NE high school throws preview
Updated: Mar 13
The past few years the Prep Running Nerd team has devoted its coverage primarily to distance running, but we intend to give more love to field events, sprints and hurdles this spring. To get a jump start on coverage, we asked for help for the field events from Patrick Grosserode, the owner of the Trackville training facility in Lincoln. 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.
Before we start his preview, we must guiltily admit that we have virtually no weight throw pictures because those competitions are often held too far from the track for a one-photographer outfit to catch them. That doesn't mean we don't love the throws guys and gals - and we'll try to do a better job this season. Because our website insists on a picture for this blog post, here's a shot from our favorite shot put venue at Bellevue West. Now here is Patrick's preview, with a few additions from Nerd Senior.
While there were nearly a dozen indoor meets over the winter that included the shot put – and a handful that included the weight throw, the majority of competitors do something else over the winter. They might be living in the weight room or competing in wrestling or basketball, although there are rumors that some of the boys just carry pianos, anvils or small tractors around all winter because… well… because everyone else on the track team can’t do that. Consequently, while we have some insight on the throws based on results from indoor meets, we have to rely heavily on last year’s results, particularly for the discus.
Class A Boys – Shot Put
· Nic Davis, 54-04.00 – North Platte
· Sam Cappos, 54-03.50 – Lincoln East
· Arden Jenkins, 53-09.50 – Bellevue West
· Matt Rink, 53-06.75 – Lincoln Southwest
· Jaiden Chrisman, 52-02.50 - Grand Island
Class A Boys – Discus
· Sam Cappos, 170-06 – Lincoln East
· Caiden Fredrick, 166-03 – Papio South
· Nic Davis, 166-00 – North Platte
Senior Nic Davis returns as the highest medalist in the shot put, has a 168’7” PR in the discus, and he increased his PR to 55’2.5” at the Air Force Open in early February. Junior Sam Cappos, who has multiple D1 offers in track and football, had a big indoor season with a shot of 58’-11” during consecutive meets. After focusing solely on the discus in 2021, this winter Joe Kieny (Kansas) of Creighton Prep had an indoor best of 54’05” which would have been in the mix at last year’s state meet. Jordan Shaw (Concordia) of Kearney also had a great indoor season with shot put of 52’08” (improving his PR from 48’4”) and a weight throw just short of 20 meters.
Keep an eye on Andrew Schmitz (Doane) of Papio South. Andrew had a weight throw of over 20 meters indoor, is one of the best hammer throwers in the country, and improved his shot PR by 12” over the winter. A fun fact: Andrew ran cross country from 7th through 9th grade. Another athlete to watch is J’Dyn Bullion, a junior from Central High School who threw 49’8” and 165’4” last spring, as well as 50’11” and 159’7” in the USATF summer season (he finished 2nd at nationals in his age group). J’Dyn is listed at 6’1”, 245 on his Rivals page and is rumored to have over a 400lb bench press. Instead of moving pianos this winter, he played or Central’s state-qualifying basketball team. Caiden Frederick of Papio South increased his discus PR by 11 feet in the last two weeks of the 2021 season, so it will be interesting to see if he can bring that momentum into his junior season.
Class A Girls – Shot Put
· Katharine Beachler, 41-06.00 – Millard North
· Mackenzie Kinning, 39-07.75 – Fremont
· Avery Franzen, 39-06.00 - Kearney
· Kinsley Ragland, 37-11.75 – Lincoln North Star
· Mia Knigge, 37-04.75 – Fremont
Class A Girls – Discus
· Dannika Rees, 122-08 – Papio LaVista
· Taylor Fritz, 117-01 – Lincoln Southwest
· Hailey Schroer, 111-08 – Lincoln Southwest
· Isabella Molina, 111-06 - Kearney
· Katharine Beachler, 110-08 – Millard North
· Hadeley Dowty, 110-07 – Fremont
Kat Beachler had a successful summer season after her freshman season with a discus throw of 125-1. She has looked great indoor season with a throw of 40-4, and she is also one of the best hammer throwers in the nation with a PR of 132’. Kinsey Ragland had an indoor season best of 40’-08” and is looking to be in great form. 13 out of 16 medalists in the Class A throws events are returning this season. Avery Franzen was the second freshman on the shot put podium and is expected to keep improving this year. Mia Knigge (Doane) threw 39’1” at 2021 Districts and should be extra motivated now that she’s committed to compete in college. Teammate Mackenzie Kinning went over 38’ in 7 of her 8 meets last spring and should be a title contender.
