OMAHA — The Bruning-Davenport/Shickley girls track and field team has made a habit out of finishing in the top three at the state meet. The previous two state competitions, the Eagles placed second and third.
This year was no different.
BDS finished second in the team standings at this year's state track and field meet at Burke Stadium in Omaha on Saturday. The Eagles tallied 60 1/2 points, just 4 1/2 points fewer than state champion St. Mary's.
"We dropped the baton in the 4x1, and they really responded well to that. They came back and ran as hard as they could and the best that they could, and we got right back in the team race," said BDS head coach Fred Kluck. "We had a chance in the triple jump. We got passed in the last jump, or else we would have won the whole thing."
The Eagles received some big individual performances, especially from Catherine and Jennifer Mick.
After winning the pole vault on Friday, Catherine followed with a pair of silver medals in the 100-meter hurdles (15.58) and the 300 hurdles (45.73). In the 300 hurdles, Mick finished 0.06 seconds behind Pawnee City's Shelby Hundly.
"It was hard. I didn't know who had quite won because we both were right there," Catherine said. "It feels bad to lose, but it was a hard race and we both ran hard."
Catherine, who is a sophomore, is the back-to-back pole vault champion. She hopes this year was just a sign of things to follow in her career.
"It was a great experience. Coming out here, I just wanted to do my best and finish off the year good. It ended up better than I expected," she said. "It feels really good to be here my freshman and sophomore years. I'm really lucky I stayed healthy and came back.
"Hopefully, I'll come back and hopefully get better. That's all you can hope for."
Kluck said Catherine's attitude seems more like a seasoned veteran than a sophomore.
"Catherine's a special kid. She doesn't let much bother her, and she stays focused really well. That's hard to do, especially down here where there is lots of stuff going on around you," he said. "She can block everything out, keep her focus and just run her race."
Jennifer also recorded a pair of second-place finishes. In the 100-meter dash, Jennifer ran the race in 12.83 seconds, just 0.03 seconds behind Regan Miller of Axtell. In the 200, Jennifer was second with a time of 26.56.
"It was my last one ever. I'm done now, as a senior. I was just sitting there thinking, 'I'm just going to run my race, and whatever happens, happens," she said. "A week in a half ago, I strained my hip flexor, and I didn't even know if I would be here. So, coming here and finishing second in the 100 and the 200 feels really good."
Kluck said Jennifer had an impressive day, especially considering the fact that he and the other coaches weren't entirely sure they would have her competing after the district meet.
"Jennifer had been hurt going into districts, so we didn't run her very hard, we didn't practice her very hard, and we've really just rested here for the last two weeks, so we didn't know what she would be able to do," Kluck said. "Obviously, she did really well. To get second in the 100 and second in the 200 is special at the state track meet. She bounced back like we had hoped she would."
Joining Jennifer in the 200 was Jill Schroeder, who finished fifth (26.89). Jennifer said the two have been competitive all season.
"We've been going at it all year. She beat me in districts, so we were coming into state and didn't really know what to think," she said. "After prelims, we were sitting second and third and we thought, 'Let's go get this.' It was really cool to have a teammate with me."
Last year, Jennifer's highest individual finish was fifth place, so she's glad she could end her career on a high note.
"It was a good way to end my senior year," she said.
Schroeder also finished second in the triple jump, leaping a distance of 35 feet, 6 3/4 inches, and she was a part of the 1,600 relay team, which placed sixth (4:20.54). While the Eagles wanted to win the team state title, Schroeder admits that second place isn't a bad finish.
"Last year, we ended third, and the year before we were second. This year, we were going in trying to get everybody to get their best times and distances for field events," Schroeder said. "We were really hoping to get first overall, but second in the state, I like that too."
Giltner's Kelbie Lyon repeated as the shot put champion, finishing with a throw of 40-9 1/2.
"It's a great feeling. I was coming in here really stressed out because there are so many great throwers here," Lyon said. "It's just a great feeling to go back-to-back."
Lyon said there wasn't as much drama as the first time she won the title.
"Last year was more emotional because I had to get it on my last throw," she said. "This year, it was just keep working hard and consistency. That's what it really was this year."
Red Cloud's Maria Ockinga had a big day. She placed third in the 400 (1:00.52) and fourth in the 200 (26.83). Lawrence-Nelson's Molly McCartney also earned a medal, finishing sixth in the 1,600-meter run (5:35.71).