Nearly all the teams participating in the 28th annual Chadron State College High School Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday could claim some highlights after the nine hours of competition ended. A total of 497 athletes participated.
The larger schools such as Scottsbluff, Gering and Sidney had the most event winners, but teams such as Bayard, Morrill, Kimball, Hemingford, Chadron and Guernsey-Sunrise also had athletes who claimed at least one first place.
Scottsbluff dominated several of the events. For instance, Bearcats swept the top three places in the boys’ 55-meter dash with Hunter Drake, Chris Busby and Jeremiah Delzer coming across the finish line at the head of the pack in that order.
Busby then won the long jump by going 20 feet, 9 ½ inches. Drake was third and another Bearcat, Sabastian Harsh, fourth.
The Bearcats also flexed their muscles in the shot put, with Jordan Hort leading the way with a mark of 50-4 and teammates Adam Von Lintel taking second, Kyler Kautz sixth and Turner Scow seventh.
Nate Cheery won the 400 for the Bearcats and Connor McCracken cleared 6-4 to win the high jump. Cheery, Drake and Delzer joined Luke Rohrer on the winning 4×400 relay.
Scottsbluff head coach Shelby Aaberg said he wasn’t surprised that his athletes did well after observing their practices the past three weeks. “They got after it and really worked hard,” he noted.
Sidney boys won four events. Christian Balandran captured the 200 meters, Ben Bashtovoi edged teammate Dante Petersen to take the 400, Jonathan Smith cleared 13-6 to claim the pole vault and Mitch Porter won the triple jump and also placed third in the high jump.
The Red Raiders also put together the winning 4×160-meter relay quartet.
Gering boys also made their presence felt. Logan Moravec was the 1600 winner and Peyton Seller won the 3200 with plenty of room to spare.
Kimball’s Brady Kilgore took top honors in the 55-meter hurdles with Scottsbluff’s Rohrer the runner-up.
The Hemingford Bobcats put together the winning 4×800-meter relay team with John Ansley, Isaiah Bryner, Jacob Clouse and Jaydon Walker exchanging the baton.
The girls also put on a good show. One of the highlights saw Gering sweep all three of the relays. Coach Randy Plummer said he liked what he saw from the Lady Bulldogs.
“We’ve got a lot of girls who can run,” Plummer noted. “I liked today’s meet where we could put several teams in the relays. We’re going to have some tough decisions when we go to meets that allow just one team from each school in those races. The competition on our team will making choosing those runners difficult.”
A dozen different Gering girls made up the three winning relay foursomes.
Jasmine Johnson was Gering’s only girl to win an individual event. She captured the 200 and also was the runner-up to Chadron freshman Savanna Sayaloune in the 55-meter dash. The latter race had 53 entries.
Scottsbluff girls won the 400 (Yara Garcia), 800 (Kailey Pinney), 1600 (Brooke Holzworth) and 55-meter hurdles (Mana Garcia).
Also on the track, Nicole Barker of Bayard was the 3200-meter winner.
The five field events were won by girls from five separate schools. Bailey Martin of Guernsey-Sunrise won the shot put by nearly two feet, Hannah Biesecker of Kimball was the long jump winner, Laura Sherrod of Morrill took the triple jump, Miranda Gilkey of Niobrara County High at Lusk was the high jump victor and Class B defending state champion MJ Johnstone of Sidney won the pole vault.
Gilkey also was just an inch shy of Biesecker’s winning long jump mark.
While Alliance didn’t win any firsts, two Bulldogs were among the meet’s runners-up. They were Josie Otto in the high jump and Kysen Harris in the long jump.
One of the busiest athletes at the meet was Hemingford’s Josie Stewart. She tied for sixth in the 200 and was third in both the 400 and pole vault.