Maddie O’Neill had a perfect day for North Platte at the Class 2 Sectional 4 meet.
The sophomore won two individual events and then she helped two relay teams win championships to pave a way to the state championships in Jefferson City.
She won the 200-meter dash in 26 seconds, while taking the 400-meter dash in 59.83 — the only one of the eighth finalists to break 1-minute.
She then helped two relays move on and she finished with 25 points by herself, as North Platte had 48 and took seventh place.
O’Neill became the first athlete in North Platte history to win four meets at sectionals, a round that MSHSAA started in 2007.
“It was an outstanding day for her,” North Platte coach Brendan Cary said. “Maddie’s individual races in the 400 and 200 were strong, as well as Haley (Sampson) in the 400. I thought the 4x2 and 4x4 relays ran solid races and established themselves as the teams to beat in those events heading into this weekend. We are excited for the opportunity to get to Jeff City with all of these events in a position to get to Saturday and earn some medals.”
Regan Nash and Erin Manville both won three events in 2013 out of sectionals and Nash did it again in 2015, but O’Neill will be the first with a superlative of four sectional crowns. Corbin Green went to state in four events last year, but had only one sectional title.
“It is definitely a great accomplishment, but we are now ready to see what she and our squad can do when we get onto the track in Jeff City,” Cary said of O’Neill.
She ran the third leg of the 4x200-meter relay with Haley Sampson, Madi Debord and Trinity Wrightfield to win in 1:47.73. In the final race of the day, Sampson, O’Neill, Wrightfield and Gracie Ramsey ran 4:11.75 to win the 4x400-meter relay.
Sampson will go to state in the 400 with O’Neill, as she took fourth and got the final berth at state from this sectional.
Zachary Lee will be the lone qualifier for the Panthers after taking fourth in the 1,600-meter run. He ran 4:52.88, a nearly two second drop off his seed time heading into the race won by West Platte’s Max Davies.
“Zach ran a strategic 1,600 for the second week in a row and it paid off again,” Cary said. “He was patient for three laps and knew again when to turn it on to make sure he got the chance to race one more time on the big stage. He will be looking to crack into the 4:40s on Saturday and complete his North Platte career with his best race.”
The North Platte boys finished in a tie for 19th with Polo.