On Thursday, April 29th, the O’Neill Lady Eagles track team had several athletes qualify for the annual Northeast Nebraska Classic Track Invitational. Of the six girls that qualified, all but one brought home a medal. The following qualified: Alyssa Eichleberger: 4 x 100 and 4 x 400; Blair Gutshall: 100HH, 4 x 100 and 4 x 400;Meg Schluns: 800M, Long Jump, 4 x 100 and 4 x 400; Lauren Young: Triple Jump; Ashley Dickau: 3200M; and Zelie Sorensen: Pole Vault and 4 x 100.
Meg Schluns was the first medalist on the day as she placed third in the Long Jump going 16-9. Fellow jumper, Lauren Young, also fared well placing second in the Triple Jump with a new personal best leap of 36-5.
Senior Blair Gutshall was the next Eagle to get on the awards stand as she clocked a new personal best time of 15.42 and tied for second place in the 100 High Hurdles.
Zelie Sorenson equaled her personal best in the Pole Vault at 9-2 to finish in a tie for third place.
The 4 x 100 Relay team of Alyssa Eichelberger, Blair Gutshall, Meg Schluns and Zelie Sorensen finished in second place with a time of 50.91.
Alyssa, Blair and Meg were then joined by freshman, Autumn Hilker, to compete in the 4 x 400 and ran their personal best time of 4:14.03 to finish in fourth place.
“We had many personal bests again at the Classic and our girls competed at a high level. It is always exciting to compete against the best athletes in Northeast Nebraska.”
The O'Neill Lady Eagles Track and Field team traveled to Pierce on Saturday, May 1 for the always competitive Mid State Conference Track Meet and fared very well. O'Neill finished as runner-up to Boone Central 103-96.
In a day of multiple personal best performances, none stood out more than junior Zelie Sorensen. Sorensen won the 200M Dash in a new school and Mid State Conference record time of 25.59. Zelie broke the 23 year old school record of 25.64 set by Rita Kitchens in 1998 and the Mid State meet record of 25.79 set in 2019 by former Cedar Catholic and current University of South Dakota standout, Sara Reifenrath. Zelie also finished 2nd in the Pole Vault at 8-0 and was the anchor leg of the 4 x 100 Relay team that ran their personal best time of 50.56. Other members of the relay were Alyssa Eichelberger, Blair Gutshall and Meg Schluns.
Another highlight of the day was Blair Gutshall's return to the High Jump. Blair had not high jumped since her sophomore year and ended up winning the event with a new personal best leap of 5-3. Blair attempted 5-4.5 to to break the school record of 5-4, but was unsuccessful. Blair also sped to a new personal best time of 15.37 in the 100 High Hurdles finishing in 2nd place.
Lauren Young had a great day as well finishing second in the Triple Jump (35-1.5) and third in the Long Jump with a new personal best leap of 16-7. Lauren also made her season debut in the 100M Dash finishing in third place with a new personal best time of 13.06.
Freshman Presley Heiss continues to impress and improve every meet and placed in both the 100 and 200 dashes. Heiss improved her times on both events running 13.23 placing fifth in the 100 and 27.41 in the 200 placing sixth.
Another freshman placing in the meet was Ashley Dickau who finished in third in the 3200 at 13:36.61.
Meg Schluns was another Eagle who had a great day. Schluns running the 400 for the first time this season sprinted to a new personal best time of 61.68 to finish in 2nd place. She also finished 4th in the Long Jump going 16-4.5. Schluns was joined by Gutshall, Autumn Hilker and Alyssa Eichelberger to win the 4 x 400 Relay with a time of 4:15.55.
Others with personal bests at the meet were: Minlu Liu with a 28.66 in the 200; Becky Hupp with a 31-10 in the Shot Put; Hana Miller 23-7.5 in the Shot Put and Preslie Robertson in the 100HH with a time of 19.03.
"I have been coaching track for over 30 years and I have never experienced anything like I did today at the Mid State Conference Meet. I've never witnessed so many athletes performing at such a high level. Zelie Sorensen breaking a school record that I did not think would get touched for a long time is a big deal. I thought we could finish in the top three at the Conference Meet and came really close to winning it all just getting edged out by seven points by Boone Central.
We just had so many great performances today and we are really starting to peak at the right time as we head into Districts on May 14th. We will be competing in our final regular season meet on May 7th at Norfolk Catholic," said Coach Mike Peterson.