Nebraska’s cold, damp, windy weather hasn’t been kind this year for athletes participating in spring sports. But despite all the that funky weather we have still seen some pretty good track and field performances. It leads an avid track fan like me to eagerly anticipate what could be in store for the rest of the season—as the weather heats up and so do the athletes.
The abundance of strong times and good marks seen thus far in the season is even more impressive when you realize they have occurred at a time when several top stars are missing in action or have yet to return to top form.
Missing the Action
Injuries and other issues have hampered the return to peak form of several state gold medalist and all-time best performers: Nebraska football recruit Daniel Davie (preseason football shoulder injury and academic issues) Florida track recruit Aubree Worden (leg injury); Millard South junior Morgan Woitzel ( hip Injury); two-time all class gold 100 meter champion Maia Reynolds will not be participating this year and Texas A&M track recruit LaQue Moen-Davis has missed some time due to a variety of issues from event disqualification and team rule violations to addressing academic issues. Also disturbing to learn, from several reliable sources, is that arguably the greatest Nebraska high school girl track and field athlete in history is dangerously close to becoming an academic casualty, which is something that could prevent her from reaching College Station, Texas on time.
I hope all the athletes named above will be in top form for the state meet and that all of the current performers stay healthy and focused, because here are some of the things that are on the horizon:
Nebraska High School Track & Field
Top 10 Things to Still Look Forward to in 2011
|1. New Girls Discus All-Time Chart Entry: Omaha Burke junior Michelle Wallerstedt is poised to toss the discus further than the 157’-8”needed to enter the all-time charts. Right now, Michelle is closer and yet—at the same time— further away to being the newest athlete to enter the all-time charts. She has been hanging around the low 150’s since last year (PR 153’ 2”). All it will take for her to launch a throw into the charts is just the right amount of finger roll and angle. But as we all know that’s much easier said than done.|
|2. Nebraska HS Girls First sub-13.90 Second 100 Meter HH: As a sophomore LaQue Moen-Davis ran an electronic 13.99 at state, and with a teammate like Brianna McGhee (her 14.27 time ranks 3rd) on her tail both are more than capable of being the first to break the barrier. But which girl will finish on top at the end of the season?|
3. Nebraska HS Girls First Sub-55-Second 400 Meter: The all-time best girls 400 meter time is 55.36; Millard South’s Clara Nichols hung an electronic 55.71 at the Kansas Relays this weekend. Nichols ran an electronic 56.06 as a freshman to win all-class gold at state, and her teammate Morgan Woitzel’s freshman electronic time of 55.76 in the prelims that same year tied the Class A state meet record. You would think with those freshman times that both would have broken the all-time record by now. Ah, but they have shown improvement each in their own way: Nichol’s speed and Woitzel’s endurance. And they still have the rest of this season and all of next year to make more history.
