When the 2019 track season opened, Malcolm head coach Dustin Tobey wondered if his girls’ team would be as dominant as it had been over the past few years. After all, he lost a good bit of talent to graduation and his overall numbers are down. Not only that, some of the athletes that he counted on to score points in previous years chose not to go out for track this year.
Turns out, the coach might have been worried about nothing. Five weeks into the season, the Clippers have won each of their five meets, and none of them have really been close.
Malcolm traveled to Utica for the April 16 Centennial Invite where the Clippers scored 160 points to outstrip the second-place Broncos by 57 points. Milford was third with 86.5 points.
“Overall, our girls are competing well,” Tobey said. “Across the board, we have some hard workers that try to get better every week.”
MacKenna Witte continues to dominate the throwing events. The senior hurled the discus 127-8 and tossed the shot 38-4 to earn gold in both events.
Brooklyn Minzel earned the Clippers’ other field event gold as she hopped, skipped and jumped her way to a 34-10 mark in triple jump. Minzel earned second-place honors in the long jump before winning her second gold of the day as she finished the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.92.
“Brooklyn is coming on strong,” Tobey said. “She is starting to jump really well, and her times in the hurdles are improving.”
Jaiden Helms and Logan Thomas joined Minzel atop the medal stand. Helms, a freshman, won the 400-meter dash in 1:02.8, while Thomas, a junior, took the top spot in the 3,200-meter run in 12:27.
Two of the Clippers’ relay teams crossed the tape first as the 400-meter relay team of Grace Schleining, Minzel, Elisa Paider and Bailey Virus finished in 52.4. The 3,200-meter relay team of Helms, Laura Reiling, Josephine Holliday and Reagan Wondercheck won with a time of 10:44.
All together, the Clippers earned 24 medals in the meet.
The Malcolm boys claimed 21 medals en route to a team score of 137 points to earn first place by just three points over Minden.
Devyn Beekman continues to shine in the middle and long distance races. The senior all-stater won the 800-meter run by nearly four seconds with a time of 2:00.9 before coming back to win the the 1,600-meter run with a 4:48 finish.
Noah Twohig finished off a Malcolm sweep of the long distance events as he blew away the competition with a 10:54 finish in the 3,200-meter run.
The Clippers’ 3,200-meter relay team of Dylan Johnson, Ty Brockhaus, John Boesen and John Swotek won a close race with their 8:55 finish, just one second ahead of Centennial.
Katon Thomas had a great day in the sprints. The sophomore edged out his teammate, Jackson Eurek, to take gold in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.6. Thomas also won the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.6.
“I’m really pleased with how our sprinters are coming on,” Tobey said. “It’s a been a long time since we’ve had this many sprinters racing in the finals and scoring points for us.”
Wyatt Loga earned the Clippers’ lone field event gold medal as he cleared the high jump bar at 6-4.
“Wyatt is looking good,” Tobey said. “He is jumping as consistently well as we’ve ever seen.”
Two days following the meet at Centennial, six Clippers competed in the Nebraska Track and Field Festival in Papillion. Athletes were chosen to compete based on results of the 2018 state meet or by their high ranking marks from this season.
Of the six Malcolm athletes that competed, two boys and two girls medaled. Beekman placed third in the 800-meter run while Loga earned the same spot in the high jump.
For the girls, Thomas also had a third place finish in the 3,200-meter run while Witte claimed fifth place in shot put.
“It was a fun event to be a part of,” Tobey said. “They were up against some of the best in the state in all classes, and our kids measured up well.”
The Clippers will spend their week preparing for the East Central Nebraska Conference meet where both the boys and girls should be favored to win. The meet is Saturday, April 27, in Malcolm with field events beginning in the morning at 10 a.m. with running events starting around 12:30 p.m.