CRETE — Sprinter Morgan Mahoney is not only running for herself and her Beatrice girls track and field teammates this spring, she’s also putting a little extra effort in for her older brother as well.
Andrew Mahoney, now a freshman on the Doane track team, never got the opportunity to run at the state meet again after medalling in the Class B boys 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes in 2018 as a sophomore.
A hamstring injury ended his junior season three weeks before the district meet. Andrew Mahoney tore his ACL during the summer between his junior and senior year and missed the 2019 football campaign before COVID-19 ended everyone’s track season last spring.
Little sister made big brother proud in the stands at Doane’s Papik Field for the Crete Invitational meet Thursday. Morgan, a junior, won both the girls 100 (12.49 seconds) and 200 (:26.14) on a warm, sunny day ideal for sprinters.
“He’s definitely pushed me and has done a lot to help me become a better runner,” said Morgan, the Class B state leader in the 200 with a :25.94 time (eighth in the state overall) earlier this season. “I would love to go out and accomplish some of what he never had a chance to do.”
Morgan took seventh in the 100 two years ago at state as a freshman. Added strength and endurance this spring makes her a double gold medal threat next month at state as her :12.49 in the 100 is currently second in the Class B charts.
“I’ve been keeping up with the other schools and how their girls have been running,” said Mahoney, a three-sport athlete at Beatrice who also competes in softball and basketball. “I’m up there, so if I compete well, I should be able to do pretty good.”
Morgan’s ability to push through hotly contested races was evident in the 200 Thursday. Norris’ Taylor Bredthauer held a slight lead with 40 meters to go, only to see Mahoney surge at the end to win it.
“The end of my races are a lot stronger than my starts,” Mahoney said. “I knew I had to push myself (in the 200) because Taylor’s a good competitor and I knew I had to give it my all there at the finish.”
Waverly captured the girls team title behind another three-gold-medal performance from Nebraska volleyball recruit Whitney Lauenstein. The senior won the 100 high hurdles (:15.59), the 300 low hurdles (:46.10), high jump (5 feet, 7 inches) to lead the Vikings to a 130-110 edge over runner-up Gretna in the nine-team meet.
Waverly also had a triple winner on the boys side in junior Hogan Wingrove, who took home gold in the 110 highs (:15.34), 300 intermediates (:40.30) and the triple jump (41-7¼). But Gretna prevailed in the boys team race with 147 points, 12 more than the runner-up Vikings.
Wayne State football and track recruit Trevor Marshall led Gretna with a pair of first-place finishes in the 100 (:11.06) and high jump (6-5). The senior’s season-best of 6-7 in the high jump is second in the state overall as well as Class A behind 6-9 from Elkhorn South’s Reid Nelson, a Nebraska recruit.
“That’s the first 100 I’ve run since my freshman year, and to run an :11.06, I’m pretty impressed with that,” said Marshall, a Class A all-state football player this past fall after playing wide receiver and punting for the Dragons. “A lot of football training is focused on (weight) lifting, but track helps me with my speed development and gives me something to do in the spring.”