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State track meet, 5/19/18

Lincoln Southeast's Skyler Peterson competes in the Class A boys pole vault during the 2018 state track meet at Omaha Burke Stadium. Peterson placed second in the event, clearing 15 feet.

Christian

Coach: Mark Canfield.

Boys outlook: The Crusaders have one of the top middle distance runners in Class B in senior Trent Lockhard. He combined with fellow senior Caleb Canfield and sophomore Gavin McGerr on a 3,200 relay last season that finished fifth at state.

Girls outlook: Junior Ally Korte medaled in the 100 and 200 at state last season, and is joined by two other state qualifiers — sophomore Halle Hueser (3,200) and junior Anna Wagner (800).

East

Coach: John Gingery.

Boys outlook: The Spartans bring back experience in throws in junior Tyler Brown (a state medalist in the discus) and middle distance/distance with five state qualifiers — senior Kyle Allen, juniors Javier Kenney, Jake Newman and Thomas Oliver and sophomore Grant Bauman.

Girls outlook: East has all four runners back from last year’s state-record 3,200 relay — senior Madi Muma, juniors Ani Schutz and Taylor Searcey and sophomore Jenna Muma. Madi Muma, a South Dakota recruit, is the two-time defending A 800 state champion, while Jenna captured the 1,600 state gold medal last spring. The Spartans won state cross country last fall, so expect similar results in the middle distance and distance events this spring.

Lincoln High

Coach: Bob White.

Boys outlook: With state record-holder Darius Luff leading the way in the hurdles, the Links will look to defend their state championship.

Girls outlook: The Links have five returning state qualifiers in the distance events — seniors Johanna Schubert and Colleen Arnold, juniors Adrian Vavalas and sophomores Olivia Dilillo and Lola Agena. Junior Alena Isley medaled at state last season in the shot put.

Lutheran

Coach: Sue Ziegler.

Boys outlook: Senior Colton Meyer is one of the top returning hurdlers in Class C and joins senior teammates Jacob Meyer and Noah L’Heureux as members of last year’s 1,600 relay team that took second at state.

Girls outlook: A number of key performers return from last year’s state runner-up team. Senior Josie Puelz is not only on the all-time charts in pole vault, she’s also one of the top hurdlers in Class C. Senior Hope Leimbach is a state runner-up in the long jump and joins Puelz and junior Kelly Kohlhof as returners on a state medalist 400 relay.

Northeast

Coach: John Snoozy.

Boys outlook: The Rockets will build around four juniors — state qualifier Shadon Shannon (400 and 800), sprinters Kaleb Merrill and Nick Halleen and distance runner Tate Le.

Girls outlook: Junior distance runner and state medalist Hannah Ray leads the way. Three others to watch are seniors Kate Schoening (distance), Abby Neill (hurdler) and Aja Nimaya (hurdler).

North Star

Coach: Matt Musiel.

Boys outlook: The Navigators will have one of the best distance runners in the state in sophomore Liem Chot, the Class A state cross country champion last fall. Senior Noah Hudson and juniors Asim Ali and Zach Collins were on state the medalist 3,200 relay last spring, while future Nebraska football walk-on Luke Reimer looks to make an impact in the sprints.

Girls outlook: Senior Jessica Gardner, a state runner-up in the pole vault, leads the way. Senior Addison Barrow (throws) and junior Kaitlin Hellbusch (high jump) also medaled at state.

Parkview Christian

Coach: Savanah Prater.

Boys outlook: Junior Logan Page was a state medalist in the triple jump a year ago. Also look for senior John Hurley and Josh Platter to contribute.

Girls outlook: The Patriots’ foundation is senior Abby Anderson and junior Aleni Rogers.

Pius X

Coach: Bill Rice.

Boys outlook: Rice takes over the head coaching duties from George O’Boyle, who remains with the program as an assistant after being the head coach for 52 years. A group of eight returning senior lettermen is topped by hurdler Austin Jablonski, a Nebraska football walk-on prospect and key member of Pius X’s state championship basketball team earlier this month.

Girls outlook: Thirteen senior letterwinners return, ensuring quality and depth in almost every event. Look for the Thunderbolts to excel in the sprints and middle distances.

Southeast

Coach: Dave Nebel.

Boys outlook: Senior Skyler Peterson looks to be a 16-foot pole vaulter this spring after taking second in Class A a year ago. Seniors Michael Anderson, Trevin Applegate-Devall, Brehan Lambert and Walter Turner also qualified for state last season.

Girls outlook: Junior state medalist Sandra Leybold leads seven returning state qualifiers, a list that includes four seniors — Cali Eichelberger, Jhanna McCullough, Isabell Monzon and Emma Reimann.

Southwest

Coach: Brett Schuster.

Boys outlook: The Silver Hawks were just half a point from a state title last season. Ten state medalists return, a list topped by junior middle distance/distance runner Jack Nolley and senior sprinter Caden McCormack, an NU football walk-on recruit.

Girls outlook: Southwest lost some major contributors off last year’s state championship team, but senior hurdler McKenzie Steiner, junior thrower Abbie Squier and junior middle distance/distance runner Lindsey Blehm provide a solid base to build on.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7437 or rpowell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @ronpowell_ljs.

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Sports reporter

Ron Powell is a longtime prep writer for the Journal Star. He covers high school football, boys basketball and track as well as state college football and Husker and professional tennis.

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