Scott Wheeler, left, and Francisco Barrientos round the curve in the 800 at the DC Stratton meet Friday. Wheeler won the race in his first run in the open 800. Barrientos would have finished fourth, but was disqualified for cutting in too early in the first part of the race. Teammate Bryson Fisher placed fifth. (Johnson Publicatis photo)
Tagan Mays runs his leg of the 3200 meter relay at the DC Stratton meet. His team, which also included Francisco Barrientos, Landis Beverly and Kalen Wallin, earned bronze medals for third. (Johnson Publications photo)
Longhorn boys hoping for big list of state qualifiers
Coach Carl Zuege has just one goal for this Thursday’s C-11 district track meet in Mitchell.
And that’s to get the maximum number of Chase County athletes qualified for the state meet in Omaha May 19-20.
After finishing runner-up to Mitchell last year, Zuege said they will have a tough time again beating the host team. Chase County will be strong in several areas, and Bridgeport will also be a top team in the C-11 district.
“We will be competing to win, but our biggest goal is to get the maximum number to Omaha,” he said.
As an example, Zuege said they have a very good chance of qualifying the 1600 and 3200 meter relay teams, both as additional qualifiers, so are filling those teams with athletes having the best chance for Omaha.
The three Longhorn throwers, Dakota Wallin, Hunter Bartels and Jack Bauerle, who have been placing high all season, all have a chance to qualify, he said.
Other individuals include senior Cody Williams in the jumps and hurdles, as well as distance runner Will Kuenne.
“Then there’s always that potential for a few surprises,” Zuege added.
They may be good and bad surprises, he noted, but he’s looking for the good ones.
The C-11 meet starts at 10:30 a.m. with field events. Races on the track, opening with the 3200 meter relay, get underway at 12:30 p.m.
Field events will be run to completion or for two hours, according to the schedule.
The first two places in individual running events will qualify for the state meet in Omaha May 19-20, as well as the fastest two third place finishes from all 11 district meets for a total of 24 qualifiers.
Just the first place district relay team will qualify, plus the next five fastest times regardless of place from all 11 district meets across Class C for 16 total teams running at state.
First and second in all field events also qualify for state, in addition to the following boys’ automatic Class C qualifying marks, no matter where the athlete places in district scoring.
In the pole vault, boys who place first or second at districts must clear at least 9’6” to qualify for state.
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