KEARNEY — Double winners ruled the day for the Kearney High track teams as they competed in the Heartland Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships for the first time.
Miko Maessner won the boys 100- and 200-meter dashes. Sammie Scarlett did the same on the girls side. And Elle Dahlgren claimed the gold medals in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles races.
“It’s really satisfying. It’s just what you work for all year. To come here and do it, achieve that goal, that’s really special,” Maessner said.
He won the 100 in 10.85 seconds, finishing three-tenths of a second ahead of Lincoln Southwest’s Zach Jarosz. That was the same 1-2 finish in the 200 with Maessner finishing in 21.62 seconds and Jarosz in 22.31.
“My 100 best time is 10.60 and my 200 best time is a 21.48, but those were pretty close,” Maessner said.
He also ran a very impressive second leg of the 4x100 relay bringing Kearney into contention. The Bearcat team that included Shea Farritor, Chris Duttenhofer and Cale Masters, couldn’t catch Lincoln Southwest, which was anchored by Jarosz, but finished second.
“Our 4x1 did a really good job today, so I’m proud of us for that,” Maessner said.
The Kearney girls 4x100 relay team also finished second, which was where the Bearcats finished in the team race.
Coach Pat McFadden said he was happy with the way his team performed, but not satisfied.
Lincoln Southwest won the team title with 153.3 points. Kearney finished with 117.
Dahlgren, a senior, said the KHS girls put together a good performance — “Definitely not our best, we for sure can be better. But all around, I think we did very well.”
Scarlett was apprehensive heading into Wednesday’s meet at the KHS track because the HAC is stronger and deeper than the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference that has included Kearney for the past two decades.
““I was a little nervous because you have really good teams like Southwest. They are really doing good this year,” she said. “I think we all worked really hard. We definitely have things we can work on, but we just go out and compete and we do our best. We all just put it down on the track.”
The expanded HAC, now 11 teams instead of eight, saw a number of state-leading performances and three meet records:
n Lincoln Southwest’s Katelyn Thompson in the long jump (18-2 1/2).
n The Fremont girls 4x800 relay.
n Lincoln High’s Darius Luff in the 110-meter high hurdles (13.86).
“Weather wasn’t too big of a factor, (there was) not much wind,” Maessner said. “The coldness … after I warmed up wasn’t a problem.”
“The competition is always tough ... I was really excited to run here.”
The weather affected Dahlgren more than most in the 300-meter low hurdles. For her, the start is the most critical part of the race as she needs to have the right number of steps and the right length to get to the hurdles in stride.
“The wind kind of picked up during them. It was hard figuring out what start to do because I either do a switch start or not,” she said. “That’s probably the hardest part, trying to figure out your steps and getting through the wind. Then the straightaway was good.”
Dahlgren won the 100-meter high hurdles in a season-best 14.77 seconds. Then she won the 300s in 45.58.
Scarlett rolled through the 100 in 12.26 seconds and the 200 in 25.60 seconds.
“It feels really good. I’m pretty proud of myself. ... My times haven’t been what I wanted so far this year except at the Kearney High Invite, but today I really got back to the times I want to be running so that felt really good,” she said.
Kearney’s next meet is the district meet Wednesday in North Platte, where the Bearcats hope to repeat their success and get a little bit better..
“It’s always good to go into competition after a win, but I’ll go in the same way focusing on my start,” Dahlgren said.
Five other Bearcats finished in the top three in their events.
Hannah Godwin finished second in the 3,200 (11:17.30) and Adi Wood was second in the triple jump (36 feet, 2 inches).
Placing third were Cale Masters in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles (40.40), Macy Fuller in the discus (116-9) and the boys 4x400 relay (3:27.59).
In the team race, the Kearney High boys finished fourth behind Fremont, Lincoln Southwest and Lincoln High.
n Heartland Athletic Conference
1, Lincoln Southwest 153.3. 2, Kearney 117. 3, Lincoln East 92. 4, Fremont 77. 5, Lincoln Pius X 74. 6, Lincoln Southeast 47. 7, Grand Island 39.3. 8, Lincoln North Star 29. 9, Norfolk 23.3. 10, Lincoln Northeast 7. 11, Lincoln High 4.
100 — Sammie Scarlett, KEA, 12.26. 200 — Scarlett 25.60. 400 — Kate Dilsaver, LSW, 57.93. 800 — Dilsaver 2:22.54. 1,600 — Jenna Muma, LE, 5:07.97. 3,200 — Lindsey Blehm, LSW, 11:16.36. 100HH — Elle Dahlgren, KEA, 14.77. 300LH — Dahlgren 45.58. 4x100 — Lincoln Pius X (Ally Harper, Abby Hastings, Josie Gabel, Maddie Boothe) 50.18. 4x400 — Fremont (Taylor McCabe, Avery Decker, Elli Dahl, Lucy Dillon) 4:04.61. 4x800 — Fremont (Myla Johnson, McCabe, Emily Nau, Dahl) 9:31.46
High Jump — Kaylee Berry, LSW, 5-3. Pole Vault — Jessica Gardner, LNS, 11-4. Long Jump — Katelyn Thompson, LSW, 18-2 1/2. Triple Jump — Katelyn Thompson, LSW, 37-3. Shot Put — Abbie Squier, LSW, 40-6. Discus — Squier 120-7.
1, Fremont 127. 2, Lincoln Southwest 126. 3, Lincoln High 101. 4, Kearney 61. 5, Lincoln East 52. 6, Grand Island 47. 7, Norfolk 46. 8, Lincoln Southeast 41. 9, Lincoln Pius X 32. 10, Lincoln North Star 25. 11, Lincoln Northeast 5.
100 — Miko Maessner, KEA, 10.85. 200 — Maessner 21.62. 400 — Wes Ferguson, FRE, 49.42. 800 — Ferguson 1:57.55. 1,600 — Jose Gonzalez, FRE, 4:25.08. 3,200 — Tyler Boyle, LSW, 9:43.81. 110HH — Darius Luff, LH, 13.88. 300IH — Luff 39.02. 4x100 — Lincoln Southwest (Conner Boden, Grant Miller, Hunter Olson, Zach Jarosz) 43.17. 4x400 — Fremont (Lucas Arps, Gonzalez, Ross McMahon, Ferguson) 3:24.12.
High Jump — Jesse Lewis, LSW, 6-6. Pole Vault — Skyler Peterson, LSE, 15-0. Long Jump — Passmore Mudundulu, LH, 23-2 3/4. Triple Jump — Lewis 46-2 1/2. Shot Put — Tyler Brown, LE, 54-6 3/4. Discus — Brown 180-4.