Lopers Hold Home Meet

Lopers Hold Home Meet
Bailey Bryant-Photo Courtesy UNK Sports
April 19th, 2021 | Peter Yazvac-UNK Sports Information

Kearney, Neb. – Redshirt junior Baylie Bryant and redshirt sophomores Alex Goracke and Seth Simonson set new school records at the Loper Invitational Sunday evening at Kearney High School. 
This non-team scoring meet was pushed back two full days due to weather. Chadron State, Colorado-Colorado Springs, Dodge City C.C. and several unattached athletes from Nebraska were the competition. 

Bryant (Holdrege) broke a seven-year old mark in the pole vault, Goracke bested a 12-year old standard in the hammer with Simonson surpassing a 20-year old record at 800 meters. In all, UNK won 13 events on the day, was runner up 17 times and dominated several events.  

In the women’s vault Bryant and UNL freshmen Hannah Preissler each cleared 12-3.25 with Bryant coming in second by clearing the height on her final attempt. Preissler did it on try two. Brooke Frederick had held the Loper vault record (12-2.75) since April 2014.

Next, Goracke won the hammer thanks to a toss of 193-3 with Central City redshirt junior Andrew Schuller three spots back (187-5). The effort just sneaks past the records of 193-2, set by Brandon Karlin in April 2009. On the track, Simonson was one of four Lopers in the top five in the 800 and won thanks to a 1:50.09. All-American Joe Cooper had a 1:50.23 at the 2001 NCAA Championships. Coming in second was McCool Junction redshirt sophomore Luke Stuckey with the sixth best time (1:51.01) in school history.

McCook redshirt junior Tiara Schmidt had one of her best days as a Loper and that says a lot. She was runner won both the hammer (191-1) and shot put (50-2.50) thanks to career-best tosses. Schmidt joins Kearney State legend Jill Stenwall as the only Loper women to reach 50 feet in the shot while she now ranks third all-time in the hammer. Fellow All-Americans Janet Boettcher (194-7) and Danyell Coons (192-0) are just above her.

Also winning on the women’s side was Grand Island redshirt junior Mackenzie Puckett (triple jump/38-7.75), Imperial redshirt junior Destiny Reinke (1,500/4:49.47), Kearney redshirt junior Anna Squiers (discus/145-4), Gothenburg redshirt freshman Hannah Anderson (800/2:15.76), Aurorafreshman Kyla Carlson (400/58.40) and O’Neill freshman Abby Everitt (high jump/5-8) with Elm Creek sophomore Claire Cornell runner up in the long jump (19-0.50). Both Everitt and Cornell now rank fourth in their respective events in school history; Everitt actually ties her older sister, Emily. Finally, Omaha redshirt sophomore Alyssa Schlaht was second in that event (5-6) and moves into eighth place in Loper lore.

Simonson ran the second leg for the winning 4×4 relay team (3:15.56) with Ogallala redshirt junior Max Lindgren coming in first in the 1,500 (4:05.20). That event saw UNK go 1-3. Next, Ravenna freshman Jack Drahota won the 400 hurdles (54.54) with Goracke second in the shot (52-7.25) as was Holdrege redshirt senior Blake Schroeder in the discus (164-0). Finally, Kansas redshirt freshman Evan Prohaska had the fourth best toss in UNK history in the javelin (193-9) to place fourth.

Next weekend finds the Lopers in Iowa (Drake Relays) and Kansas (Pitt State Tune Up).


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