OMAHA — Hartington Cedar Catholic’s Sara Reifenrath had her Saturday at the state track and field championships pretty well planned out.
And what a plan it was.
She won the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes with relative ease and capped off the afternoon with an all-class gold in the 200.
But she wasn’t the only Northeast and North Central athlete in Class D to do well Saturday.
Three other are competitors, for example, placed in the 100. Emerson-Hubbard/Pender's Ashley Ostrand was third, Kevona Brown of Atkinson West Holt finished sixth and Emily Loseke of Clarkson/Leigh was seventh.
Ostrand and Brown also finished second and fourth in the 200 and fourth and seventh, respectively, in the 400.
Adding to that, Renee Brummels of Battle Creek struck gold on Saturday by winning the triple jump with a leap of 36-9¼.
The sophomore jumped that distance in the prelims and she needed it.
“It felt like a really good jump, I felt like it was going to be a good one to measure and I was glad when they didn't say 'scratch' or 'foul,' ” she said.
Brummels did scratch on her first two attempts in the finals. “It was pretty frustrating; I was glad I got the first jump in. Otherwise, it would have got in my head and probably wouldn't have been able to jump,” she said.
Wisner-Pilger's Lindsey Kneifl was in second going into the triple jump final but settled for fourth.
North Bend Central's Ally Pojar was the other area Class C champion on Saturday, winning the high jump with a leap of 5-4.
Abby Miller of Norfolk Catholic tied for fourth at 5-2 and Wisner-Pilger's Jordan Wegner tied for eighth after clearing 5-feet.
Three area shot putters earned medals Saturday, too. Mary Fennessy of Norfolk Catholic was fifth, Ponca's Brooke Languis seventh and Abby Meinke of Battle Creek took eighth.
The other field event contested Saturday was the pole vault where North Bend's Julia Knapp tied for sixth at 10-feet.
ON THE TRACK, Clarkson/Leigh and Battle Creek finished second and third in the slow heat of the 4x100-meter relay. After comparing times with the second heat, they earned sixth and eighth places, respectively, overall.
The Patriot quartet of Kaegan Held, McKenna Stodola, Halee Steffensmeier and Loseke have led the area in the event all year and set another season-best mark of 50.51 on Saturday.
“We were hoping to be in the fast heat, but I think it worked out OK,” Held said. “Our best was 50.96 so we beat that by point-four. It's good to go out with a bang, I guess.”
The Bravette foursome of Shelby Obst, and the Taake sisters — Paytn, Madaline and Makenna — knocked eight-tenths of a second off the area's second-best mark to finish with a time of 51.26.
FOR MOST athletes, a state meet with two second-place finishes and a fourth would be a huge accomplishment.
But Rylee Rice isn't like most athletes.
The Ainsworth junior came into state as the defending champion in the 800-meter run and 100-meter hurdles and holds the state meet record in the 800 and 1,600.
Rice started the day with a fourth-place finish in the 800 in a time of 2:24.08. Two years ago, as a freshman, she set the meet record with a 2:15.16 and last year finished first in a time of 2:20.45.
“I didn't go in there thinking I could win it,” Rice said. “I didn't rely enough on my training.”
North Bend Central's Sydney Emanuel finished sixth and Kelsey Larsen of Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur was seventh.
Rice rebounded to take silver medals in both hurdle races, setting a season-best area mark of 15.16 in the 100 highs and finishing the 300 lows in 46.38.
Lincoln Lutheran's Josie Puelz, who finished second in both races last year, won both this year. In the 100s, Rice said Puelz got off to the better start.
“First one out of the blocks typically wins the race,” Rice said. “She definitely got out there and she got it done. I didn't run my best time so that's a little disappointing. But it's over with, can't think about it.”
Wisner-Pilger freshman Kayla Svoboda finished third in the 100 hurdles, while Battle Creek teammates BriAnna Zohner and Brummels were sixth and seventh, respectively. Hannah Williams of North Bend Central finished eighth in the 300s.
Two area 4x400-meter relay teams placed in the final event of the day. The West Point Guardian Angels team of Greta Vering, Paige Rolf, Angela Jansen and Sophia Hass finished fifth, while the North Bend Central squad of Williams, Pojar, Emanuel and Karlene Bourek was about a second behind in sixth.
Lincoln Lutheran won the Class C championship with 49 points. Battle Creek was seventh with 32.
All of the Bravettes who scored points will be back next year and coach Kyle Finke is looking forward to combining those athletes with what he called some tremendous eighth- graders.
“We've got a great pole vaulter; we've got some other kids who are going to bring some speed into the mix and we have some good sprinters already,” Finke said. “So, it will be fun to see what happens when we put them all together.”
Reifenrath single-handedly provided Cedar Catholic with all of its 30 points and an eighth-place finish as a team.
Emerson-Hubbard/Pender was 10th with 25, Ainsworth was right behind in 11th with 23 and North Bend Central finished 13th with 19½.