Classes B and C have been some of the most competitive in the Cornhusker State this past season, especially in Northeast Nebraska. From the track to the field events, each meet has felt more and more like a dog fight. It’ll be even more so this weekend as many area teams return to Omaha for the state championships for the first time in two years.
Five area teams faced off in Class B-4 in Albion on Thursday. Boone Central, Pierce, Wayne, O’Neill and West-Point Beemer traded blows throughout the day, winning and losing some close ones. Fortunately for these squads, they’ll get one more crack at each other.
Ryan Kramer of Boone Central clocked in a time under 40 seconds in the 300 hurdles, giving him the best score in Class B as he looks to place first. He’ll also serve as the second runner on the Cardinal relay team that finished first among area teams in the 4x100. Boone Central’s time of 44.21 is the second best in Nebraska.
The Bluejays of Pierce are getting hot at the right time. Mason Sindelar qualified for the 400 and the 800 after missing a month with an ankle injury. Logan Moeller heads into states with top three scores in the state in the long jump and the triple jump. Moeller also will serve as the anchor leg in the 4x400 team and go second in the 4x100.
Wayne surprised competitors and spectators alike when it came back to take first in the 4x400 in B-4, beating Pierce and Boone Central to do so, both of whom were ranked in the top three in the area. The Blue Devils now have the seventh best mark in the state and hope to keep the momentum going while the Bluejays and Cardinals look for redemption.
Class C will feature many area athletes with a chance to take first in their respective events, some of whom will face each other in hopes to do so. Wakefield’s Blake Brown and Norfolk Catholic’s Jackson Clausen head into the meet with the best and second best marks in the 100-meter dash in the state, respectively. Clausen also goes in with a chance to win the 200.
In such a short time as a track athlete, Carson Noecker already has made a name for himself in Northeast Nebraska. Now he has a chance to do so on a statewide level. He heads into state as one of two players to finish with a time under 10 minutes for the 3,200 and sits three seconds behind Payton Davis of Aquinas for the best mark in the 1,600.
In the 110-meter hurdles, Deagan Puppe improved on his personal best by six hundredths of a second in districts and now owns the best mark in the state.
Kade Pieper hopes to bring a state shot put title to Norfolk Catholic. The sophomore had a distance of 53 feet, 8½ inches in districts.
Carter Nelson of Ainsworth aims for first in the high jump while Landon Olson of Battle Creek looks to win the long jump. Both have the highest marks in the state for their events. Julien Hearn is second in the long jump and third in the high jump.