KEARNEY -- Things like points and state qualifiers just kept piling up for the Kearney High boys.
Scoring 209 points, to runner-up Lincoln North Star’s 74, the Bearcats won their 24th straight district championship, cruising to victory Thursday at the A-1 District at the Bearcats’ Joe Greeno Field.
“We had a pretty sensational day. You can’t have a much better day than what we had today,” KHS coach Roger Mathiesen said. “To score that many points against that tough of competition it says a lot for our kids.”
The Bearcats won 10 of the 17 events and qualified someone in all but two events for next year’s state track meet at Omaha Burke where the Bearcats have been first or second 19 of the last 23 years.
Distance standout Jacob Olson won two events, the 800 and 1,600 withy times of 1 minute, 56.20 seconds and 4:25.86. Olson then anchored the runner-up 4x400 relay team with a sub-50-second split on his leg.
“It was a really good day today; about what I wanted to do,” Olson said. “The team had a great day. … It was a great experience for our last home meet.”
Kearney competitors went 1-2-3 in both weight events with Luke McNitt winning the shot put (55 feet, 11 inches) and Nick Petersen winning the discus (171-2). Jeremy Long won the pole vault (14-6), Tyler Gillen won the 100 (10.73) and anchored the winning 4x100 relay, Nolan Zimmer won the 3,200 (9:37.78), Garrett Arnold won the 110-meter high hurdles (14.76) and Kearney won the 4x800 relay.
“We qualified everybody we expected to qualify today except Jon Kingsley,” Mathiesen said of the junior Bearcat who placed sixth at last year’s state meet in the 110-meter high hurdles. “He was rolling, our high hurdlers ran fast today. … Jon was second, he hit the second-to-last hurdle and he missed qualifying by two one-hundredths of a second. That was disappointing.
“But everybody else we got there, plus others.”
Kearney qualified 25 entries for the state meet.
“I think we’re all really excited for next week to go and compete for a state title we haven’t had for a while,” Olson said.
Omaha South senior Deng Nguot was the only other athlete to win two individual events. He swept the long jump (22-4 ¾) and the triple jump (46-5).