Swedes compete well at UNK
KEARNEY—Limited by other school activities, the Swede track teams didn’t have a full slate of participants at Saturday’s season kick-off at the University of Nebraska at Kearney Class B Indoor Invite.
Numbers may have been few but Gothenburg coach Steve Reeves was quite encouraged by the outcome.
“I thought we had some kids compete extremely well for this early,” Reeves said.
For the girls, Reeves was especially pleased with all three pole vaulters and all three shot putters finishing in the top eight.
Junior Siera Schwanz cleared 8-6 for third in the vault, followed by Aryn Meisinger and Erica Houchin tying for fourth.
“We’ve got some experience there,” Reeves said. “We got off to a good start. Now we need to work on getting a little higher.”
In the shot, senior Kersten Nelson was third with a throw of 35-3. Teammates Emily Franzen and Ashley Eskew finished seventh and eighth respectively.
Reeves said he was also excited with two silver-medal efforts from the girls in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays.
“We’ve established a baseline,” the coach said. “There are areas where we saw very encouraging results and others where we see that we need to shore up and compete harder.”
For the boys, junior Dillon Gartner earned Gothenburg’s lone gold in the shot, throwing 49-1.75 for the win.
“Dillon is right at that 50-foot mark,” Reeves said, “and we look for him to improve.”
Reeves said he was extremely pleased with the performance of senior Brandon Wlasiuk, who placed in three field events.
Wlasiuk was third in the long jump, third in the triple jump and fifth in the high jump.
“Those are going to be big team points for us down the road,” Reeves said.
Young hurdlers added more promise as junior Preston Franzen and sophomore Blake Ristine were second and third in the 55-meter event.
Senior Alec Foster recorded the fastest qualifying time in the event from the preliminaries but a tight hamstring kept him out of the finals.
“There’s no need to risk an injury this early in the season,” Reeves said.
Both the Swede girls and boys finished fifth in the team standings among eight schools.
Holdrege took the girls title and Lexington captured the top for the boys.
Gothenburg’s boys track team will fill a few more events at the Kearney Indoor Invite on Friday beginning at 5 p.m.
The Swede girls travel west to the Sidney Invite beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.
The first outdoor meet for both squads will be the Ogallala Invite at 9:30 MT on March 31.
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