KEARNEY - The York College track team headed to the University of Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday for a preseason meet. Head Coach Justin Carver came away very pleased with his squads' performances and the outlook they will get to take into break. "We have been training extremely hard this semester and having a meet to compete at before break is huge. It gets us out of the normal practice routine and gives the athletes a chance to see where they're at," he said. "I was excited to see where everyone was at, especially with the tough competition. We have some extremelly talented individuals who compete with true grit and heart. We had some adversity in both relays and kept our head and ran great times. Very proud of the team and our start to the season.... KIA KAHA!!!"
Madeleine Martinez (FR/San Antonio, Texas) finished third in the mile to lead the Panthers in top place finishes. She finished in 6:08.40. Ashley Dugan (JR/Spring Hill, Fla) and Camery Nielsen (JR/Bradshaw, Neb) were two other highlights as they each qualified for the National Christian College Athletic Association's National Championships in the heptathlon. Dugan scored 2735 points and Nielsen scored 2393. Nielsen also qualified in the 60 meter hurles with a time of 10.20 seconds.
Haley Stigger broke the school record in the 600 yard run. Ashley Dugan broke the school record in the long jump with a jump of 17 feet 3 inches.
The women's 4x320 relay broke the school record. Those athletes included Dugan, Darrien Gomez (SO/Cozad, Neb), Sabrina Austin (JR/Morrill, Neb), and Hannah Rohda (FR/Omaha, Neb).
Kennedy Crowder (SO/Hudson High, Fla) also made the finals in the long jump.
Dean Simon (SO/Hudson, Fla) and Mason Held (SO/West Fork, Ark) led the way for the Panthers. Simon took first place in the 60 meter dash with a time of 6.93 seconds and qualified for NCCAA and NAIA nationals. Mason Held took first in the 200 meter dash and the 600 yard dash. His 200 meter time of 23.15 was fast enough to qualify for the NCCAA national meet.
Cameron Sorter (JR/Seaside, Ore) won the 800 meter dash in a time of 2:02.50. The Panthers controlled that race as Levi Swenson, Kyle Wynn (FR/Waukegan, Ill), and Zachary Cayton (FR/Phoenix, Ariz) finished in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Brandin Fry (SR/West Fork, Ark) qualified for the NCCAA National meet in the heptathlon with a score of 3938. He was the top NAIA finisher in the heptathlon. He also qualified for the NCCAA National meet in the high jump.
York also finished third in the 4x320 relay. Participants included Evans Francis (JR/Omaha, Neb), Simon, Cameron Merrill (FR/Edmond, Okla), and Held. They finished with a time of 2:45.37. Their time broke the school record.