On the discus side, the six returning girls finished 3rd through 8th, but only Beachler competed over the winter. Dannika Rees threw 122’8’ in her last two 2021 meets after entering Districts with a 116’4” PR. Molia threw 119’5” in her first meet of 2021 so has big throw potential, while Fritz improved her PR by 11’ in her last two meets. Rees seems to be the favorite, Beachler could pop off, and we expect a solid pack of girls throwing over 115’.
Class B Boys – Shot Put
· Gage Griffith, 55-08.25 – Aurora (1st)
· Landon Ternus, 53-06.25 – Columbus Lakeview
· Jay Ballard, 51-06.75 – Boys Town
· Aidan Betz, 51-05.00 – Elkhorn
Class B Boys – Discus
· Gage Griffith, 174-08 - Aurora
· Jackson Ninete, 145-08 – Elkhorn
Gage Griffith returns as the double state champ in shot and discus, and had 57’1.5” and 174’8” PRs last spring. He has looked good this indoor season with a shot put of 57’-07”. Ternus also ran the 200/4x400 relay last season, improved his shot PR by over 4” at the State meet after fouling out of the discus at Districts (he has a PR of 150’9”), and finished 3rd at the 2022 State wrestling tourney at 220 pounds (assuming the Nerd knows how to read a wrestling bracket). Ballard threw over 53’ during the 2021 season and last month finished 4th at State wrestling, facing Ternus in the 3rd/4th place match.
The 2021 discus competition was senior-heavy. Jackson Ninete of Elkhorn threw a 6’6” PR to place 6th while Ballard threw a 16-FOOT PR to finish 9th. Luke Porter, now a junior at St. PR, had a mid-season PR of 143’2.5” and should be in the mix this year.
Barring injuries, we expect Griffith to be the cream of the crop this year with Ballard and Ternus leading a tight pack of the other competitors.
Class B Girls – Shot Put
· Sage Burbach, 41-09.75 – Norris
· Sierra Kotschwar, 41-08.75 – McCook
· Brittni Kinne, 38-08.50 – McCook
· Isabelle Sharman, 38-07.50 – DC West
· Jozy Piper, 39-02.25 – 7th in Class C for Norfolk Catholic (now at Pierce)
· Elly Piper, 39-00.25 – 8th in Class C for Norfolk Catholic (now at Pierce)
Class B Girls – Discus
· Ella Jacobson, 134-09 – Holdrege
· Sierra Kotschwar, 134-02 – McCook
· Madison Smith, 130-06 – Gothenburg
· Madalyn Viger, 127-10 – Seward
· Chloe Walker, 123-11 – Columbus Scotus
· Olivia Poppert, 123-00 – St. Paul
· Jozy Piper, 121-05 – 5th in Class C for Norfolk Catholic (now at Pierce)
The shot put will be a tight race with just inches separating the top returners from 2021. Burbach leads the pack with a 42’3” PR, but there’s just not much separation between Burbach and Kotschwar. Isabell Sharman had a solid indoor season with a best of 35’-08”, and Kate Osterhaus of Norris threw 34’9” over the winter. Seventeen of last year’s qualifiers return, with the majority between 34’ and 38’. To add even more competition to Class B, the Piper sisters moved from Class C Norfolk Catholic to Class B Pierce last fall, and Jozy has a PR of 40’1.
