Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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Balance helps secure SWC title

Girls make it five out of six.

It doesn’t hurt when one person scores 40 points at a track meet, but Gothenburg girls track coach Steve Reeves was particularly pleased with the efforts of those who performed at a level that exceeded previous meets.

They all combined for a win of the Southwest Conference track crown for the fifth time in the last six years. Gothenburg breezed to the championship with 136 points, 28 better than runner-up Cozad.

Extra effort that could really make a difference was the theme of his remarks to the team prior to the meet.

“It doesn’t matter if you are first or fourth or fifth,” Reeves said. “It’s those people that are on the bubble, on the outside looking in, that can scratch out some points for us. I certainly thought we got that.”

A case in point, he said was the triple jump where McKinley Harm and Amanda Kowalewski, both sophomores, added to the Swede total by placing fourth and fifth.

“Those were valuable points,” he said. “It kind of sets the tone when you can get those type of points from kids. All the team then thinks, ‘Hey, we can do it.’”

The Swede coach said he asked a few girls to do a few more events than what they normally do.

“Our goal was to win the conference,” he said. Mission accomplished.

A key to Gothenburg’s championship effort was sophomore Tiani Reeves who solidified her credentials for the Terri Franzen Award given to the meet’s top female athlete by winning four gold medals and setting two conference records.

She broke a conference record and a school record while covering 200 meters in 25.2 seconds. Her winning time in the 400 (:59.5) improves her No. 5 effort on the Swede all-time top 10 chart.

Tiani also erased the SWC mark on the triple jump with her winning performance of 37-6. Also topping the field was her long jump of 17-9.

Aryn Meisinger led a 1-2 effort in the pole vault with her top height clearing 9-6, which improves her personal record by two inches and ties for fourth all-time.

“We knew she was on the verge of that happening,” coach Reeves said. “We just want to keep improving.”

Siera Schwanz followed at 9-0 for second place.

“Our vaulters are coming around,” the coach said. “Those were 18 huge points for us that you just never know sometimes what you are going to get.”

The Swedes competed in the Best of the Midwest Meet Tuesday. Next up is the Cozad Invitational Friday where the Swedes will again see SWC foes Cozad, Minden, Ogallala and Broken Bow. Field events start at 4 p.m. with running events following at 4:30.