Into championship season

Millard West prepares for Districts and State


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Senior Cole Haith stands just a few strides ahead of sophomore Jack Witte in the mile. Witte finished with an outstanding sprint to finish in third place overall. “I think I did a good job pacing and being patient throughout the race,” Witte said. “I let my kick carry me into the finish ahead of many of the other runners.”

Christian Naujokaitis, Staff Reporter

On Tuesday May 3, the Wildcats competed at the Metro Conference Meet against 15 other schools from around the Metropolitan area. This was the most competitive meet of the season so far. Millard West has competed against all these teams before in prior meets besides Gretna. The Cats had over a week to prepare themselves for this difficult meetup. 

The meet began with multiple field event medalists where senior Sadie Millard once again placed on the top of the charts in the long jump. Sadly, Millard did not jump near as good as she normally does, although she still finished in fourth place and gave the team an additional five points. On the boys side, senior Jessie Cauble received sixth place in long jump after jumping six foot two inches in the high jump. Cauble was just shy of his personal record by an inch. With those marvelous sets of jumps, he earned the second place medal in high jump. 

Moving onto the throwing events, senior Tierney White competed vastly better than she normally does. She threw a personal record of 35 feet and two inches and received eighth place in the shot put. On the boys thrower side, sadly, there were no placements at this meet.

Continuing onto the running events, once again Millard came to compete. She finished in second in the 100 meter dash and finished third overall in the 400 meter dash with a season record time of 58 seconds. Millard is constantly finishing top for West, and she consistently adds 15 to 25 points to the teams toal per meet. Just behind Millard, senior Layla Hopkins ran a time of one minute flat. For the boys sprinter team, the only medalist was senior Nathan Pederson, who ran a very fast time of 52 seconds in the 400 meter. 

“I think I competed really well and set personal records in all of my events,” Millard said. “Some goals that I have for districts is to keep cutting my time in the 400 and 4×4. Those are my best events, and I want to compete well at state.”

On the long distance side, both boys and girls did not disappoint. 

Sophomore Jack Witte had an astonishing day. He finished in second place in the 800 meter with a time of one minute and 57 seconds. Then shortly after that race he also competed in the mile, which he finished in third place overall. Another medalist in the 800m was junior Sean Murphy, who finally broke the two minute mark after struggling most the season to do so. Also in the 1600 meter, seniors Sam Kirchner and Cole Haith ended in fourth and seventh respectfully. For the girls team, junior Isabelle Hartnett had a hefty day. She ran four events: the mile, two mile, 800 meter and the 4×800. Hartnett finished in second in the mile, third in the 800 meter and fourth in the two mile, and with her extraordinary performance she brought 19 points to the Wildcats score.  

“I think that I competed quite well, especially in the 800,” Witte said. “My training has helped because it gave me the endurance to last throughout the mile and still have a kick at the end. It has also helped my top end speed so I can catch up or pass people close to the finish.”

In the relay events, most  competed very strongly. For the boys 4×800 they ran extremely well and finished at the top of the podium. On the other hand the girls competed strongly, but did not receive the time they wished for. The relay team would end in third. For the girls 4×400 team they finished in first with a total time of just over four minutes. The boys 4×400 would have finished in first but got disqualified for running on the inside of the first lane.  

Overall both teams came to compete at a high level. For the girls, they finished in second place right behind Westside, and for the boys they finished in fifth place overall because of the lack of points in the throwing and sprinting groups.

 “I think our team competed very hard,” girls assistant track coach Michael Bowker said. “We had a medalist place in 11 of the 13 events that we entered.  Every girl set a personal record in at least one of their events which is a good sign at this point in the season.”

Both teams prepare for districts in Kearney in hopes to compete at State.