Kevin German wins gold medal in hurdles
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
A 10th place in Class C team standings and six medals from the state track meet capped off a banner season for the Chase County Longhorns.
The 27.5 points scored by the Longhorns is the most in many years at state.
Topping Chase County’s showing Friday and Saturday at Omaha Burke Stadium was senior Kevin German’s gold medal finish in the 300 meter hurdles.
“It was the surprise of the weekend,” said Chase County Coach Carl Zuege.
Based on district times, German had the second fastest time heading into the state meet.
However, Zuege said he struggled in the prelims on Friday, when he ran the third fastest time in his heat.
The state meet is the only time there is a preliminary in the 300 meter hurdles.
Zuege said they weren’t sure he even made the finals at that point. Four from the second heat, in which German ran, eventually made the finals, thanks in part, to a disqualification in the first heat.
He had the sixth best preliminary time as they lined up for the finals.
German was running well in the finals, in second place with three hurdles left, when the leader from Wilber-Clatonia hit the second to last hurdle and went down.
German breezed on to win easily with a personal best time of 40.74 seconds, about a quarter of a second faster than the 41:00 he ran in Benkelman two weeks earlier.
German also won the eighth place medal in the 110 meter high hurdles. He had the eighth best time out of the preliminaries and took the event’s last medal with a time of 15.93 seconds.
Also scoring a pair of medals at state was senior Justus Wallin with a third in the discus and sixth in the shot put.
One of the team’s most consistent scorers this season, Wallin showed it again at state as he went up against 21 other throwers in each of those events.
His third place discus throw was 152’6”, while he tossed a 51’5” in the shot.
Chase County’s other medals at state came from the 3200 meter relay team and Travis Luhrs in the high jump.
The relay team of David Almanza, Dan Sullivan, Indy Smith and Holden Dreiling shaved seven seconds off their previous best to run a strong fourth place time of 8:22.76.
The Longhorn team was originally placed fifth, but a check of the film right after the race moved them up to fourth, Zuege said.
Luhrs tied for sixth in the high jump, hitting 6’2” with another jumper from Sandy Creek. Zuege said that’s at the top of where Luhrs had been jumping this season. He had his personal best showing of 6’3” at districts, where he won gold and earned the state trip.
While they missed the medals, Chase County also had good showings from its distance runners in the 800, 1600 and 3200, Zuege said.
David Almanza was 11th overall in the 800, Holden Dreiling placed 16th in the 1600 while Smith ran a P.R. for 16th in the 3200.
Also competing at state was sophomore Destyn Milner in the pole vault, who tied for 17th with a personal best of 12 feet, two inches higher than his district gold medal jump.
Fillmore Central’s Tyler Loontjer won the pole vault with a new Class C state record jump of 16’2.5”.
Zuege said one of the disappointments of the meet was the 1600 meter relay team.
Chase County had the third fastest time out of districts (3:32.38) heading into state, but finished 11th overall in final standings with a time of 3:34.95.
“We just weren’t as sharp and had a couple of legs that were not where they needed to be,” Zuege said.
He noted that three of the teams in the slower heat beat Chase County’s district time.
“We should have had a medal,” Zuege said. “We need to figure out how to get ready for this event at state.”
Perkins County’s 3200 meter relay team also had a tough showing at state, finishing 13th in the 16-team relay after coming in with the second fastest Class C district time.
Thayer Central won the Class C state meet with 41 points.
Here are Chase County’s state meet times and marks.
300 meter hurdles—1, Kevin German, CCS 40.74.
Discus—3, Justus Wallin, CCS 152-06.
3200 meter relay—4, CCS (David Almanza, Daniel Sullivan, Indy Smith, Holden Dreiling) 8:22.76.
Shot put—6, Justus Wallin, CCS 51-05.
High jump—6, Travis Luhrs, CCS 6-02.
Pole vault—17, Destyn Milner, CCS 12-00.
3200 meter run—16, Indy Smith, CCS 10:41.08.
800 meter run—11, David Almanza, CCS 2:02.50.
110 meter hurdles—8, Kevin German, CCS 15.93.
1600 meter run—16, Holden Dreiling, CCS 4:53.26.
1600 meter relay—11, CCS (Kevin German, Daniel Sullivan, David Almanza, Trey Milner) 3:34.95.
A look to 2015
In looking to next season, Coach Zuege said they will have a lot of good, young athletes back, and many with state meet experience.
However, it will also be important, he said, to keep team numbers strong like this year’s roster of 36 boys.
“We’ll need to reload some,” Zuege said, noting the strong senior class that competed this year.
“We will be losing a lot,” he said, referring to the senior class.
Senior members of the 2014 team included Korey Krutsinger, Justus Wallin, Trey Milner, Kevin German, Dan Sullivan, Garret Thompson, Shay Eidson, David Almanza, Luis Rodriguez, Kris Kuhlmann and Sam Cahow.