OMAHA — A year ago, Morgan Dickson didn't get a chance to compete at the state track and field meet because of injuries.
The Sandy Creek senior made up for lost time Saturday at Omaha Burke Stadium, winning the Class girls pole vault with a mark of 10 feet, 8 inches.
"Oh my gosh, I can't even explain how that feels," Dickson said. "That was amazing. I have no words for that.
"Last year I was hurt and didn't get to do pole vault much, so this year I knew I had to do something with it."
Dickson and Norfolk Catholic's Courtney Schindler both cleared 10-8, but Dickson won because she was able to clear it on her first attempt. They both then tried 11 feet, but neither was able to clear the bar.
"I knew I had to be clean all the way through in order to medal at least," Dickson said. "Being cleaned helped me. If I wouldn't have been clean, we would have tied."
Dickson competed at state as a sophomore in 2012, but she failed to clear the lowest height.
She came into Saturday with her best vault of this season being 10 feet.
"I really just wanted to PR. That's all I was thinking," Dickson said. "I wanted the gold, but getting my PR would have been great.
"I got some new poles halfway through the season, so I think that helped a lot."
Dickson also won a medal in the 1,600-meter relay, with Sandy Creek placing eighth in 4 minutes, 13.22 seconds.
Junior Kaylee Fike and sophomores Tiffany Schweer and Hope Svoboda joined Dickson on the relay team. Fike claimed an individual medal as well, placing eighth in the 300 hurdles (47.72).
Also in Class C, St. Cecilia sophomore Lil Sheehy won a pair of medals Saturday with a fifth-place finish in the 200-meter dash in 26.70 seconds and a second-place finish in the 400 (59.89).
Although she was somewhat disappointed with the 200, Sheehy was pleased with her runner-up finish in the 400.
"I just try to come in and do my best," Sheehy said. "I came third (from the preliminaries), so I was in the third lane. I had really tough competition, so I was just trying to stay with the girls who I knew would help me get my time better. Everything just worked out for me in the end."
This marked the second straight year Sheehy competed at state in the 200 and 400, but last year she just missed out on reaching the finals in both events.
"I've improved this year a ton from my freshman year," Sheehy said. "That's a credit to my coaches and my teammates who push me."
With Kearney Catholic's Paige Hervert going well over 38 feet in the triple jump, winning the state title probably wasn't a realistic goal for Superior junior Jaysa Hoins.
But she did the next best thing, finishing second with a jump of 35-6 3/4.
"I know that Paige is really good," Hoins said of Hervert, who won with a jump of 38-8 3/4. "So coming in and getting second is good. I was happy with that."
It wasn't quite her personal best, but Hoins was pleased with mark.
"That's about 4 inches less than my best but it's still a pretty decent jump," Hoins said. "I was just happy to get into the 35s. I would have liked to jump a little better, but that's fine."
The second-place showing highlighted a four-medal performance for Hoins, one more medal than she won at last year's state meet as a sophomore.
She also placed third in the long jump Friday and was eighth in the 100 (12.70) and sixth in the 200 (26.71) Saturday.
"It's exciting," Hoins said. "Last year I came up and I medaled in three, so to medal in that fourth one this year is exciting. I knew it would be hard coming back, especially in the runs. It's always so tight in that short of races. It can one-hundredth of a second difference of whether you are in the finals or not, so I was happy with that."
With just three state competitors, Superior finished with 30 points to finish in sixth place, just four points out of second place. Also for Superior, senior Alex Meyer won the discus on Friday and followed that with a seventh place in the shot put (40-1 3/4) Saturday.
After running on Sutton's second-place 3,200 relay team Friday, junior Delaney Lemkau added three more medals Saturday.
"I feel like I'm building. My freshman year, I started out, 'I want to get there. I want to get there and see how it goes from there.' Each year I have higher goals for myself," Lemkau said. "I wanted those goals; everyone does. But to medal in all four is quite an honor and I'm proud of it. Next year, I hope to bring home some gold."
Individually, she was fifth in the 400 (1:01.43) and third in the 800 (2:26.63). She then capped the state meet by running on Sutton's 1,600 relay team that placed fourth.
"We worked hard at this. At conference, we ran our best time, which I believe was 4:09, so our goal was we obviously wanted that gold," Lemkau said. "But to medal down here is awesome. It shows that all of the hard work you put in — our coach told us you have to hit all of your target times, and every one of my teammates ran the best that they could. To medal fourth is quite an honor here at state."
Junior McKaylea Andersen, sophomore Nicole Keenan and freshman Kailyn Wiseman joined Lemkau on the 1,600 relay team. Wiseman added a fifth-place finish in the 300 hurdles (46.95).
Sutton finished 10th in the team standings with 27 points, 23 of which Lemkau helped contribute.
Also winning a medal from Tribland was Franklin's Jaylin Randall, who placed eighth in the 1,600 (5:35.07).