Chase County’s 3200 meter relay team started off the state track meet in Friday’s afternoon session with a third place finish and bronze medals. The team, from left, Madison Brown, Kora Weiss, Mallie McNair and Sophie Spady, ran a PR under the 10-minute mark. (Johnson Publications photo)
Hoping for some good bend in the pole, Peyton Fiedler goes up in the pole vault Saturday en route to a fourth place finish. She competed in four state meet events, bringing home medals in all of them. (Johnson Publications photo)
In a field of 24 throwers, Allison Owings, above, and Andrea Page, below, went seventh and eighth, respectively, in the discus. Owings also competed in the shot put and won another medal in eighth place. (Johnson Publications photo)
Mallie McNair, right, is neck and neck with Isabella Hilger of Aquinas in the 400 meter dash finals Saturday. McNair finished fourth in the finals after breaking Chase County’s school record—a record she set last year—on Friday in her preliminary heat. (Johnson Publications photo)
All 10 Lady Longhorns medal at state; team finishes fourth
Chase County Coach Troy Hauxwell has always said just about everything has to go right, and with some luck, you can win a state track title.
While he knew going into Omaha last week a third straight Class C state title for the Lady Longhorns was a tall order, he did believe they had the potential and talent to earn the runner-up spot.
All 10 of the girls who competed Friday and Saturday came home with state medals, and finished fourth place in the final team standings.
There is no disappointment at all for Hauxwell with that finish. There are always a lot of factors, he said, that come into play in Omaha.
Much of it this year came from a couple of Class B schools last year that dropped into Class C this year.
One of those, David City Aquinas Catholic, took this year’s state title after being in Class B last year. Kearney Catholic was another former Class B school in Class C this season.
“You never know how the chemistry at state will pan out,” he said.
“Every one of our girls who went down to state came home with a medal. It was nice to see all of them wearing medals around their necks,” he smiled.
That means even more with so many on Chase County’s team who were first-timers this year at Omaha in a much different environment than the rest of the season.
“I’m so proud of our kids,” he said.
While the weather wasn’t anywhere near last year’s cold, rainy conditions both days, it was a night and day difference this year Friday and Saturday.
Friday had near perfect weather although wind caused officials to reverse the 100 and high hurdle prelims on Friday. Saturday was rainy in the morning and cooler, but cleared off in the afternoon.
McNair sets new 400
meter school record
Sophomore Mallie McNair broke her own record in the 400 on Friday when she ran second in her preliminary heat with a time of 58.60.
That beat the record she set at districts last year of 58.8.
Coming into the 400 finals Saturday, she held the sixth fastest time out of prelims, but finished fourth at 58.97.
McNair also took the bronze medal in the 800 meter run Saturday morning, running second in her heat with a time of 2:20.98. In that heat, she finished behind the 800 gold medalist who was the only Class C runner to break 2:20 with a time of 2:19.60.
Also running on two medal-winning relay teams last week for a four-medal state meet, Hauxwell noted sophomore McNair has already claimed nine state medals in two years (four events each year plus last year’s state championship team medal).
Peyton Fiedler, Adelaide Maxwell and Sophie Spady, with Kamrie Dillan as anchor, claimed bronze medals in Omaha with a time of 51.94 in the 400 meter relay.
It wasn’t their fastest time this season, but none of the teams did better than their PRs. For Chase County to claim two thirds and a first in that relay over three state track meets speaks well of the girls, Hauxwell said.
“Especially when you consider none of them were in the sprint finals this year. They connected so well at the handoffs to be successful in a pressure situation,” he said.
With just one senior on this year’s 400 team, he foresees a good future in that event.
Also winning bronze medals was the 3200 meter relay team of Spady, Madison Brown, Kora Weiss and McNair as anchor.
In Friday’s opening event, they finished at 9:59.77, a PR by about eight seconds in a tough field of teams.
Hauxwell said Spady did a good job putting them in the lead after the first two laps. After sitting in fifth for the last handoff, McNair pulled them into third after her anchor leg.
With three sophomores and a freshman on the team, Hauxwell said they can’t be disappointed with that finish and it bodes well for next year.
Fiedler collects four medals
In addition to her bronze in the relay, senior Fiedler also claimed three other individual medals in both hurdles and the pole vault.
She finished fourth in the 100 meter hurdles at 16.32, tied for fourth in the pole vault at 10 feet and seventh in the 300 meter hurdles at 49.92.
The pole vault and 300 hurdles on Saturday overlapped, so Fiedler had to leave the vault at a key time for the hurdle finals, Hauxwell said.
She had just cleared 10 feet on a clean vault, left for the hurdles then had to come back and try for 10’6” in the vault. Being a cooler day Saturday, the pole didn’t have the flex it needed, he said.
“The 300 hurdles are one of the toughest track events and then to have to come back and vault, it’s tough,” he said.
He said Fielder had a great meet to come home with four medals, adding “It’s tough to be in so many technical events and do so well.”
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