Boys finish B-6 district right where coach expected
Swede track coach Steve Reeves knew facing Scottsbluff, McCook and Alliance would be a big challenge for his boys during the B-6 district meet at Gothenburg on Thursday.
Depth combined with talent made those teams tough to compete with.
District champion Scottsbluff had four event champions and six runners-up to lead the way, followed by McCook with three winners and four seconds.“The kids competed hard the way they had all year,” Reeves said. “We had some solid performances and I think we got qualifiers where we thought we had the best shot.”
Four Gothenburg boys will represent the Swedes in five different events.
Seniors Brett Dockweiler and Alec Foster will compete in two events each.
Dockweiler qualified in the 3200-meter run after hanging with the leading pack of four runners for seven of the eight laps.
On his last time around, Dockweiler burst ahead of the rest and never looked back, finishing first in 10:26.17.
Dockweiler was third in the 1600-meter run to qualify in that event also.
After having by far the fastest time in the 110-meter hurdle prelims, Alec Foster pulled out a close win in the finals to qualify for state as the district winner.
He got back on the track for the 300-meter hurdle race and managed to slip in to the Omaha list as an additional qualifier, finishing fourth in a time of 42.09 seconds.
Teammate Preston Franzen, a junior, will run the 300-meter hurdles at Burke Stadium on Friday as well after coming in third in 41.55 seconds.
The other Swede to notch a spot at state is junior Dillon Gartner, who placed third in the discus with a toss of 145-2.
Reeves said Gartner’s final throw was plenty far enough to beat event winner Austin Sis of McCook, who marked 145-10, but he fell out of the ring trying too hard.
“This is what they work for all season,” Reeves said of the trip to Omaha this week. “I just wish we could have gotten a couple more kids there.”
Senior Aaron Collins, who has medaled in the triple jump in all but one meet this spring, barely missed out on qualifying for state finishing just two inches from third place.
Fellow senior Brandon Wlasiuk, who always fills his four-event maximum per meet, also just missed out with a tough jumping day all around.
“It’s kids like that who work so hard and do so much that you really want to take to Omaha,” Reeves said. “It’s hard to see them not qualify.”
The Swedes will open state competition on Friday morning with Foster in the 110 high hurdles at 10:15 a.m.