Hibbert leads SHS track at state competition


Lovely Hibbert was determined to win.

“I was not going to let an underclassman beat me,” she said with a laugh May 16 after receiving her gold medal.

The Seward senior won the shot put with a throw of 41-4 on her final toss in the preliminary flight. Although she scratched all three throws in the finals, Hibbert couldn’t be beaten. She said she knew right away that her throw was good.

The gold improved on last year’s fourth-place finish.

Being on top of the medal stand allowed Hibbert to take the best memories from state track. She didn’t throw as well in the discus May 15.

“I feel so happy,” she said. “I’m so proud to be here.”

Teammate Madison Green also made the finals and finished sixth with a throw of 38-3. Hibbert said Green actually made her focus more.

“She threw 38 in warm-ups, and I was like, ‘It’s game time. Sorry, Madison, I’m going to beat you,’” Hibbert said, laughing.

She said Green is like a little sister, so having her around has been great.

Green said the state meet was a great experience, and she didn’t feel a lot of pressure coming in because she didn’t place in the top three at districts.

“Coming in 13th, no one was looking at me,” she said.

The SHS girls continued their success on the track.

The 4x100-meter relay team set a new school record at 49.35 with Emma Frihauf, Grace Brees, Coral Collins and Kelsey Miller carrying the baton.

Miller earned medals in three of her four events. She rebroke her records in the 100-meter hurdles, placing third in 15.01 seconds, and in the 300-meter hurdles, placing fourth in 45.48 seconds.

The 4x400-meter relay team ran a 4:04.7 and placed 11th with Emma Frihauf, Grace Brees and Lauren Frihauf joining Miller. Coach Jeff Hass said that’s the fastest time for the Bluejay girls since 2011. This team is only the fifth in school history to run under 4:05, he said.

Tessa Greisen improved her time in the 3,200-meter run, finishing eighth in 11:25.78 May 15. She also ran the 1,600 May 16 and finished in 5:24.63.

Grace Brees placed seventh in the 100-meter dash, as well, with a time of 12.6 seconds in the final.

In the boys’ competition, Jackson Einspahr finished his freshman season with a school record in the 1,600-meter run, placing sixth in 4:19.86.

He teamed with Presston Duryea, Kameron Dyer and Micah Royuk in the 4x800-meter relay May 15, and the quartet each ran a personal best split, leading to a time of 8:09.15 and seventh place.

Seniors Collins and Caden Brooks finished their high school careers at the state meet. In addition to the relay, Collins qualified in the 100-meter dash, and Brooks competed in the long jump.

“Coral Collins’ leadership at meets and practice will be missed as she finished her high school career on the all time lists in the 100 and 4x100. Caden Brooks has been a huge asset to the team and the senior’s talents will be missed as he is a great teammate and leader,” Hass said.

The meet was not an easy one weatherwise, at least on the first day.

“The kids had to battle through some adversity with lightning delays and rain and still were able to run well. Both Tresten (Hass), 110H, and Grace (Brees), 100m, had to warm up and set up blocks only to be taken into the school as a safety precaution and return to run an hour later,” Coach Hass said. “The weather delays were tough on all teams and so the mental toughness of athletes had to be high on Wednesday.”

In looking over the season, the coach said he was pleased with how the athletes competed and improved.

“They came away with a lot of experience and great memories. We are going to miss our seniors but they have laid a solid foundation for our younger kids to follow,” he said. “The future for the Bluejay track and field team is bright and we can’t wait to see what they can achieve next year.”