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Despite 'coldest meet yet' Links' DeFrand keeps the heat on with another chart finish at Harold Scott

Despite 'coldest meet yet' Links' DeFrand keeps the heat on with another chart finish at Harold Scott

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Dajaz DeFrand passed on running the girls 100-meter dash to save all of her energy for the 200 at the Harold Scott Invitational track and field meet Thursday at Beechner Athletic Complex.

It turned out to be a good strategy that would’ve worked out even better in warmer weather.

The Lincoln High junior moved into fourth on the state’s all-time 200 charts with the third-fastest electronic time in state history — a meet record of 24.36 seconds in the cloudy, cool and breezy conditions.

“It felt good, but it was really hard to warm up,” said DeFrand, beating her previous best this season of :24.52.

"This is the coldest meet yet," added DeFrand, who owns the fastest electronic time in state history in the girls 100 with the :11.67 she ran earlier this season. "I was able to beat my PR and improve, so I’m happy with it."

DeFrand’s teammate, Neryah Hekl, claimed the 100 gold medal in :12.32, then the duo combined with Jamiah Patterson and Zainab Funnah to win the 400 relay (:49.03).

A number of other meet records fell in the 13-team meet, including the girls pole vault mark which is now 11 feet, 9 inches, by state leader and Lincoln Pius X senior Anna Vedral, who started the event less than four months ago.

Vedral had to balance the end of the pole vault competition with the 100 high hurdles preliminaries.

"I had just cleared 11-9 when I had to go over, switch out my pole vault shoes to track cleats and jump in the race without warming up," said Vedral, who ended up later winning the 100 hurdle finals in :15.69. "I’m still learning how to balance the pole vault with the hurdles, but it worked out today."

Vedral went to 12-6 for her next attempts, "because of how much I cleared 11-9," she said.

But Thursday was her first time on 14-foot poles, "and a lot of my steps were all messed up," Vedral said. "Just like everything else with the pole vault, it will take some time to get my steps and timing down with a bigger pole."

Lincoln Southeast’s Brady Koolen broke the boys pole vault record by going 15-5. Koolen, who leads the state with the 16-0 he recorded Tuesday at the Nebraska Track & Field Festival, went for the Class A state record by going to 16-5 with his next attempts.

On his final two jumps, Koolen was over the bar, only to knock it off with his chest on the way down.

Elkhorn South’s Gabe Hinrichs erased the previous record in the boys 1,600 with a 4:17.04, the fastest time in the state this spring. Hinrichs also won the 3,200 (9:24.66) to help lead the Storm to the boys team title by a 129-101 margin over Fremont.

Elkhorn South’s Reid Nelson, who committed to Nebraska earlier this week, won three golds to pace the Storm boys — the high jump (6-7), long jump (22-½) and the 200 (:22.15).

Other Lincoln boys winners were Pius X’s Sam Easley in the 400 (:51.38), Javon Luety of Lincoln High in the 110 high hurdles (:15.47) and Southeast’s Zendrick O’Neal in the triple jump (45-3¼). The Knights also won the 400 relay.

Pius X’s Kate Campos made it a Thunderbolt sweep in the girls hurdles by taking the 300s in :46.37. Fremont, which won the girls team championship 107.50-89 over Sioux Falls (Iowa) O’Gorman, eclipsed the meet record in the 3,200 relay with a state-leading time of 9:32.21.

O’Gorman’s Alea Hardie now owns the girls 1,600 record with her 5:00.29.


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High school 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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