Eagles dominate at South Loup
Brady boys and girls both cruise to team championship
Eagle track coach Rich Britten knew that Brady could be in the hunt for the South Loup Invitational boys and girls titles. The fact that both teams won it comfortably was a surprise.
Everyone was unaware of team standings going into the final event.
“They didn’t announce anything until the meet was over,” Britten said. “We didn’t know where we were standing point-wise at all. We knew we had to be close.”
Actually both teams had the lead needed to coast at the end.
The boys could have dropped the baton in the final event of the day, the 4x400 relay, and still won the team crown by a point and a half. Instead, they left little doubt by winning the race with a time of 3:39.6, nearly seven seconds faster than runner-up Loup County.
“We were kind of hoping to chase down the 4x400 record but it was too windy,” Britten said.
The gold medal gave the Eagle boys a 13.5-point edge in the team standings. Brady scored 110.5 points to 97 for South Loup.
The winning 4x400 foursome included Eric Martin, Troy Lusk, Zach Mann and Bryley Roper.
Substitute Cole Viter for Martin and you have the winning 4x800 foursome which was timed at 8:51.6.
The Eagle boys used strong depth to amass over 100 points. Brady won just three individual events but placed at least two athletes in six more events.
“We’ve got quality kids in most of the events,” Britten said. “It’s very helpful to perhaps win an event and place a couple of others in another event.”
Two of the individual wins came in the sprints. Roper captured first in the 400 while Mann brought home gold in the 200.
“We kind of experimented a week ago with Zach in the 200 and that turned out really well for us,” the coach said.
Matt Litzenberger provided a pleasant surprise by winning the shot.
“Last week he won with a personal best,” Britten said. “This week he went an additional foot and a half for another personal best.”
While the Eagle boys earned the meet title with depth, Brady’s girls had to take advantage of a few quality athletes.
With just eight girls on the track squad the Eagles out-lasted South Loup 96 to 92. The outcome was already set prior to the final race of the meet, the 4x400 relay.
With no team competing, Brady was sitting on the sidelines with 96 points. South Loup, even with a win, wasn’t going to close the gap. The Bobcats got the gold but had to settle for meet runner-up honors.
Again, though, it came as a surprise to Britten.
“I knew we had done well in some events,” he said. “It wasn’t till right at the end I started adding up to see where we were.
“It was kind of a surprise when they read it off that we were first.”
Valerie Most was a triple winner for the Eagles taking first in the 100-meter high hurdles (:17.1), the high jump (5-0) and pole vault (9-0).
Autumn Hild earned gold in the 200-meter dash (:28.7).
Brady added silver medal finishes in four individual events and one relay.
Among the athletes earning Britten’s praise was Lexi Franzen.
“She hadn’t placed in a while so her getting points in both the 1600 and 3200 were important to us,” he said.
The Eagles have a busy schedule in the next week. They compete in the Sutherland Invite Friday and will host the Brady Invitational Tuesday at Gothenburg.