Great Moments, Track & Field:
- 2014: “To Close to Call”:
Darren & Damon Schmadeke of Albion High School
The Schmadeke twins finished in a 1-2 photo finish (Darren at 22.65 and Damon at 22.66 seconds) in the Class C 200 meter dash at the 1991 Track State Championships. Their efforts were a part of the Class C state title secured by the team.
- 2006: “Robert Rands, Bellevue East, and The Jump that beat THE Jump”:
Just as we’ve touted Gale Sayers’ 1961 long jump record leap of 24-10 1/2 as a great moment in high school athletics, we are just as eager for the athlete who broke that record to be elevated to similar status. The honor goes to Robert Rands, a 2005 Bellevue East graduate, for his 25-feet, 1/4-inch jump in March, 2005, to break the NFL star’s 44-year-old record, and for his 24-11 1/4 that replaced the Sayers’ state meet record.
- 2004: “Lift Off”:
Grand Island Central Catholic pole vaulters Gable Baldwin and Jenny Green setting state records (16-4, 13-3, respectively) at the Central Nebraska Track Championships and state meet records (16-0, 13-0) in 2003.
- 2002: “A Track & Field Machine”:
Tony Little, the one-man track team from Mullen, won the 220, long jump, and triple jump and came in second in the 100-yard dash to score all of Mullen’s 38 points in the 1977 State meet to win the Class D state championship single-handedly for his school. Runner-up Cambridge followed by four points.
- 2001: “Achievement of the Century”:
Gale Sayers’ 24-10 1/2 long jump in 1961 state track meet, coming on his last jump in a duel with Lincoln High’s Bobby Williams, continues to rank as one of this state’s best achievements in high school sports. Now 40 years later, it hasn’t been seriously challenged for the state record.
- 1999: “A Century of Gold”:
The state track meet, which recently passed its 100th year, is the longest standing high school championship event. The state track meet has produced great entertainment in those 100 years and the Hall of Fame chooses to honor the event for its 100 plus “Great Moments” by saluting those who directed this great meet. In the last 40 years of the century: Charlie Foster, Burton (Bud) Feaster, Willa Scudder, Merle Bauer, Tom Hallstrom, Rex Jones and Duane Haith.
- 1999: “Barrier Breakers”:
The pole vault is one high school event which has a measuring stick to specifically identify when an athlete “takes it to the next level.” A Great Moment came when the following athletes were the first over the vaulting bar at the even-foot levels.
12 Feet – John (Choppy) Rhodes, Ansley, 12-0, 1922.
13 – Merlin (Beanie) Lawrence, Alliance, 13-3/4, 1958
14 – Randy Reeves, Omaha Benson, 14-0, 1965.
15 – Bill Lauer, North Platte, 15-1Â¼, 1971.
16 – Bump Novacek, Gothenburg, 16-0, 1985.
11 – Jaime Volkmer, Kearney Catholic, 11-8, 1999.
- 1998: “Awesome 800”:
State record run of 1:51.7 by Ryan Barrows, York, in the 800 Meters at 1997 State Track and Field Championship Meet, beating a 20-year-old record many believed would be good for another 20 years.
- 1997: “Miracle Mile”:
1947 State Track Meet, Class A mile run between Marvin Zimmerman, Nebraska City, and Bill Mountford, Red Cloud, a meeting of talented athletes that captured the attention of track and field that season and remains even after 50 years one of the great high school head-to-head competition of all time of any sport. Mountford’s winning time was, of course, a state record 4:26.2.
1997. After 58 years, they meet again.
- 1995: “Fast 100”:
Hastings College Invitational’s 100-yard dash in 1961 produced five runners all at 10 seconds or faster, led by Bob Williams of Lincoln High at :09.5. Kent McCloughan of Broken Bow, Steve Regan of Hastings, Tom Millsap of Grand Island, Doug McArthur of Hastings and Allan Wingert of Arapahoe followed.