|4. Sub-48-Second Boys 400 Meter: Only 4 boys in Nebraska HS history have ever accomplished the feat and only one has ever busted 47—Bellevue East’s Lukas Hulett ran 46.98 in 2006. Since Hulett’s Junior Olympics days, whenever I was at a meet where he was running I would stop what I was doing to watch him run—AMAZING! This year there are about half a dozen boys that could clip 48 on the right day. Grand Island Northwest junior Cody Rush has already run a 48.90. but it takes a gut-busting and legs-on-fire time under 48.14 to make the charts. The Class A and B 400 meter state finals should be something to see. In addition to Rush, it’s still too early to tell which one of the following boys to favor as the all-class gold winner: Garrett Teel, Lincoln Pius X; Nash Beaudin, Millard West; Terry Grigsby, Omaha North; Ryan Wieser, Sidney; Dennis Barfield, Omaha Central; Jordan Wilson, Blair and Sam Foltz, Grand Island. Around mid-May is the period when you can tell who is peaking at the right time in this event.|
|5. 800 Meter All-Time Best Entries: Boys-Mo Hamden (Lincon North Star); Mach Dojiok (Omaha Benson); Jacob Olson (Kearney); Anton Rice (Omaha Gross Cath) and Sam Burtch (Elmwood-Murdock) are all flirting with entry onto the charts. Girls—Woitzel (if healthy); Taylor Johnson (Lincoln Southeast) and Krstie Mullen (Roncolli) are all capable of making the charts.|
|6. Boys Electronic time Sub-10.70 100 Meter: I moved to Omaha in ’94 so I didn’t get to see Omaha Central’s Kelly Yancy, the NSAA listed all-class state record holder, run his 10.50, or Benson’s Ronnie Doss set the 10.60 all-class state meet record in 1993. But I have seen: Omaha Central’s Ahman Green run his state meet 10.61 (1995); Boys Town’s Tirus Meaders’ 10.67 (2007) and Millard West’s Kohlman Adema-Schulte’s 10.67 in 2008— they are the fastest Nebraska boys I’ve ever seen run. They all shared the same thing in common: explosiveness coming out the block and the ability to hold onto their top speeds all the way to the tape. Omaha Central’s Ted Lampkin has the explosiveness and he is running better than last year when he ran a 10.80 at state. Now can he stay relaxed enough and keep his form, after reaching his top speed at 50 or 60 meters and hold on to it all the way to the tape? There could be others capable like Daniel Davie, Beatrice; Ashton LeBar, Adams Central; Michael Wickham, Bennington and Blake Micek, Hastings St Cecilia, but I haven’t seen them run this year. For those looking to see how it’s done, check out Kohlman Adema-Schulte’s 2008 state meet 10.67 100 meter on the video below.|
7. More Long Jump and Triple Jump All-Time Marks: Lampkin could move up from 5th in the long jump and/or hit a big triple jump to get onto the charts there. And Moen-Davis could also improve her No. 1 marks in both events.
8. 1600 and 3200 Meter All-Time Best Entries: Boys—Fremont sophomore Danny Aldaba was running so far out in front at the Millard South Invite that I had to turn around and ask someone was he being a rabbit. But like the Energizer bunny he kept going and going until he hit the tape at 9:29.30 He will need to drop another 15 seconds to make the chart at the minimum 9:16.09. He was barely breathing hard when he finished at Millard South so maybe on the right day he can do it. Girls—a healthy Aubree Worden (Scottsbluff) could find entry into the 3200 and she could also move up from her 4th place all-time best slot in the 1600.
|9. New High Jump All-Time Best Entry: Omaha Benson’s Jer’rell Moore has been flirting around 6-9 for a while. Can he clear 7’ to jump into the chart? Last season it took Omaha Central’s Deverell Biggs until the state meet to finally clear the chart entry standard height. So Jer’rell still has a lot of time left.|
|10. New 200 Meter All-Time Best Entries: Girls—Last year at the state meet Brianna McGhee ran 24.80, barley missing the minimum 24.70 to get onto the chart. Clara Nichols finished second at 25.05. Both look stronger at this stage of the season than last year. Boys—21.40 is the minimum here and that’s humpin’! Consequently, 2001 was the last time someone entered the chart in this event. But believe it or not a couple freshmen could be among those that challenge it. Cozad’s Jake Paulsen and Papillion’s Kenzo Cotton have already run sub-22-second times this season. The future is in good hands.|
Other Strong Possibilities
New All-time Record in Boys 400 Relay
New All-Time Record in Girls 400 Relay
Boys and Girls Pole Vault All-Time Best Entry
Girls High Jump All-Time Best Entry
Girls 300 Meter LH All-Time Best Entry
Girls Shot Put All-Time Best Entry
Girls Electronic Time Sub-12.0 100 Meter
|2008 Nebraska State Track and Field Championships Video|
Featuring Millard West’s All-Class Gold 100 and 200 Meter Champion Kohlman Adema-Schulte
(Que at .47 seconds for Boys Class A 100 meter and 7:41 to see Class A 200 meter) .