Houchin breaks own vault record again
When there’s nowhere else to go but up, that’s where Swede senior Erica Houchin goes ... up.
For the third straight week, Houchin has set a new school record in the pole vault.
At the B-6 district meet at Gothenburg on Thursday, Houchin cleared 10-foot-8 to surpass her previous best of 10-6 achieved last week.Before that, she vaulted over 10-2.5 at the conference meet to take her place at the top of the all-time Swede standings.
“Erica is vaulting very well right now,” said Gothenburg coach Steve Reeves. “She has a very good shot at a medal at state.”
Houchin finished second in the event behind Abigail Mohr of McCook, whose best vault was also 10-8 but with fewer previous misses.
Five other Swedes will join Houchin in Omaha this week for the Nebraska State Track and Field Championships at Burke Stadium Friday and Saturday.
“I think things came out just about the way we thought they would,” Reeves said of the district meet.
Gothenburg girls finished fourth in the team standings with 66 points and six state qualifiers. Three girls will compete at state in two or more events.
Freshman Tiani Reeves will perform in three events this week.
She won the long jump with a distance of 17-4.25. She has the second best qualifying distance in Class B.
Tiani will also run the 200- meter dash at state.
She finished second in 25.87 seconds in an extremely close race in the district final, six-hundredths of a second behind first-place Mikenzie Noredeen of Alliance and only one-hundredth of a second ahead of third-place finisher Morgan Linneman of Sidney.
Her time moves her from No. 4 on the Swede all-time list to a tie for No. 2.
“It was a really tough field in the 200,” Reeves said. “And it will be a tough field at state.”
Tiani’s third event will be the anchor leg of the 4x400 relay, which got second place by five-hundredths of a second behind winning McCook.
“There is a reason that relay is run at the end of the meet,” Reeves said of the premier track event. “It’s usually pretty exciting.”
Other runners on the relay include Regan Geiken, Aryn Meisinger and Payton Prall.
Their time of 4:03.92 moves the relay to No. 2 overall on the Swede all-time list.
Both Geiken and Prall qualified to also run the 400-meter dash.
Geiken was third and Prall got in as one of the next six fastest times from across the state in Class B.
“They both run quality 400 times and that really helps our relay,” the coach said.
In addition, senior thrower Kersten Nelson managed to qualify in the shot. She threw 37-11.5 for third place.
“I’m really glad to see Kersten qualify,” Reeves said. “She was fifth going into the district and she worked hard to place third.”
The Swede girls finished fourth in the team standings behind champion Gering, McCook and Sidney.
The Class B session of the state track meet begins at 9 a.m. on Friday.
Gothenburg’s first girls event will be the long jump scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
The 400-meter dash is set for 11:15 a.m. Friday.