Well, the meet is in the books and boy am I glad. A lot to reflect on but I’m going to start by giving credit where its due. Our volunteers. The national office was amazed that a first time host of the championships was able to execute the conduct of the event with such seamless efficiency. And that lays right at the feet of those that worked so hard to make sure our event and our city was presented in a first class manner. There were no “bit players” in this project, everyone deserves congratulations on a job well done. Many of the volunteers had never even attended a track meet before but performed their charges flawlessly, a testament to the talent and hard work exhibited. I especially want to thank our Team Nebraska mates, the Omaha Endurance Group and the Omaha Running Club. With only one exception the entirety of our volunteer base came from these three groups.
I am going to single out a few people because I worked them like dogs for two days. Dylan Wilson came over from Lincoln Thursday night and didn’t catch his breath until leaving Saturday evening. He shagged the Hammer Throw, the Javelin, and the Discus. Pretty much a moving target for some of the best throwers in the country, he remained alert and thus unscathed. Cade Pearson too was a shagger, this assignment probably the most physically demanding of the event, he still managed to run the Lincoln Mile yesterday.
Jeff Nielsen was my go to guy for anything and everything in operation logistics. He was instrumental in the set up and knock down of our venues, could not have done it without him. Jimmie Doherty accepted every task without hesitation, sometimes in multiples, he was that reliable. James and Julie Castro and Colleen Prybil made my life infinitely easier both Thursday and Friday with their expert organizational skills, Renee Reischl picked right up where they left off and kept things spot on. Haleigh Riggle seemed to have a magic bag in her big red truck, any tool, appliance, or notion required was immediately produced upon request.
Now the good stuff: 5 National Championships meet records! Our own Aubrey Baxter broke the meet record in the Hammer Throw (63.86m) each of her final 3 throws! Jeremy Bascom of Central Park TC set a new 100 meter record in a blazing 10.19. Lalonde Gordon set a new 400 meter standard of 45.02. Zara Northover (Central Park TC) Shot Put: 16.27m. And Kateema Riettie (Central Park TC) Javelin: 54.99m. There was also an American Record for men 40+ set in the 200. And two athletes that will participate in London in just a few weeks.
The Team Nebraska men finished 2nd overall to the Central Park TC, our highest ever finish at the Club Nationals. Event winners were: Nate Polacek in the Pole Vault (4.88m) and Matt Pohren who took the Steeplechase title in a new personal best of 9:06.02. Matt led a Team Nebraska sweep of the medals in that event with Matt Schneider 2nd in 9:25.84 and Cory Logsdon 3rd in 9:32.36.
Others scoring points for our men: Ben Zuch, 2nd High Jump (2.13m), Ross Bunchek, 4th Hammer Throw (56.98m), Jared Shuurmans, 2nd Discus (57.90m) and 2nd Shot Put (16.48m), Richard Eads (6th, 2:00.12) and Andrew Jacob (7th, 2:03.68) in the 800 meters, Virgil Mitchell (6th, 48.69) in the 400 meters and (4th, 21.47) in the 200 meters, and Matt Schneider (4:03.35) in the 1500 meters. Luka Thor (2nd, 33:04.50), Peter Falcon (4th, 33:56.69), and York Thomas (5th, 34:01.76) all contributing in the 10,000 meters. Luka Thor (3rd, 15:18.06), Matt Pohren, (5th, 15:28.25), Eric Rasmussen (6th, 15:32.72) and Cory Logsdon (7th, 15:35.09) scoring in the 5000 meters. Our men’s relay teams also scored: 4 X 800 with Thor, Eads, Jacob, Schneider 2nd in 4:08.75. And DMR 3rd in 10:53.35 (Thor, Pohren, Schneider, Jacob) and the Sprint Medley quartet (3rd, 3:40.35) of Eads, Pohren, Jacob, and Schneider.
You can see that our Good Mates gave everything they had over 2 days, I could not be prouder!
Jeremy Bascom of Central Park TC setting the Championships record of 10.19 in the men’s 100 meters.
Los Dos Matts leading a Team Nebraska sweep of the Steeplechase. Team Nebraska has dominated the Steeple for the last 5 years, something in the water no doubt.
Eric Rasmussen was game, taking the lead for the first 2 plus miles in the Men’s 5000 meters. Bib number 4 is Ruben Sanca who will represent the Cape Verde Islands at London in the 10,000 meters.
It was still 90 degrees on Friday night for the start of the Men’s 10000. In lane 1 is 54 year old Keith Long of the Kansas City Smoke, the oldest qualifier (sub 33:30) entered into the meet.
Matt Schneider pictured here (wearing bandana) in the Men’s 1500 meters, also ran the Steeple and every relay. On the left in yellow is Lincoln Running Company Racing’s president Logan Watley (more on LRC Racing later). And no you are not seeing double, #s 6 and 2 are the Gilhuley twins from CPTC.
All photos courtesy of Justin Mollak. For many more pictures go to our flickr button.
Next up our women!