Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney track and field team won seven events at the annual Alex Francis Classic Thursday in Hays, Kans.
This rare team scored meet was moved up a full day due to expected poor weather on Friday. The Loper women tallied 171.50 points to finisher runner up in an 11-team field. The host Fort Hays State Tigers literally snuck past UNK by tallying 173.0 points. The 13-team men’s race was equally as close as Barton (Kan.) C.C. scored 154.0 points to beat out the Tigers (153.25) and the Lopers (129.50)
Both Kearney teams had strong efforts in the 4×4 relay, the 1,500 meter run and the shot put. Winning individual events was Colorado senior Micheala Hoffman (400 hurdles), Utica junior Tanner Barth (shot), Deweese junior Corbin Hansen (5,000), Imperial sophomore Destiny Reinke (1,500) and McCook sophomore Tiara Schmidt (shot).
Schmidt had career-high efforts in both the shot (47-11.25) and hammer (166-0) where she came in sixth. She moves up to eighth on the UNK all-time list in the shot and into 10th place on the hammer list. Waco senior Mackenzie Crowder (44-4) was third in the shot with Colorado junior Logan Prater sixth. She led UNK in the hammer with a toss of 169-7 to finish third.
Five Loper men cracked the top nine in the shot led by Barth (career-best 55-1) and Elm Creek senior Jacob Bartling (2nd/54-6). Earlier in the meet Bartling led UNK in the discus by coming in third (159-7).
The 1,500 meter run saw five Loper women in the top nine and seven in the top 17 on the men’s side. Reinke turned in a 5:00.36 to win with Iowa sophomore Maddie Bach the runner up (5:02.08). McCool junior freshman Luke Stuckey ran a 4:10.19 to lead the men with a sixth place finish.
Next, Hoffman ran a 1:06.91 to win the 400 hurdles after coming in third in the 100 hurdles (14.82). Finally on the women’s side, Abie freshman Rebekah Roh was second in the 400 (57.96), Holdrege sophomore Baylie Bryant came in second in the pole vault (10-11.75) with Kearney senior Lacie Lindner runner up in the 800 (2:22.20) and ran the first leg on the winning 4×4 squad (4:12.47).
Hansen paced the men’s 5,000 field in 15:07.25 with five Lopers in the 800 top nine. That large group was led by Hastings freshman Seth Simonson (1:55.16) who came second. He also was the anchor for the first place 4×4 team (3:26.55). Finally, Deweese junior Trace Gordanier and Florida sophomore Montrez Jackson both clearing 6-2.75 to tie for second in the high jump.
Most of the Loper team will head to Boulder, Colo., next Saturday for the Colorado Invite with a few distance runners in Wichita on Friday night for the Friends University Distance Carnival.