Sunday, June 24, 2018
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Houchin breaks pole vault record

MINDEN—Swede senior Erica Houchin was the only girl left in the pole vault competition at the Southwest Conference meet in Minden Saturday when she cleared her personal best height of 9-foot-6.

After solidifying the win, Houchin and vault coach Roger Neujahr decided to see just how high they could get.

On her final attempt, Houchin cleared what she thought was 9-8 but officials realized an error was made when the bar was placed on the standards.

When they measured, the bar was actually at 10-1.5.

She had broken the conference record by 1 inches and was only a half-inch from the school record, so Houchin took the next step.

Again on her third attempt, Houchin cleared 10-2.5, breaking the previous record set by Ali Clark last year.

“That’s huge,” Reeves said. “To break the conference record and the school record on the same day is a big deal.”

Houchin’s effort helped lead the Swede girls to their fourth conference title over the past five years.

“We went one, two, three in the vault and got a gold from Tiani (Reeves) in the long jump,” Reeves said. “That’s a pretty good way to start a meet.”

The Swedes kept pushing in the running events as well with a one-two finish in the 400-meter dash by Aryn Meisinger and Regan Geiken, then a gold in the 200 from Tiani and another win in the 300-meter hurdles by MaKaela Franzen.

“When you can earn double-digit points in one event either by winning it or having two or more kids place, the points add up pretty fast,” Reeves said.

Tiani Reeves was presented the Terri Franzen award by the conference as the top female athlete at the meet.

“Again, it was a total team effort,” the coach said. “I’m just really proud of these kids.”

The Swede girls will compete next at the Cozad Invite on Friday.

With the B-6 district meet next week, Reeves said Friday’s competition will be more laid-back than the conference meet.

“We just want to stay sharp and fine tune for district,” he said.

Field events begin at 4 p.m. Friday.