Enjoying the moment in the spotlight were the track and field athletes from Cozad, Lexington and Gothenburg that competed in the 2013 Nebraska Class B State Championship meet held at Omaha Burke on Friday and Saturday.
Just as it was for much of the regular season, hurdling was the TRIBUNE-areas best efforts at the State meet as Colin Wetovick of Cozad and Gothenburg’s Preston Franzen both brought home fourth place medals.
On Friday evening, Haymaker Colin Wetovick won his heat race in the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.4 seconds and backed that effort up with a little quicker run (15.38) through the timbers on Saturday for fourth place overall. Wetovick (41.26) and fellow Haymaker hurdler Conor Young (41.46) were on the bubble of making the 300-meter hurdle final.
Starring in his favorite event, Swede Preston Franzen sped around the corner and blasted for home to the tune of 40.92 seconds and a fourth place medal in the 300-meter hurdles on Saturday. The night before, Franzen qualified for the finals with a second place finish in 41.03 during his prelims run.
Along with Franzen, fellow Swede Blake Ristine competed in the 110-meter high hurdle prelims on Friday as they just missed out on qualifying for finals with clockings of 15.71 and 16.09, respectively.
Bringing his sensational sophomore season to a close with a pair of trips to the medal stand was Gothenburg thrower Tanner Borchardt. Borchardt got his state meet started with a fifth place finish in the shotput with a spin of 52’6” on Friday. Borchardt was on the money on Saturday also, as he launched the discus past the 152’4” mark to earn fifth place accolades.
Launching himself above the crowded oval on Saturday morning was Swede vaulter Skyler Kottwitz, bringing home a fifth place medal for his efforts. Kottwitz benefitted greatly from clearing early heights on his first attempts, as he successfully eclipsed over 13’6” in fine fashion.
Lexington sprinting sensation Giovanny Rodriguez brought home a seventh place medal for turning and burning in the 200-meter dash in 22.86.
Cozad sprinter Jake Paulsen also returned to the burke oval and was a 200-meter finalist but was forced to withdraw as a result of injury that occurred in the 100-meter dash finals on Saturday. Paulsen brought home the eighth place medal as a finalist in the 100-meter dash, and he qualified for the 100-meter dash final round with a prelims clocking of 11.09.
Lexington finished the meet by showcasing their depth in the sprinting camp. The foursome of Rodriguez, Brody Lauby, Jordan Hovie and Bryan Alvidrez combined to exchange the baton in 3:28 to finish eighth overall in the 1600-meter relay.
The combination of Rodriguez, Lauby, Hovie and Kody Kenton finished the 400-meter relay in 44.72 seconds, the very exact same clocking that the Cozad quartet of Wetovick, Conor Young, Tysen Werner and Nate Bubak finished in also.
Prior to circling the Burke oval in the relays, Lex’s Hovie burned up the rubber track in 52.26 in the 400-meter dash.
The Haymakers were well represented in the throwing events, a tradition rich with success for the Red and Black. Simon Rangel slide across the ring and powered the shotput past 48’2.25”. Fellow junior strongman Jacob Stallbaumer flung the discus past the 141’0” mark on Saturday.
Swede Senior Logan Koehler cruised his j-turn and went vertical over 6’0” to finish outside the medalist honors by a mere two inches.
Competing in the middle distance features for the Haymakers was Tylar Lauby and Garrit Geiger. Lauby stormed around the final turn and kicked his way to the finish in 2:01 in the 800-meter run. Geiger held his own and fought for position throughout of his four-lap affair around the Burke oval to stop the clock in 4:49 in the 1600-meter run.
The Cozad 1600-meter and 3200-meter relays just missed on earning hardware with times of 3:32 and 8:25, respectively. The foursome of Conor Young, Nate Bubak, Tylar Lauby and Colin Wetovick competed in the four-lap event. Lauby joined Andres Pelayo, Jesus Estrada and Geiger in the 3200-meter exchanges.
Josh Avalos of Lexington attacked the state’s longest track event with gumption and crossed the finish line in 10:41.
Avalos joined forces with Chandler Flynn, Francisco Rodriguez and John Mark Shields to exchange the baton in 8:35 in the 3200-meter relay for Lexington.
For the complete story and pictorial coverage, please see the print edition of the TRIBUNE