Ella Jacobsen, a junior at Holdrege, finished 2nd last year after improving her PR by 7’ at State. As with the shot, Kotschwar should be in the mix. Madison Smith was 5th last year as a freshman, throwing a 4’ PR at State, and we expect her to improve the next three years. Madalyn Viger of Seward is one to watch in the discus this season. Madi has become a very good hammer thrower and will focus more on that event next season.
Class C Boys – Shot Put
· Nathan Baldwin, 52-04.00 – Sutton
· Kamden Dusatko, 51-05.50 – Stanton
· Kade Pieper, 51-03.25 – Norfolk Catholic
· Jacob Ottis, 50-08.00 – Battle Creek
· Trent Uhlir, 50-07.50 – Battle Creek
· Kolby Gorecki, 48-07.00 – Centura
Class C Boys – Discus
· Nathan Baldwin, 163-11 – Sutton
· Matt Logue, 155-01 – Ponca
· Kade Pieper, 153-11 – Norfolk Catholic
· Jaxson Bernecker, 150-08 – Cedar Catholic
Class C is wide open the season with 6 of the state medalists returning in Shot. Athletic.net results get a little spotty once we get into Class C and D, so we often can’t see an athlete’s full body of work. Nathan Baldwin appears to have improved his PR by nearly 4’ to win the 2021 State shot title as a sophomore, and then he PR’d by nearly 9 feet to win the discus (he was undefeated all season). Dusatko is a 6’1”, 240 beast who appears to be looking to play football in college, but he’s got a very limited athletic.net profile. Kade Pieper has a PR of 55’5” and threw over 53’ at five different meets last season, so he should compete for the title in his junior season.
Matt Logue only has four 2021 meets on his athletic.net profile, and that data reflects that his 155’1” at State was a 21-foot PR. Pieper and Bernecker will be in the mix, and we expect that something over 160’ will take the title.
The podium hunt for Class C gets a little easier due to the periodic reclassification of schools. Carter Mann of Burwell placed 7th in the shot and 2nd in the discus in 2021, but Burwell has been reclassified to Class D for 2022.
Class C Girls – Shot Put
· Jessica Stieb, 44-07.50 – Arcadia-Loup City
· Lily Vollertson, 40-01.50 – Syracuse
· Shaye Butler, 39-08.50 – St. Cecilia
Class C Girls – Discus
· Shayla Meyer, 138-09 – Superior
· Kaitlyn Nelson, 129-05 – Ainsworth
· Jessica Stieb, 125-00 – Arcadia-Loup City
· Ruthie Loomis-Goltl, 120-07 – Bridgeport
· Abby Stallbaumer, 119-11 – South Loop
Jessica Stieb is the returning state champion in shot put and is the favorite for another title after setting a new PR this indoor season with a 44’-9”. She has some work to do in the discus, where her 129’6” PR is well behind Shayla Meyer’s 146’6” PR. Speaking of Meyer, she placed 11th in the State shot in 2021, so it will be interesting to see if her extraordinary talent in the discus will translate to longer shot results. Meyer is definitely the front-runner for the All-Class gold in the discus.
Lily Vollertson of Syracuse, Shaye Butler and Jordan Albrecht of Johnson County lead a group of girls who may be fighting for 2nd place behind Stieb in shot put. Butler of St. Cecilia has the best PR among that group at 40’11”, while Albrecht went over 39’ twice last year. A spot on the podium is a bit easier this year with the transfer of 2021 medalists Jozy and Elly Piper from Class C Norfolk Catholic to Class B Pierce.
Kaitlyn Nelson of Ainsworth had a 10’9” discus PR at 2021 State, which should put her in the top four in 2022 if she can replicate that effort. The separation between Loomis-Goltl and Stallbaumer is very small, and we expect a number of new faces to go over 115’ this season. Jozy Piper finished 5th last year at 121’5” while competing for Norfolk Catholic, so she should be competitive in Class B.
