OMAHA — If Shea Gossett was nervous Friday during the state track meet at Omaha Burke, the Fremont Bergan sophomore certainly didn’t show it.
Gossett finished fourth in the Class C triple jump with a mark of 41-7 3/4. Jordan Tasler of West Holt won the event by going 42-11 3/4.
“Shea had a goal of jumping around 41-6 and he achieved that on his first jump of the day,” Bergan jumps coach Nate Pribnow said. “He has worked hours over the course of the year and seen that work pay off. Minus a few setbacks, he has improved every meet of the year. He has an opportunity to do some special things over the next few years and this is just a start.”
Gossett wasn’t the only underclassman for the Knights to handle the Burke atmosphere like a veteran. Freshman Koa McIntyre qualified for Saturday’s finals in three events.
“There didn’t seem to be any freshman jitters in Koa today as he was the only freshman to make the finals in the 100 and 200,” Bergan coach TJ Folkers said. “He also qualified in the 400. ... We had a cool morning weather-wise and that seemed to help all the athletes run some good times.”
McIntyre had the second-fastest qualifying time in the 100 behind three-time state champion Dylan Kautz of Norfolk Catholic. Kautz ran a prelim of 10.63 while McIntyre finished in 11.06. North Bend senior Sam Buckingham also qualified with a time of 11.16.
In the 400, McIntyre fan a 51.10. North Bend senior Joseph Howser had the second-fastest qualifying time in 50.44. In the 200, the Bergan ninth-grader ran a 22.70 to earn a berth in the finals. Howser also qualified at 22.91.
For the Bergan girls, Haley Kempf repeated as a medalist in the long jump. As a junior, Kempf placed sixth with a leap of 16-2 3/4. On Friday, she went 16-4 1/2 and finished seventh — just an inch-and-a-half out of fifth.
“Haley did a great job competing today,” Pribnow said. “She didn’t earn a spot in the finals until her final preliminary attempt of 16-2 1/4. She did a great job of refocusing and improved in the finals. She has had one heck of a career at Bergan.”
Pribnow said Kempf will finish in the school’s top 10 in the long jump, triple jump and career points.
North Bend picked up 2.5 points in the pole vault. Julia Knapp tied for sixth by clearing 10-0.
In the discus, Erin Prusa of Howells-Dodge was third at 137-3 while Emma Lloyd of Yutan was fourth at 132-1. Allie DeGroff of Bergan threw 118-5 to finish 11th overall.