The 2011 Metro Track and Field Meet presented a solid showcase but the event may have delivered the knockout blow if a couple of heavy hitters were not sidelined with injuries.
North’s LaQueMoen-Davis ran one of her best times (14.11) in the finals of the girls 100 HH. Yet I am only left to imagine what the time would have been if her teammate Brianna McGheewere next to her instead of an empty lane 5.
McGhee, failed to return to the track on Wednesday after her 200m prelim race on Tuesday where she cramped and crumpled over the finish line. That unfortunate tragedy kept her out of the 200m final as well, an event that saw Millard South’s Clara Nichols dash to a season’s best 25.11. Again, I can only surmise that one— if not both—would have produced an all-time chart performance. And let’s not forget that we missed the possibility of seeing McGhee anchoring a chart-topping victory for the North girls 400 relay. Nonetheless, McGhee gets my Big Heart of the Meet Award for her valiant effort in finishing that 200 meter prelim.
The absence of Morgan Woitzelin the 400m, 800m and Millard South’s 1600m relay team also left a huge void in the festivities at this year’s Metro. Would a healthy Woitzel have helped to produce a new all-time best in the 400m or would she have claimed a spot on the charts in the 800? We’ll never know.
I just hope that both these outstanding athletes can return to the track healthy and ready for a great run to the state meet.
Now let’s look at the bright side of what the 2011 Metro Meet brought to the stage.
In my opinion, there were about half a dozen performances that were truly impressive but two tied for first:
MHN Top 6 Performances 2011 Metro Track and Field Meet
1. Kenzo Cotton, Fr, Papillion-La Vista—200m Champion: He heads the list because as far as I have been able to determine Kenzo is the first freshman boy to ever win a Metro Meet sprint championship (100m, 200m, 400m). Cotton took out the field of his older peers to win the 200 in 22.00 flat. In addition, while running way out in lane 8, he also placed second in the 100m with a time of 10.80. It’s a lesson learned for Kenzo—you have to run for time in the prelims to get a good lane!
1. Breunna McCarty, Sr, Omaha North—100m Champion: 11.96! After seeing Breunna McCarty win the 100m at the Benson Invite, I knew this well-built explosive young lady was capable of running a sub-12-second 100m. Moreover, “Bree” is not a one trick pony that only possesses power—she also has nice form to go along with those great looking machine gun legs of hers. If “Bree” stays healthy and keeps working to refine her technique—there is no telling how fast she can ultimately run. I’ll just say this: “Breunna McCarty has more potential than any Nebraska HS 100m girl I’ve ever seen.”
2.Clara Nichols, Jr, Millard South—Metro Champion: 400m (55.64, 4th best all-time) and 200m (25.11). If a young aspiring 400m sprinter (boy or girl) wants to learn how to run the sprint—watch Clara Nichols. She wastes very little motion and every movement flows in the right direction throughout the race. She is as graceful a 400m sprinter as they come at this level. Her 400m Metro victory was truly a thing of beauty to watch. As Clara matures and develops more power and speed, both naturally and through specifically tailored strength and conditioning programs, there is no telling how low she will ultimately set the new Nebraska high school girls 400m standard. Barring injury or lack of focus— the record is hers for the taking.
3. Ted Lampkin, Sr, Omaha Central—Metro Champion: 100m (10.69); long Jump (23-3 1/4); triple Jump (46-1) and anchor of Central’s 400 relay (42.18, one of the best all-time). Lampkin had the best overall boys performance of the meet. A fierce competitor in the truest sense of the word, Lampkin also brings a boat load of talent to go along with it. That bodes well for his future as an Iowa State football player. Look for Teddy to find his way onto the field early for the Cyclones.
4.LaQueMoen-Davis, Sr, Omaha North—Metro Champion: triple jump (41-1 3/4, meet record); 100m HH (14.11, meet record); high jump (5-7) and long jump (18-11). LaQue is back! She had he best overall performance of the meet—boy or girl. With just a little over two weeks left in the season, will Nebraska’s greatest high school girls track and field athlete raise the bar further on her all-time standards and state records?
5. Mach Dojiok, Jr, Omaha Benson—Metro Champion: 800m (1:54.30) and 1600m (4:23.40). Only a junior, the exciting little distance runner with a big heart and deep skills has plenty of time left to make a steep climb into all-time charts, particularly In the 800m where he shows enough talent to possibly deliver a new standard before the end of his career. The best thing he will have going for him during his quest is some stiff comp from the likes of Lincoln North Star sophomore Mo Hamden.
6.Dennis Barfield, Jr, Omaha Central: 400m Metro Champion (49.30). The Central Eagle sprinter looked strong and showed the kind of form, fight and heart that you want to see in a 400m sprinter. His best days are ahead of him.
Look Out for These Guys
Devin Barfield, So, Omaha Central—this Eagle gave Cotton all he could handle in the 200. A very explosive start was limited only by his inability, at this stage, to relax and to hold his form and speed down the stretch. He takes care of that and he will be dangerous in this event and the 100. Jordan Nelson, Jr, Omaha Burke—he looked impressive popping a 22-8 to place 3rd in the long jump. His form and technique on this day showed the potential for him to at least become a 23-foot jumper. If he continues down this path he could be a factor at state. Nelson also took third in the triple.
Terry Grigsby, Jr, Omaha North—This could be Grigsby’s last hurrah at being a factor in the boys 400m. In my opinion, the Omaha North junior is fighting his size. 6-2, 180 and some change is a lot to carry around the loop at full speed. And the big-framed football recruit is only going to get bigger. But that does not mean he can’t win it all this year. However, in order for Terry to do it he will have to leave it all on the track. Because this year It will probably take at least a low 48 or maybe even a sub-48 at state to win all-class gold.
Mark Seeba, Sr, Bellevue West—he set a Metro meet record with a vault of 15-1. The performance was an inch short of his PR (15-2) and he missed his attempts at 15-8—but not by much. Seeba is solidly in the hunt for all-class gold at the state meet.