Contributor: The Nerd
We had 1,000 views of the State Day 1 recap so it must have some use to the nerds out there, so we'll give it another go. However, it's 4:00 a.m. and I have a 7:00 a.m. accounting meeting, so the most you get is 90 minutes from me. (Pro husband tip: when Mrs. Nerd already thinks you put too much time into a hobby, just get up at 4:00 when she's sleeping.)
The results for all Class A and B events are at https://results.blacksquirreltiming.com/meets/13301. We'd love to highlight them all, but we ain't got the time.
We've already had some folks DM us about photos, so here's the scoop. Between Nerd the Third, Nerd Junior, Jaden Gebeke and me, we're taking more than 10,000 pictures every day at State. We come home, Mrs. Nerd makes us dinner, and then we're in bed pretty soon after that. We will eventually edit those photos and post quite a few to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/preprunningnerd, so you might as well follow that account to save time. Last year it took us three weeks to post all the photos, and it might take longer this year because we've got some Nerd vacation plans that don't involve track meets. Be patient, we take cool pictures.
Worth the wait
We love all Classes, but over half of the 37 track meets (yes, 37) we've attended this year have involved Class A schools. The Class A girls 1600 was the race we wanted to see the most - and in some ways it lived up to the hype - and in some ways not, but for reasons you might not know about.
For the first time in Nebraska history, we had four girls run sub-5:00 1600 races in the same year, and several of them did it multiple times. Despite this being the last distance race of the meet, we were hoping to see all four - Jaci Sievers, Stella Miner, Elli Dahl and Brianna Rinn - go under 5:00 in the same race. Just like in the 3200, Sievers took it out hard in 1:10 and 2:25. Elli hung with her for the first 800 but Jaci had a two-second lead at 1200. Stella and Brianna had a second race going on about 10 seconds back; at 1200, Jaci was at 3:38, Elle 3:40, Stella 3:53 and Brianna 3:53. The order of finish and the last 400 split: Jaci (4:51.63, 73), Stella (4:57.60, 70), Elli (5:03.72, 82), Briana (5:07.66, 74).
An athlete needed a 5:10.62 to medal; the 8th best mark in Class A before State was 5:10.73. Don't worry about the state of girls distance running; seven of the top 9 finishers were underclassmen; only Elli (UNL) and Brianna (Utah) graduate.
We had hoped for the top four to go under 5:00, but the weather wasn't great either day and it was the third race for all of them. Elli and Jaci opted out of the open 800, so the 1600 was their first race of Thursday after both running the 4x800 and 3200 on Wednesday. Stella (2:10.16) and Brianna (2:12.65) had battled in the 800 just over three hours earlier, and Brianna was the only one of the four girls to run all three distance races. (In case you weren't impressed enough, Brianna split 59.82 and Stella 57.63 in their fourth event, the 4x400.)
Jaci's 4:51.63 puts her fifth on our all-time list (which converts mile times), just behind Emily Sisson (Marian/Millard North/KC/Wisconsin/Providence/Olympian) and ahead of Stella (#6), Brianna (#7) and Elli (#10).
Stella's path to State
Stella had a great meet - a 2:08 4x800 split, the 2:10 open 800, a 4:57.60 1600 and a 57.63 4x400 split. She also couldn't walk without pain on Monday due to an injury that arose over the weekend. Three days of rest, ice and ibuprofen did the trick, but on Monday Coach Preister and Coach Gosnell thought they were going to need a replacement for the two relay teams.
Think Stella is this good because of high mileage? Nope. She averaged 10-15 miles per week on four days a week; on the other three days she swam, biked or rested. Her longest run of the week was typically four miles, and her one interval workout of the week was generally no more than six 400's. If she can just stay healthy at 25-30 miles a week, Coach Preister thinks she can be off the charts.
Nice guys do get rewarded
I didn't get any good photos of Brandon Schutt during the race, but I was happy to see him pop into my viewfinder during the 800 warm ups. The Bellevue East senior became a sensation last October when he helped Blake Cerveny of Burke run the last 100 meters of Districts XC, all the while assuming that he'd be DQ'd. Our social media posts about this act of kindness went viral, leading to appearances by Brandon and Blake on NBC Nightly News and Good Morning America. If you're new to the Nerd, here's the link to the long-form story we wrote a few days after the race. https://www.preprunningnerd.com/post/five-seconds-two-strangers-one-beautiful-gesture Brandon had never qualified for State before this season, but I feel like karma played a big part in getting him one final race before he retires from competitive distance running.
