Three medals and a heap of hope
Blede, Ward place at state track meet.
OMAHA—Getting into the finals of the Class D shot at the state track meet was quite an accomplishment for Corbin Blede the past two years.
In his senior season, though, simply making finals and placing eighth again was not good enough. Blede wanted more.
It took a throw of 50 feet, 9.75 inches in the finals Friday morning to boost him to third for a bronze medal.
“I think Corbin went in hoping to improve his school record,” said Brady coach Rich Britten. “Even his best throw this season was only good enough for third.”
Dillon Carmichael of Loomis won with a toss of 55-2.5. David Meyer of Scribner-Snyder threw 52-11, 10 inches beyond Blede’s school record of 52-1.
“He got over 50 at state,” Britten said. “He should be proud of how he finished his career.”
Blede was the only senior in the group of 10 Eagle boys and girls to compete at the state meet.
That leaves Britten excited and hopeful for the future.
“Not only do we bring back a bunch of state qualifiers,” Britten said, “but we also have a very talented group of young kids coming in. There are great things ahead for Brady track.”
Brad Ward is one of those underclassmen who will likely get back to Burke Stadium again next year.
The junior brought home a pair of medals finishing sixth in the long jump and seventh in the high jump.
Britten said Ward’s jump of 20-8 was the fifth farthest heading into the finals but an Elkhorn Valley jumper nudged him out by a half-inch in the last round.
Five jumpers cleared 6-2 in the high jump to finish fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. Britten said early misses by Ward is what pushed him down the line.
Neither Ward nor Kyle Pohlman, another junior, made the finals in the triple jump. Britten said both were tight and lacked the fluid movement they’ve had previously in the event.
“It’s a whole different world at state,” the coach said. “It can mess with your mind real easily.”
Junior Dalton Riedel matched his best time of the year in the 3200-meter run at 11:04.25 and still didn’t manage to make it into the top eight.
“We were hoping maybe he’d break that 11-minute mark,” Britten said. “He ran a solid race but there are just so many good runners at state. Maybe it’s motivation for next year.”
The only other Eagle boy to compete at state wasn’t able to match or even come close to his best performance.
In fact, Lincoln Blede left the track just over halfway through his 1600-meter race.
“Lincoln was hurt going in,” Britten said. “He ran in pain at the district meet. I know he tried to gut it out and would have kept going at state if I hadn’t yelled at him to get off the track. I feel really bad for him. The kid works his tail off.”
The girls worked hard at state too, Britten said.
The 4x400 relay team of Megan Polt, Brittney Christophersen, Dakota Terry and Courtney Widick came as close as ever to setting a new school record time.
The girls, all underclassmen, finished in 4:26.427, just seven-tenths of a second from the school’s best mark. They were 13th in Class D.
“We just feel fortunate to even have gotten there,” Britten said. “We got beat at districts and got to state on a technicality. I hope the girls realize now what it takes to be successful at the state meet.”
Two relay members competed in individual events as well.
Polt, a sophomore, ran the 400-meter dash in 1:05.363 for seventh in her heat. She did not qualify for the finals.
Widick finished in the middle of the pack of 800 runners, nearly matching her best time at 2:34.744.
“There was only one time she’s run better,” Britten said. “She fell a little behind to start the last lap and it’s tough to make up ground in that race.”
Brady’s fifth girl to make the trip to state was junior Taina Taullie in the pole vault.
Britten said Taullie made the opening height of 7-0 at the district meet but he thinks the nerves of a first-time qualifier combined with the difference in atmosphere may have gotten the best of her.
“I know it’s disappointing to her,” he said, “but now that she’s been there, she really wants to go back.”
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