The North Platte senior received a little extra motivation for the postseason during the KCI Conference Meet on Saturday, May 2 at North Platte High School. Lawson’s Nikki Smith edged Nash in the 100, handing Nash her first runner-up finish in the event since last year.
Class 2 District 7 is scheduled for Saturday, May 9 in Higginsville, Mo.
“I had to lose some time,” Nash said. “I’d rather lose here than lose at state. It makes me want to work harder and not let that happen again. I just want to keep getting better for districts. That’s all that matters right now.”
Smith finished in 12.23 seconds to set a new meet record, breaking the old mark of 12.34 set in 2004. Nash came in just 1/100th of a second behind in what could have been a photo finish. The University of Missouri softball signee came out of the blocks quickly before Smith eventually caught and passed her near the finish line.
“Regan did what I asked her to do,” North Platte coach Derek Colburn said. “She won the start. The first 20 meters I told her to focus on. She did. Smith just outmuscled her at the very end.”
Hamilton’s Morgan Prather — who signed to run track at Division I Wichita State late last year — finished third, also coming in under the old KCI record (12.28). Prather went on to win the 200 (25.46) with Smith second (25.67) and Nash third (26.87).
Nash did collect one win — running the anchor leg of North Platte’s victorious 4x100 relay that also included Abby Fisher, Emmie Lee and Callie Pataluna. Lee also collected an individual victory in the 300 hurdles (50.34), while Baylie Wilson made it a sweep for the Panthers, winning the 100 hurdles (17.45).
Overall, North Platte finished in third in the team standings with 105½ points — well behind winners Lawson (164) and second-place Lathrop (152½).
“We’re running against Lawson today,” Colburn said. “That’s pushing us. We’re not going to have to run against them at districts, but you have to compete with high level times. That’s what you want to do to get to state, and that’s compete at a high level. This is a good set up for us. We’ve got one of the best conferences around as far as track athletes and schools that are competitive in track.”
On the boys side, North Platte finished fifth (61½ points) more than 100 behind champion Lathrop (175½). The Panthers had no individual champions and just three podium finishes — Eric Brown (third, pole vault at 8 feet, 6 inches) and Blake Romaker (third, 800 in 2:09.87; third, 1,600 in 4:56.95).
“We come to districts next week,” North Platte boys coach Brendan Cary said. “It’s not about time. Districts is about placing. You’ve got to get a place. You have to go out and compete. That’s what we want to do today, get that real good edge on us and ready to compete next week.”
West Platte finished seventh on the boys side with 50 points, and junior Daniel Cicha won an individual title, claiming the 3,200 in 10:52.08. He finished second in the 1,600 (4:55.68) — one of two other top-three finishes for the Bluejays. Cam Johnson came in third in the shot put (39-5½).
“It’s conference so you always want to score well,” Cicha said. “It’s junior year for me. I only have one more, so I want to see how low I can get going into my senior year.”
West Platte finished sixth on the girls side with 58 points.
Sydney Oberdiek was the only event winner, topping the shot put field (31-10). Rachel Heili claimed third place in the 800 (2:37.96), and Kaitlin Larison took home a third-place medal in the high jump. The Bluejays had two relays receive medals. The 4x400 (Heili, Lauren Moose, Sikoya Richard and Makayla Wardlow) took third (4:31.40), and the 4x800 (Heili Moose, Richard and Harper Euwer) finished second (10:44.14).
“All we look for is getting better meet by meet,” West Platte coach Brad Basel said, “we’re getting down to the end and we’re still improving every meet. We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. That’s the goal when we started so we must’ve done something right.”
North Platte’s 4x400 team (McKenna Fulton, Maddie Lee, Katie Parkhurst and Shelby Fisher) grabbed second (4:27.56) and Fulton earned a second second-place medal in the 300 hurdles (50.77).
Bishop LeBlond Invitational
North Platte’s girls held off Trenton and claimed their second team title of the season Tuesday, April 28 in St. Joseph, Mo.
With a pair of individual champions, the Panthers racked up 102½ points to top the 13-team field. Trenton scored 99 to come in second.
Emmie Lee won the 300 hurdles in a hand-held time of 48.1, beating LeBlond’s Elisha Waller by nearly 3 full seconds. She also ran a leg on the second-place 4x200 relay that also included Nash, Pataluna and Abby Fisher. The quartet finished in 52.4 and just missed catching champion Plattsburg.
Nash won another head-to-head battle with Prather in the 100. The senior and 2014 Class 2 state champion in the event, Nash came in at 12.2 but placed second to Prather in the 200. Prather ran 25.7 to win the second sprint event, while Nash clocked 27.1 to hold off Plattsburg’s Becca Williams.
North Platte’s Parkhurst (3,200), Wilson (100 hurdles) and Gracie Roach (high jump) all collected third-place medals.
West Platte came in sixth in the team standings with 64 points, and Oberdiek and Heili again played a big part. Just a freshman, Heili continued her steady improvement and placed second in the 1,600 (6:06.3) and fourth in the 800 (2:39.0). North Platte’s Shelby Fisher came in fourth and 11 seconds back of Heili in the 1,600.
Heili, Moose, Richard and Wardlow were second in the 4x800 relay behind Lathrop, giving Heili a second runner-up medal.
Oberdiek came in second in all three throwing events — shot put (32-7½), discus (104-11) and javelin (84-2). Trenton’s Ally Ockenfels won the shot put (38-1), while Savannah’s Raven Price topped the discus (107-7) and javelin (99-1). North Platte’s Mackenze Daniel was third in both the shot put (31-8½) and discus (92-7), while teammate Stephanie Clymer came in third in the javelin (74-0).
On the boys side, North Platte placed eighth with 40 points, while West Platte was 10th with 27. West Platte’s Cicha notched a pair of medals — second in the 3,200 at 10:59.7 and third in the 1,600 at 4:55.7. North Platte’s Romaker was third in the 800 (2:11.0).
North Platte teammates Jonathan Collins (121-1) and Landon Montgomery (101-1) were second and third in the javelin behind winner Max Carrillo of St. Joseph Christian.