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Area athletes pull in gold medal haul at State Track

Local4 TODAY
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 11:49 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (KSNB) - Two days done, two more to go.

That was the mantra for anybody and everybody helping put on the State Track & Field Championships this year at Burke Stadium in Omaha, but on Friday, it was just day one for Classes C and D. It was also a much colder day than Classes A and B saw through Wednesday and Thursday.

In the Class D Boys Triple Jump, Riverside’s Tony Berger took home the gold medal with a jump of 44′ 3.25″, and for Berger - he said winning this year is the cap on what could possibly be considered a revenge tour.

”It feels nice,” he said. “Last year I got 3rd in triple jump, so it feels nice to come home with the gold. It really just completes it, puts a cap on my high school career and feels good to win it for Riverside.”

In the Class C Girls Pole Vault, GICC’s Marissa Rerucha earned a first place finish thanks to her vault that cleared 11′6″, and while she’s a state champion, she admitted it’s a bittersweet moment for her.

”It feels great,” Rerucha said right after the win. “Obviously I”m really sad that it is over, but I couldn’t have asked for a better season, and it’s just been great. It means everything. This is all that I could really ask for. I have worked so hard for this, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

As for the Class C Girls Long Jump, we saw another local athlete standing atop the podium as state record holder Ella Gardner of Superior soared to another title with a jump of 18′ 3.25″. She said it was her strong start that helped propel her to the title.

“My best jump was in the prelims, so that was nice to get a good jump down first, and then to be able to build from there having a good one and then being able to just cruise through the finals - it’s incredible,” Gardner said. “I broke the Class C record earlier this year, so that was nice. To be able to come here and win state and not mess it up is really nice.”

Sticking with the long jump but jumping to Class D Girls, Fullerton’s Teagan Gonsior claimed the gold after outpacing the field with a jump of 17′8″. When she caught up with Local4, she had a few thank you’s to dish out.

”I am very grateful for my team and my coaches and my family because they have helped me be where I am at today,” Gonsior said. “I felt that I had a lot of pressure on me to repeat, but I just kept my nerves down and knew what I had to do.”

In the Class D Boys High Jump, we have a story you have to see to believe. Shelton’s Zach Myers won the event after clearing the bar at 6′4″, but he didn’t exactly take a traditional path to the top of the podium in Omaha.

”To be honest, this is my first year doing high jump,” Myers admitted. “I really haven’t done track in my high school career, and it feels good to end a state champion. Well, Mr. Ropers told me to get it on my first attempt, and that I would get it, so I just listened to him and said a little prayer before it happened.”

Finally, one of the more expected local champions of the meet, the Axtell Boys 4x800 Meter Relay Team cruised to a gold medal with a winning time of 8:30.27.

”It is an amazing feeling,” said Axtell’s Keyton Cole. “It’s my first year coming to State, and I knew we had a chance to get first, and we just wanted to go for our school record, and we pushed for it, and if we got first, we got first.”

Through just five events scored, North Platte St. Pats is atop the team standings for both Class D Boys and Girls, while Battle Creek is in the lead for Class C Boys, while Superior leads the pack for the Class C Girls.

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