Relay records fall at state
OMAHA—So many things can go wrong at the state track meet in Omaha when nerves and pressure dominate athletes’ thoughts.
At the same time, there’s always a chance things can go right.
Brady seniors Kyle Pohlman and Brad Ward saw both.
During a rainy afternoon at Burke Stadium on Friday, both boys competed in the triple jump and Ward followed with the high jump.
Personal best performances were nowhere in sight but both boys earned medals, Pohlman finishing third in the triple jump while Ward was sixth in the same event and tied for eighth in the high jump.
“I know they were both hoping for better,” said Eagle coach Rich Britten. “They went in with pretty high expectations.”
Pohlman was somewhat disappointed again Saturday when the long jump was over.
He led Class D going into state with his school-record distance of 22 feet, 5 inches achieved at the district meet.
“He knew if he got off his best jump he’d win gold,” Britten said.
But his best Saturday morning was 21-4.5 for silver.
“Kyle had an outstanding season,” the coach said, “and silver at state is admirable but it just wasn’t what he wanted.”
A third-place finish in the 4x100 relay took away some of the sting for both Pohlman and Ward, though, as the relay including Christian Arterburn and Sawyer Burke set another new school record.
Despite less-than-perfect hand-offs, the Brady relay finished in 45.415 seconds, improving the previous record of 45.6 set at the district meet.
“We have practiced and practiced their hand-offs,” Britten said. “The adrenaline is never the same, especially at state.”
Replacing Pohlman, Arterburn and Ward on that relay will be tough, Britten said.
“I can’t remember a Brady 4x100 relay going to state since I’ve been here and that’s been a long time,” the coach said. “It could be a long time before we see a time like that again.”
On the girls side, none of the Eagles were able to bring home hardware but Britten said their performances were still solid.
Individual qualifier Megan Polt, a junior, couldn’t match her best times of the season in the 100- and 200-meter dash races but Britten said the wet conditions at Burke Stadium may have had something to do with that.
She missed out on the finals in both races, as did senior Taina Taullie in the 200.
Taullie also struggled in the pole vault, clearing 7-6. She had passed 8-0 earlier this season.
“Taina knew she would need to clear 8-0 to have a chance for a medal,” Britten said. “For some reason as the bar was raised, she quit turning her body and she dragged the bar off every time,”
Valerie Most, who also qualified in the pole vault, couldn’t quite get her personal best either. She went out at 7-0.
“I think she was just really nervous,” the coach said.
All three individual girl qualifiers found some success in the 4x100 relay.
With Eagle teammate Courtney Widick, the girls set a new school record with a time of 53.259 seconds.
They tied the school record at 54.0 seconds at the Dave Blevins Memorial Meet in Arnold earlier this month.
“They’ve only run that relay together three times,” Britten said, “and they only lose one member to graduation. We have some pretty quick girls coming up. It should be interesting to watch next year too.”
The girls were 12th in the 4x100 relay and 11th in the 4x800.
Runners in the distance relay were Molly Hannon, Dakota Terry, Lexi Franzen and Widick.
“They knew they were pretty much going to have to set a new school record to be anywhere near a medal,” Britten said.
The girls did not hit record pace but did shave eight seconds off their best time.
“Overall, it was a very successful season,” Britten said. “We won a few meets, including the girls district championship. We’re going to have significant loss in our seniors but I’m looking forward to a strong class of athletes coming in. Brady track should continue to be exciting to watch.”