Class D Boys – Shot Put
· Sebastian Kramer, 51-01.00 – Medicine Valley
· Clayton Meyer, 49-05.50 – Loomis
· Tad Dimmitt, 49-00.00 – Sandhills Valley
· Brogan Nachtigal, 48-05.50 – Sacred Heart
· Carter Mann, 49-10.00 – Burwell (7th in Class C in 2021)
Class D Boys – Discus
· Easton Weber, 150-03 – BDS
· Dalton Gieselman, 141-11 – Bloomfield
· Simon Osborne, 141-00 – Pawnee City
· Carter Mann, 162-11 – Burwell (2nd in Class C in 2021)
The biggest news for the Class D boys is Burwell's shift from Class C to Class D. That puts Carter Mann of Burwell in contention for two titles. He has a PR of 52’ in the shot and his 162'11" 2nd place finish in 2021 was a PR by 6’10”.
Mann will find strong competition from a small group of medalist returners this season. Sebastian Kramer took a big jump late season, increasing his shot PR by 1’11” at Districts and another 2” at State. Tad Dimmit is a strong contender after a great indoor season with a shot of 46-10 and weight throw of 45-0. Dimmit is also active in the USATF summer season and has lifetime bests in shot of 51-5 and discus of 151’.
The top 4 boys in the 2021 discus results have graduated, and Easton Weber has a one-inch advantage over Gieselman for a lifetime PR of 150’3”. As noted above, Dimmit has the best PR of the returners at 151’0.5”, so his 137’10” at 2021 State was well below his capabilities. These three boys and Carter Mann are the leading contenders in 2022, with roughly a 10-foot gap on the rest of the field. However, high school boys grow quickly, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see someone challenge them.
Class D Girls – Shot Put
· JessaLynn Hudson, 39-01.00 – BDS
· Abigail Yelken, 39-00.00 -Franklin
· Emmilly Berglund, 36-08.75 – Shelton
· Lexi Schroder, 35-01.25 – Stuart
· Chloe Anderson, 34-05.25 – Loomis
Class D Girls – Discus
· Cailey Stout, 121-03 – Scribner-Snyder
· JessaLynn Hudson, 120-04 – BDS
· Chaney Konopasek, 115-05 – Niobrara/Verdigre
· Emmilly Berglund, 112-05 – Shelton
· Rylie Bonneau, 112-05 – Pender
JessaLynn Hudson is the returning state champion in shot put and bronze medalist in discus. She has a lifetime best discus over 130’ and shot put of 40’4”. Abbigail Yelkin finished second in 2021 by just one inch and will be looking for a 40’ throw this season. She also has a lifetime best over 111’ in the discus but did not make it to state in 2021. Emmily Berglund of Shelton threw a new PR of 37’4” during the winter season and is a top-3 threat. Chloe Anderson has a PR of 35’10.25” and should compete for another medal.
Cailey Stout is the retuning state champion in discus and has a lifetime best discus over 121’ and shot put of 34’ based on the limited athletic.net data we can see. However, JessaLynn Hudson threw 10’ shorter at 2021 State than her PR, and she has the best PR of returners by nine feet. Konopasek has thrown 120’9” and Berglund – who also sprints for Shelton – has a PR of 115’11” and should be in the mix for a top-3 spot based on her winter shot put results. We’ll pick Hudson as the favorite, with Stout, Konopasek and Berglund fighting for 2nd. However, the lack of data makes it hard to predict Class D results. For example, the only high school mark we see for Rylie Bonneau is her 8th place finish at 2021 State.
Did you find any errors in this article? We know there are likely a few, so shoot us a DM on Twitter or Facebook, or e-mail us at email@example.com. In addition, we have surprisingly few college commitments for throwers at our list at https://www.preprunningnerd.com/post/class-of-2022-commitment-list, so let us know if we've missed someone.
Originally written for and posted at www.preprunningnerd.com by Patrick Grosserode and Jay Slagle.
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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