women's teams in the NAIA top 10 and six men's team ranked in the top 25. There is some serious talent in the GPAC. Here's the link to the top GPAC performances by event: https://www.tfrrs.org/lists/3503/Great_Plains_AC_Indoor_Performance_List/2022/i.
GPAC member schools include Briar Cliff, College of St. Mary, Concordia, Dakota Wesleyan, Doane, Dordt, Hastings, Midland, Morningside, Mount Marty, Northwestern and University of Jamestown. The ranked women's teams are listed at http://www.ustfccca.org/2022/02/featured/2022-naia-womens-indoor-track-field-rating-index-week-4 and the men's teams are at http://www.ustfccca.org/2022/02/featured/2022-naia-mens-indoor-track-field-rating-index-week-4.
But wait, there's more T&F action
The Huskers host their last indoor meet of the season on this Friday with the Husker Tune-up. With their new outdoor track still under construction, this may be your last chance to see Nebraska and a few other teams compete in state for the remainder of the spring. Field events begin at 1:00 and races begin at 2:15; the full schedule is at https://huskers.com/documents/2022/2/10//2022_Husker_Tune_Up_Tenative_Schedule.pdf?id=8686.
College recruiting seminar
Fleet Feet is sponsoring a college recruiting seminar on March 27 at Trackville in Lincoln. I don't know who will be presenting but I do know that Trackville does a great job of servicing the track and field community.
In addition to this seminar, we've already posted several resources that can help you find the college program that's right for you regardless of your talent level. Check out our article here that explains how to select a college, and check out our listing of local programs here.
Newbury Park high school
Newbury Park High School had arguably the best XC team in history this past fall, and one of their runners just ran a sub-4:00 indoor mile. Citius Magazine has done a wonderful job of covering national running news, and they interviewed Newbury Park's coach earlier this month. The hour-long podcast is at https://citiusmag.com/podcast/citius-mag-podcast-sean-brosnan-newbury-park-high-school-coach-interview/.
What Made Maddy Run
Call it a mid-life crisis or whatever you want, but seven years ago I told my boss that I planned to transition to a less-intense role at the end of 2021. I stuck to my timeline and one of my goals over the next two years is to write a novel about a high school runner. Last week I shared this goal with a colleague, and that non-runner immediately asked me if I had read, "What Made Maddy Run." I had not heard of it, but I was able to read it while on vacation.
Written by ESPN personality Kate Fagan, "What Made Maddy Run" is a stark non-fiction piece that does an excellent job of exploring the often-crushing pressure of being a teenaged girl surrounded by internal and external pressures to look great, be perfect and achieve every goal known to womankind. It's not a feel-good book; it directly addresses mental health issues, the downsides of social media and suicide. However, I've interviewed several athletes who confided in me that their mental health struggles were as intimidating as stress fractures. We have to be honest about it: in an effort to be the perfect athlete or to win a state championship, some competitors lose sight of their own brilliance.
In her role as a sports TV talking head, I've never been a big fan of Kate Fagan. However, I was impressed with "What Made Maddy Run," and I hope that Maddy's story can make a positive impact on girls and boys who are struggling with mental illness.
We'll be at the Husker Tune-Up on Friday. Junior will be in the 3000, Third will be in the 800, and I'll be behind the camera.
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Originally written for and posted at www.preprunningnerd.com by Jay Slagle.