By Tim Linscott
One medal was won by Perkins County track athletes at the state track and field invite held on May 23-24 in Omaha. The Plainsmen, however, came home with a host of experience to use next year.
Head track coach Shayne Hite was hoping for some more hardware to come back to Perkins County from Omaha, but the experience gained is invaluable.
“It is tough for first time qualifiers to know what to expect and be mentally ready,” Hite said. “Any time you can take young athletes to Omaha it is a benefit to them and the team. It gets the jitters out.”
Freshman Derek Sis showed promise for future state invites with a fifth place finish in the 100 meter dash. Sis won his preliminary race with a time of :11.07 and finished fifth overall in Class C with a time of :11.27. Simon Wiedel of Thayer Central won the state title in the 100 meter dash with a time of :11.02.
Sis was third in the 200 meter dash preliminaries in his heat with a time of :23.15. Second place in the heat was Weston LaBelle of Archbishop Bergan with a time of :23.01. Sis did not qualify for the finals in the 200 meters.
The 1600 meter relay team, which consisted of Sis, Tristen Kennicutt and seniors Matthew Sestak and Timothy Johnson was 13th overall in Class C.
The team had a time of 3:35.93.
Arlington won the Class C 1600 meter relay title with a time of 3:30.13.
The Perkins County girls track athletes, Kendra Hoffert and Emily Kemling, also had a strong showing at state.
Hoffert was tied for 19th place with a vault of 8’ 6” and the state title was won by Morgan Dickson of Sandy Creek (10’ 8”).
Kemling ran a time of 12:54.25 in the 3200 meters and finished 15th overall.
Katherine Lansman of Ord won with a time of 11:48.71.
Hite is hopeful of a good crop of returning letter winners and new athletes on the track squad next year.
“We will work on getting some good numbers out next year to develop some good competition within our team and make us stronger. Some will be going to some track camps this summer as well,” Hite said.
With six athletes headed to state this year from Perkins County and only two seniors, Timothy Johnson and Matt Sestak, the bar has been raised for the 2015 state track meet for underclassmen.
“Those who don’t qualify see those individuals that did and it drives most of them to work for next year,” Hite said. “Most of the team at times showed signs at times of what they are capable of and we hope they will work to build on this.”