Millard West track races through the NSAA State track meet

Isabella Nilsson, Staff Writer

The Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) held their State track meet at Burke High School for all class divisions on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18. Millard West had 37 athletes qualify for State, 17 boys and 20 girls. Boys track placed fifth overall for Class A. The Wildcats placed fourth overall for Class A girls.

To start of the weekend, sophomore Kaden Williams placed 12th in the triple jump. He kicked off State for the boys. For the boys shot put, senior Patrick Carroll placed ninth in his event. Sophomore Aidan Berggren closed out the field events by placing seventh in high jump. He gained two points for Millard West’s final score.

To continue the day, senior Ayden Larson, junior Anthony Miller and sophomores Tyler Matrangos and Dustin Hatch placed tenth in the 3200-Meter relay. In section two for the 1600-Meter relay, senior Gabe Anderson, sophomore Will Ekborg and juniors Dalys Beanum and Kaedyn Odermann placed third. They were able to gather two points for Millard West. Beanum, Odermann, Ekborg and sophomore Zachary Coleman work together to place third overall in the 400-Meter relay. They gained another point for the Wildcats.

“I felt very accomplished,” Odermann said. “I was running against the best runners in the state who had been posting good times all year.”

As the weekend went on, the Wildcats had three athletes place in the 3200-Meter run.  Senior Mason McDonald placed third overall in this event and gained six points for Millard West. Junior Adam Murphy placed fifth and added four points and senior Connor Hayes placed sixth and gained three points for the Wildcat’s final score. Millard West had three students place in the 1600-Meter run. Murphy placed second and got eight points for the Wildcats. McDonald placed fifth overall and got four points and Hayes placed twenty-second. In the 800-Meter run, Miller placed sixth and added another point for Millard West’s final score. Gabe Anderson placed sixth in the second section of this event and added two points. There were also two athletes that placed in the 400-Meter dash. Odermann placed fifth and got four points and Anderson placed sixth and gained three more points.

“We only have one senior this year which means we only have room to improve next year,” Odermann said. “I ended up performing a lot better than I thought I would initially.”

The girls continued this meet by starting the field events. Millard West had three athletes place in long jump. Sophomore Lindsay Adams placed fourth, freshman Sadie Millard placed 12th and freshman Emily Holl placed 15th. Adams gained five more points for Millard West. Senior Lauren Richter placed fourth in the discus event and got another five points for the Wildcats. Senior Ryleigh Warren also placed in the discus event coming out in seventh place with two more points for Millard West. Senior Shelby Bergholz tied with four other girls for seventh place in High Jump. She was still able to get 0.6 points for Millard West. Taylor Kucks tied for 14th with one other girl for pole vaulting. For the last field event, junior Kylie Grause an sophomore Laney Mally placed ninth and 13th in the triple jump.

Isabella Nilsson

Junior Alex Koza and seniors Devyn McDonald, Carolyn Hudek and Abby Heffner placed seventh in the 3200-Meter relay gaining another two points for the Wildcats. Seniors Emma Nyffeler, Shannon Wurtele and Sydney Miller and Emily Holl were State Champions for the 1600-Meter relay which gave the Wildcats two more points. Nyffeler, Wurtele, Adams and junior Isabella Latenser placed second in the 400-meter relay which gained another two points for the Wildcats. Adams also placed sixth in the 100-meter Hurdles, and she placed third in the 300-Meter Hurdles.

“I placed in the 4×8 relay,” Koza said. “Relays are always fun because you are not only running for yourself, but you are running for your teammates. It was a great experience getting a medal with all of them.”

In the 200-Meter dash Sadie Millard placed seventh and gained two more points for Millard West. In the 400-Meter dash Millard places second and Nyffeler placed seventh. Both gave Millard West a total of 10 points. McDonald and junior Alex Koza placed seventh and eleventh in the 800-Meter run, and they gave Millard West another two points. In 1600-Meter run, Heffner placed fifteenth. Heffner, junior Katherine McNulty and sophomore Eva Gilbreath placed ninth, fifteenth and twenty-second in the 3200-Meter run.

“I am going to miss a lot of things about track,” Koza said. “I think that I will miss seeing my coaches and teammates everyday the most. It is crazy that this was my last practice with the seniors, and I am going to miss them very much.”

The Millard West track season has come to an end. The boys track team had a combined score of 43 points. They were only off the State Champions, Fremont High School, by 38 points. The girls placed fourth with a total of 53.6 points, which was 53 points behind the Class A Girls State Champions, Lincoln Southwest.