Tiani Reeves leads a group of five Swede state qualifiers
The Gothenburg girls didn’t let some challenging weather conditions affect them Thursday at the District B-5 track meet at Lexington.
“The weather was probably not optimum for performances,” Swede coach Steve Reeves said. “What trumps (the weather) is that it is district. Your competitors are going to compete hard.
“People are fighting for a spot for Omaha and sometimes you forget about the elements.”
Holdrege dominated the team standings with 126 points. Grand Island Northwest was next with 88 points and Gothenburg placed third with 72.
Rain and wind challenged competitors as the field events began. A 40-minute delay in the action allowed most of the moisture to leave the area.
Tiani Reeves ignored the early rain by starting off with what would be her winning long jump of 17-6. It was the first of four gold medal performances by the talented sophomore.
Next up for Reeves was the triple jump, a new event for her this season. She stopped the action for a while with her winning TJ of 38-7, which broke the state record for Class B district meets by an inch and a half. (That mark was eclipsed the same day by Tierra Williams of Auburn with a distance of 39-4.)
“I didn’t know if we would triple jump her this year,” coach Reeves said. “I think she’s only taken 10 jumps all year. That’s something she can fare very well in down at state.”
Tiani got a taste of the event about five years ago at an AAU meet. She didn’t try it as a freshman because of injuries.
Tiani won her third individual gold in the 200 with a time of 25.57 seconds. She’ll likely be battling Williams in this event, too, as the Auburn senior brings the best district time of :25.13.
The elder Reeves said he had a tough decision to make about whether to run Tiani in the 400-meter dash, where she is among the Class B leaders in the event, or the 1600 relay.
“I thought it was more important to try to get some extra girls down to state,” the coach said.
Reeves anchored the relay that also featured Regan Geiken, Aryn Meisinger and MaKaela Franzen. The foursome earned gold with a time of 4:07.98 which ranks No. 4 on the Swede all-time chart.
“I’m glad we’ve got an opportunity to run a 1600 relay,” coach Reeves said. “Hopefully, it builds some team camaraderie. Even though it’s an individual sport, we sure preach the team aspect.”
Geiken earlier turned in the meet’s best time in the open 400 at 1:01.49 to win the gold medal.
“Regan ran a strong 400 as she got out strong and had a nice finish into a pretty good breeze,” the coach said. “I thought she had a good shot to win the district if she ran a solid race, which she did.”
Gothenburg’s other qualifier came from a weight event, but it wasn’t the one anticipated.
Junior Emily Franzen barely scratched on a shot attempt that would have won the event, but couldn’t match that distance with her remaining throws. She finished sixth.
Franzen shook off the disappointment and qualified for state in the discus with a third place effort of 114-4.
“That shows a lot about her character,” coach Reeves said. “She could have been very disappointed because we thought her best opportunity to qualify was probably in the shot. She was kind of on the bubble in the discus.
Classes B and D compete in the afternoon session Friday at Omaha Burke.