Freshman Clara Nichols Wins Girls 400 With Flair & Kelli Budd Grabs 2 golds
May 5, 2009 Metro Conference Championships Day1—Several outstanding performances helped to lessen the burden of sitting through the worst ran track meet I’ve ever attended. But before any further discussion of the disaster that was paraded inside Harry A. Burke Stadium as a championship track and field meet, let’s get to the good stuff:
Hats off to Westside’s Brandon White and Millard South’s Zach Vickers for making me eat my words. The state’s two top season 400 meter performers left no doubt that they were legit 400 meter sprinters.
Vickers set the pace from the start and along the back stretch he looked to be sending the message that “you better have your A game if you plan to beat me,” while the rest of the field—except for White– seemed to struggle to keep up. In fact, Burke’s Stephon Washington–my pick to win the race– was out of contention before hitting the third turn. White managed to keep within striking distance of Vickers until he finally caught up to him coming out of turn four. For the first ten to fifteen meters or so coming out of the turn and into the home stretch, they were stride for stride until White seemed to find another gear that sprung him into a commanding five meter lead that he took with him across the finish line for a season’s best time of 48.66.
Anytime a high school 400 meter man breaks 49—that’s a very good day —White ran a heck of a race and the junior shows a lot of potential for more big days ahead.–I mean this kid is legit enough to challenge the state record.
On the girls side. Millard South freshmen Clara Nichols and Morgan Woitzel were the stars of another exciting 400 race as the two girls battled almost stride for stride down the entire home stretch. It ended with Nichols barely leaning past Woitzel to get the win, with and outstanding season best time of 56.88. Freshman! Unbelievable!
Other Day 1 Metro Champions:
800 Meter–Jared Kenney, Millard West 1:58.37; 3200 Meter–Joe Coil, Millard West 9:48.25; Discus —Josh Kage, Papillion 157-0; Triple Jump–Evan Herring, Bellevue West 46-6.5; Pole Vault– Rod Ekwail, Millard West 14-0.
LaQue Moen-Davis also set a meet record in the prelims of the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.47 (wind-aided).
Notes: Kohlman Adema-Schulte failed to qualify for the 200 meter finals. He got off to a good start but seemed to take his foot off the throttle down the home stretch—still not 100%. Although earlier he looked good winning his heat of the 100. But I wonder if having to pull up in that 200 may affect what he does in the 100 finals.
Omaha North’s Thomas Hodges posted the best qualifying times in the 100 (10.85) and the 200 (22.63). Michael Burrus and Radell Nared Looked good in both the100 and 200 prelims. Jake Marousek is still struggling with his start in the 100 but looked decent in the 200.
The lanes of boys 100 meter final are stacked, 1 thru 8, with sub-eleven-second sprinters. This should provide Wednesday’s audience with a thrilling finish. The 200 meter is not stacked as deep, but anyone of the top four could come out on top.
A Horrible Meet Continued…Oh, don’t think I forgot about how awful this meet was: It was so bad that the entire girls 100 meter preliminary races had to be re-ran because of a clock malfunction. This unprecedented— unnecessary–decision caused the meet organizers to flip-flop the 400 meter finals (making the boys go first) and to cancel the break period as well–just wrecking havok for the rest of the meet.
The meet was stopped on about a half a dozen occasion because of timing problems and the the 200 meter was moved at the last minute—after the runners were already in their blocks—to start on the other side. In addition, the starter was holding the sprinters in their blocks for too long—causing numerous false starts. As a result of it all, the meet ran over 1 ½ hours longer than anticipated. On top of all this—no results were posted!
I have been to a lot of track meets over the years—but never one this horrible. It is regrettable that a meet of this magnitude would have these types of issues. Let’s hope that the organizers get their act together for today and that they prepare better in the future so that this mess never happens again!
Video highlights will not be posted until Thursday.