Cody Williams will be a busy young man at the state meet this week, after qualifying in four events. Here, he competes in the long jump, where he broke the school record he first set last year with a leap of 22’ 1/2” and took the district gold medal. (Johnson Publications photo)

With a personal record of 50’ 1.5”, Hunter Bartels took the district championship in the shot put, and punched his ticket to state. (Johnson Publications photo)

Putting it all on the track might describe these two after the 3200 meter relay’s final leg. Chase County’s Bryson Fisher, left, and Bridgeport’s Declan Jeffries recover after the teams took first and second in the relay. While Bridgeport qualified as district champions, Chase County’s team got in as one of the five next fastest. (Johnson Publications photo)

Longhorn boys sending nine athletes to state

Relay teams make cut after finishing second, fourth en route to district championship

    Nine boys in nine events will represent Chase County Friday and Saturday at the state track meet in Omaha.    
    Leaving the District C-11 meet last Thursday in Mitchell just four Longhorns had qualified in individual events.
    But in a show of the C-11 district’s strength, Chase County’s 3200 and 1600 meter relay teams also qualified after finishing second and fourth, respectively.
    That meant five more Longhorns making the trip this week to Omaha Burke.
    Chase County athletes heading to state include Cody Williams, Will Kuenne, Hunter Bartels, Dakota Wallin, Scott Wheeler, Caleb Weiss, Francisco Barrientos, Bryson Fisher and Juan Venegas.
    Commending his nine qualifiers who had four individual district championships between them, Coach Carl Zuege said it was also the individual third through sixth place finishes that were vital in securing the district title after finishing second last year.
    “We had the chance to do it, but we knew it would take good performances to win districts,” he said.
    By a mere 13 points, Chase County edged Mitchell, who won the district meet in 2016.
    “Our team really proves how important those deeper points are,” he said.
    The Longhorns competed in nine meets this season, and won all nine of them, he noted, some of them by just a point or two.
    Senior Cody Williams will compete in four events at state, after earning district championships in two of them.
    Williams broke his own CCS long jump record set last season in his final jump of the day, when he sailed 22’ 1/2”.
    That bypassed his previous school record of 21’8”.
    Williams had already qualified for state by meeting the minimum long jump distance but had his last jump yet to take. Zuege asked him if he wanted to pass on it. He didn’t and jumped the 22’ 1/2”.
    Williams was also the district champion in the high jump at 6’5”, earned second in the triple jump and was third in the 110 meter hurdles.            While he missed the one-two hurdle qualification at the meet, he will compete at state as one of only two additional qualifiers based on time.
    His 14.98 at districts (which the state rounded up to 15.0) is still in the top six of the 24 Class C hurdlers to compete in Omaha.

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