NORFOLK — Fremont High School won a girls district track championship on Friday for the first time since 2005.
The Tigers edged fellow Heartland Athletic Conference school Lincoln East 126-117.33 for the title in the A-2 district at Johnny Carson Field.
“It wasn’t a surprise to us that we had a shot to win it,” Fremont coach TJ Roffers said. “We knew we had to have a lot of things go our way, but we also knew we had girls that we could count on at the top level. This meant a lot to us coaches, but it also meant a lot to the girls.”
The Tigers qualified 13 athletes for the state meet, scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Omaha Burke.
“We got about everyone there that we were hoping to qualify,” Roffers said. “Now we are ready for the next challenge.”
The Tigers set one school record and a pair of freshmen school marks on their way to the championship. The 1,600-meter relay team of Taylor McCabe, Avery Decker, Elli Dahl and Lucy Dillon won in a school-record time of 4:02.69. The previous best was 4:04.
“That is something that has been coming this season and to do that in the last event at districts to win the (team) championship was great to see,” Roffers said.
Dillon set a FHS freshmen record by winning the 400 meters in 57.99. She also led the FHS scoring brigade in the 800. She won the race in 2:18.35. McCabe was second in 2:18.54 while Decker, a Nebraska Wesleyan recruit, was fourth in 2:18.82.
The three Tigers and third-place finisher Jenna Muma of East recorded the four best times in the state this spring, according to the Lincoln Journal Star track charts.
“Those three girls for us are super-talented athletes, but they are also among the best kids in our school,” Roffers said. “To see them have the success they are having is exactly why you coach. They are hard working and talented, but they know how to compete as well.”
Dahl also had an individual victory. She took top honors in the 1,600 in 5:10.62. Teammates Mara Hemmer (5:20.58) and Myia Johnson (5:27.61) were fourth and sixth, respectively.
In the 3,200, Hemmer was second in 11:23.63 while Dahl was third in 11:28.39. Emily Nau finished sixth in 11:42.04.
“Elli had some issues with migraines Friday,” Roffers said. “In the two-mile, it caught up with her a bit, but she really came back in the mile. She was in third place with 200 meters to go and outkicked two Lincoln East girls (Muma and Taylor Searcey) to win it. That just shows her heart and determination. She also showed that in the 4x4.”
Fremont also won the 3,200-meter relay. Johnson, Decker, McCabe and Mia Wagner notched an eight-second victory over East with a time of 9:41.14.
Senior Juanita Mendoza finished second to state leader Jaidyn Garrett of Columbus in the pole vault. Mendoza hit a season best of 10-8.
“Every year she has gone to districts and hit her season best — not just by a couple of inches, but by showing big-time improvement,” Roffers said. “She seems to peak at the right time of the year.”
Hailey Newill broke Mendoza’s FHS freshmen record by clearing 9-0 to place seventh.
The Tigers also got a second-place finish in the discus. Freshman Allison Ramirez had a mark of 114-4.
“She keeps getting better and hopefully she can score some state meet points,” Roffers said.
Tania Gleason (12.95) and Kennedy Jones (13.15) went 2-3 in the 100 meters. Gleason was third in the 200 (26.99) while Jones was sixth in 27.57. The two joined Mendoza and Shelby Bracker on the 400-meter relay team that placed third in 51.23. Bracker also finished sixth in the 300-meter hurdles (49.84).
Roffers believes this is the most talented FHS team since the 2005 squad finished seventh in Class A. That squad featured 800-meter champion Lisa Baumert and also won the 3,200-meter relay that spring.
“It is the strongest group we’ve had since the last time we won a district championship,” he said. “We’re excited to see what they can do at Burke.”
A-2 district tournament
Team Scores — Fremont 126, Lincoln East 117.33, Omaha Central 81, Columbus 64.33, Papillion-La Vista 56, Norfolk 48, Millard South 34.33.
Event Winners and FHS Placers
Discus — 1. Jordan McDonald, PLV, 122-11. 2. Allison Rameriz, F, 114-04.
Shot Put — 1. Abigail Gerber, C, 49-9 1.4. 8. Mackenzie Kinning, F, 34-6 3/4.
Triple Jump — 1. Lilee Kaasch, MS, 36-4.
Long Jump — 1. Alahna Davis, Central, 16-7 3/4.
Pole Vault — 1. Jaidyn Garrett, C, 12-6. 2. Juanita Mendoza, F, 10-8. 7. Hailey Newill, F, 9-0.
High Jump — 1. Erica Broin, PLV, 5-4.
3,200-Meter Relay — 1. Fremont (Myia Johnson, Avery Decker, Taylor McCabe, Mia Wagner), 9:41.14.
1,600-Meter Relay — 1. Fremont (McCabe, Decker, Elli Dahl, Lucy Dillon) 4:02.69 (new school record).
400-Meter Relay — 1. Omaha Central, 50.24. 3. Fremont (Mendoza, Kennedy Jones, Shelby Bracker, Tania Gleason), 51.23.
300-Meter Hurdles — 1. Kylie Johnson, LE, 46.79. 6. Bracker, F, 49.84.
100-Meter Hurdles — 1. Johnson, LE, 15.42.
3,200 Meters — 1. Abbie Schmidt, LE, 11:22.61. 2. Mara Hemmer, F, 11:23.63. 3. Dahl, F, 11:28.39. 6. Emily Nau, F, 11:42.04.
1,600 Meters — 1. Dahl, F, 5:10.62. 4. Hemmer, F, 5:20.58. 6. Myia Johnson, F, 5:27.61.
800 Meters — 1. Dillon, F, 2:18.35. 2. McCabe, F, 2:18.54. 4. Decker, F, 2:18.82.
400 Meters — 1. Dillon, F, 57.99.
200 Meters — 1. Elly Hartter, LE, 25.90. 3. Tania Gleason, F, 26.99. 6. Kennedy Jones, F, 27.57.
100 Meters — 1. Davis, Central, 12.77. 2. Gleason, F, 12.95. 3. Jones, F, 13.15.