Runs like a Deer
Mitch Deer of Sidney has had some highs and lows this year at State. His band of brothers captured the Class B 4x800 on Wednesday, but he was pretty bummed on Thursday afternoon when he finished 11th in the 800 in 2:02. Less than three hours later he was back on the track for the 400, and he won the gold medal with a 49.42 - a time that puts him in the lead for the all-Class gold after Tyson Baker won the Class A race in 49.72.
In winning the 400, Mitch denied Conner Wells of St. Paul the chance for a repeat in the 400 and 800, but don't feel bad for Conner; he's got three individual golds over the last two years, including an incredible come-from-behind win in the 800 yesterday (post-race Conner above). Mitch and Conner will be teammates at UNK next year, and I have to believe that at some point Mitch will say, "Hey Conner, you remember that time..." and Conner will immediately reply, "Hey Mitch, you remember those three times..."
T&F field has characters
Kat Beachler of Millard North swept the Class A weights, and she's the niece to all-time shot put leader Becky Beachler of Fremont (52-09.25, 1997, competed at BYU). Kat is the daughter of Lisa Ann Charles, who threw at K-State and does a ton of work for the Cornhusker Flyers. However, I don't have a funny picture of Kat, but I do have one of Kinsley Ragland. Kinsley attends Lincoln North Star and finished 2nd in the shot and 4th in the discus. Last month she was chilling at the Central meet and I asked her if she wanted to take senior pics. She obliged, which is why you have this beauty of a photo.
Another one of our favorite characters is Steven Dalmeida of Omaha Bryan. We met him at the Omaha Benson meet and he's checked in with us almost every meet since then to be sure that we knew he'd be a good photo. Steven was Bryan's only qualifier, competing in the 100, 200 and TJ. He had an unfortunate DQ in the 100 prelims, so we're not quite sure that he saw these awesome signs that were waiting for him at the finish line. Steven, you have some big supporters.
Given the hot weather, we weren't sure whether we'd see many double winners in the distance crew, but some big names stepped up. Kassidy Stuckey, a sophomore at York, won the Class B 1600/3200 in 5:14.96 and 11:22. Ian Salazar-Molina, a sophomore at Lexington, won his races in 4:26.77 and 9:36. Jaci Sievers, a junior at Elk South, won in 4:51.67 and 10:27
Finally, Gabe Hinrichs hit the distance trifecta, winning in 1:52.32, 4:16.34 and 9:16.14. Gabe will leave the Nebraska high school track scene without a State record, but we don't care. He's on the all-time top 10 list in all three races and the top 3 in the 1600 and 3200. He has collected five individual T&F gold medals over the last 13 months plus an all-Class gold in XC. Is he the GOAT of Nebraska distance running? It's tough to say - Seth Hirsch, Milo Greder, Brian Turner, Colby Wissel and others would be in the discussion. For now, let's just say that we've thoroughly enjoyed watching Gabe rise to the top over the last two years.
Jumping Jaylen and Rockin' Reece
Jaylen Lloyd of Omaha Central had himself a State meet. He won the TJ on Wednesday with a 50-03.50 leap in an epic battle with Reece Grosserode of Pius. On Thursday, he uncorked a first jump of 23-03.50, one of two legal jumps and good enough for the title. Reece finished second in the LJ in 23-01. Jaylen is a junior and Reece just a sophomore, so we get one more of these two historic jumpers.
If the jumps weren't enough, Jaylen also won the 100 finals and finished 4th in 200. He's part of the reason that OC finished 2nd in team standings.
Omaha Westside's near miss
This came to us from Derek Fey, the College of St. Mary coach who has worked at Westside for many years: "Westside girls have never finished higher than third place at the State track meet. In 2008, we had second locked up, we just needed to beat grand island in the 4x400 and have one other team beat them. They beat us by one spot after passing one other team and us in the final 10 meters. Last night, Westside was up 5.5 points going into the 4x400. Stella Miner runs a final leg of 57.63 to earn 6th place. Sadie Millard of Millard West ran a 55.85 anchor leg and might have caught Fremont's final runner if she had another 10 meters. Due to a .04 second difference between Fremont and Millard West, Westside is third again. The 4x400 can be cruel."
That's all, folks
I've got to get to a 7:00 work meeting (what, on a Friday?), so I apologize for the typos and errors. Nerd Junior and Nerd the Third will fix them when they get up.
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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 email@example.com. As always, thank you for all of your gentle corrections. Errors of omission don't mean that we hate your kid; we simply don't have the bandwidth to cover all of these awesome athletes.
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.