GOTHENBURG — Gering girls track and field coach Dave Nash knew it would take a team effort to repeat as district champions.
The Bulldogs certainly came up big in a plethora of events, helping them claim the Class B, District 6 Meet on Thursday in impressive fashion. Gering, powered by some superb performances from its seniors, won the meet with 102.33 points. McCook edged Sidney for second place, 85-83.
“It feels pretty cool to repeat,” Nash said. “That was one of the challenges going in – to see if we could pull it off.
“Our depth really helped us again today. We were able to score a lot of points in a lot of events. We knew we were going to get everybody’s best shot, so to see our girls step up and perform the way they did was great.”
Nash said Gering held a large lead for most of the meet. McCook and Sidney did make up some ground in the final events, but it wasn’t enough to offset the results Gering posted both in the field and on the track.
Leading the charge for the Bulldogs were seniors Morgan Greene, Stephanie Coley, Morgan Broussard, Chelsea Wickard, and Kayleigh Schadwinkel, who all posted high finishes to qualify for next Friday and Saturday’s state meet in Omaha.
Greene was particularly impressive, winning the high jump (4-11) and adding runner-up finishes in both the long jump (16-4 ¾) and triple jump (33-5 ½). Coley earned a district championship in the shot put (40-8 ½), and Broussard claimed the 100-meter high hurdles title (15.68) and placed third in the 300 low hurdles (47.39).
Wickard was a runner-up placer in the 300 hurdles (47.07) and also grabbed third place in the 100 hurdles (15.96). She also placed second in the 400 (1:01.17). Schadwinkel earned her trip to state by placing third in the triple jump (32-6 ½).
The top three placers in the field events and individual track events qualified automatically for state. The top two relays also earned state berths. Additional state meet qualifiers, based on the next-fastest times in the track events among all Class B district meets, will be announced today.
Nash said he was elated to see his veteran athletes continue to come up big Thursday.
“All of them have been extremely motivated to get to Omaha and do well there,” Nash said. “They knew what today was about, and they took care of business.”
Nash said he feels good about his team’s chances of having a good showing in the state meet.
“They did a great job today, and they want to take care of business next week, too,” he said. “I think if we were to get into the top 10, that would be great.”
Sidney’s third-place finish was bolstered by four first-place finishes. Alli Ehler won the 3,200 (12:02.98) and placed second in the 1,600 (5:35.36), and Karissa Segelke won the 300 hurdles (46.69) and placed second in the 100 hurdles (15.84).
Sidney won two of the three relays. The 4x100 team of Hannah Riley, Segelke, Kali Robb, and Morgan Linneman placed first in 51.02, and the 4x800 relay squad of Ehler, Linneman, Riley, and Juli Smith won in 9:49.27.
Sidney’s other state qualifiers were Savanna Rosenbaum in the high jump (second, 4-11), and Linneman in the 200 (third, 25.88).
The Scottsbluff girls also had a good performance, taking fifth place with 57 points and qualifying five individuals for state. Taylor Muncie, a freshman, led the Bearcats by placing first in the 1,600 (5:27.57) and second in the 3,200 (12:14.88). Her 3,200 time was a season best by about 10 seconds, and she was less than a second off her season-best time in the 1,600.
“Today she ran very well,” Scottsbluff coach Tanya Vaughn said. “I’m very pleased with her. She ran really smart races today.”
Another highlight for Scottsbluff came in the discus, as the Bearcats took the top two spots. Taylor Muzzey won with a distance of 121 feet, 5 inches, and SteaVen Becker was second at 117-08.
Vaughn said she wasn’t surprised to see Muzzy climb to the top of the district standings.
“She’s been throwing well all season,” Vaughn said. “She competed very well.”
Vaughn was also excited to see Becker come up big in the discus, too.
“For her to step up and get second today, it was just amazing to watch her throw so well,” she said.
Zoey Rada also earned a trip to state thanks to her strong showing in the shot put. She took the runner-up spot with a put of 38-7 ½.
Vaughn said her throwers’ performances gave the Bearcats a huge boost.
“The throwers threw outstanding,” she said. “To go 1-2 in the discus and then for Zoey to place in the shot, they had a great day. We get to take basically all of our throwers that we brought to districts to the state meet, so that’s exciting.”
Kiley Guerue joined the Bearcats’ list of state qualifiers as she placed second in the 800 with a time of 2:25.67.
For Alliance, the Bulldogs’ state qualifiers were Mikenzie Nordeen in 200 (first, 25.81) and the pole vault (third, 10-4); and Lyndsey Block in the 100 (13.11).
Mitchell’s state qualifiers were Havannah Newens in the high jump (third, 4-9); Liz Cunningham in the 100 (second, 13.01); and Taylor Peters in the 800 (third, 2:26.22).
Qualifying for state for Chadron was the 4x800 relay team of Nicky Applegarth, Ashlyn Eitemiller, Briley Hannaford, and Ashlea Kerr. They placed second with a time of 9:52.23