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(Neb.)- Eagles Sign Array Of Promising Track & Field Athletes

By: Jeremy Anderson Posted at: 08/02/2017 08:04 AM
CHADRON, Neb. -- August 1, 2017 -- An array of promising athletes will be joining the Chadron State College track and field team when classes begin in a couple of weeks.

Head coach Brad Gamble said he's excited about the potential of the recruits. There are about 30 names on the list, many of them from western Nebraska and neighboring states.

"We've signed some talented athletes who were already interested in attending Chadron State and, from what we learned about them, they are willing workers who should to do really well," Gamble said.

The Eagles are coming off three excellent seasons under Gamble's guidance.  He noted that many of the athletes who led the Eagles to those unprecedented heights have concluded their eligibility and the newcomers will have the opportunity to continue that success.

Ten of the incoming freshmen attended high schools within 100 miles of Chadron.

The women include Kenna Campbell of Gordon-Rushville, who high jumped 5-foot-6 during the Chadron High Invitational Meet in April and cleared 5-4 while winning the Class B-6 District Meet and at the State Meet, where she was the runner-up in both the Class B and the all-class standings.

Distance runners Whitney Riesen of Scottsbluff and Maddie Watson of Mitchell are expected to bolster the Eagles in both cross country and track.

Riesen finished in the top 10 at Class B State Cross Country Meets each of the past three years, including second last fall. She also won the 3200 at the Class B District Meet the past two years and placed among the top six in that race at state each of the last three years.

Watson's times improved during her career and she won both the 1600 and 3200 at the Western Trails Conference Meet and was the 3200 champion and runner-up in the 1600 at the Western Conference Meet this spring.  In addition, Watson was a member of Mitchell's second place Class C 4x400 relay at the state meet in May.

Female recruits from the area also include two promising hurdlers.  Erika Swires of Bridgeport won the 100-meter highs at the Western Trails Meet and was the runner-up at the Class C-11 District Meet and Julianne Thomsen of Custer placed second in the 300 lows in Class A at South Dakota State Meet in 47.31 seconds.

Another western Nebraska recruit is Katelyn Wheeler of Chase County High at Imperial.  She won both the 200 meters (26.2) and high jump (5-5) at the Class C-11 District Meet this spring for the second year in a row and helped the Lady Longhorns win their second straight Class C state championship by placing third in the 200 meters (26.1) and running on the winning 4x100 relay team

The CSC women's team is also adding some standouts from Wyoming.

They include Mackenzie Grubbs of Upton won both the 100 high and 300 low hurdles at the Wyoming State Meet for the second year in a row this spring.

Also, Kassidy Wenke of Campbell County High at Gillette won the Class 4A the 100-meter dash (12.53) at the Wyoming State Meet this spring after placing second as a junior. She also was fourth in the 200 and joined with Ashlyn Erismen, another CSC recruit, on the second-place 4x100 relay

Allee Williamson, a Cheyenne Central graduate, placed in both the 4A 100 and 200 meters at the Wyoming State Meet as a senior in 2016.  She played basketball at Laramie County Community College in her hometown this past year, but is transferring to Chadron State and will participate in both sports.

Others joining the CSC women's track and field team include Naomi Teasyatho, a sprinter from of Aztec, N.M., who won the 100 meters at the district meet this spring, and four Coloradoans.

The latter group includes Emma Willardson of Eaton, who qualified for the state meet in four events, and Julia Eskelson of Meeker, who will run both distances and cross country for the Eagles.

The others are transferring from Kansas community colleges. Christina Frick, a native of Fort Morgan, was a member of Dodge City CC's third place 4x800 relay team at the National Junior College Indoor Track and Field Meet in March and ran the 400 meters in 60 seconds this spring, and Sara Myers, an Anton native who has been a team leader at Colby Community College.

The men's recruits include four standouts from the immediate area and several from farther away who appear to have bright futures.

They include Brendinh Sayaloune of Chadron, who continually improved and long jumped 22-1 this spring and was sixth in that event at the State Meet.  He also won the 100 meters in 11.20 at the Class B-6 District Meet.

More speed has been added to the roster with the signing of Zach Carlson of Hyannis and Christian Perez of Mitchell.

Carlson, whose family moved from Iowa to a ranch in the Hyannis area early this year, had a tremendous state meet.  He was third in the Class D 100 (11.10), won the 200 (22.50) and second in the 400 (50.10). 

Perez won lots of sprints for the Mitchell Tigers the past four years.  This spring, he swept the 100 and 200 at both the Western Conference and Best of the West meets. He also was fourth in the Class C 200 at state and ran on Mitchell's 4x100 relay team that won the gold medal in Omaha each of the past three years, initially in Class B in 2015 and the last two years in Class C. 

Perez's best times this year were 10.94 in the 100 and 22.61 in the 200.

Two promising male high jumpers also have been signed. They are Tyler Ridenour of Alliance and Payton Smith of North Platte High.  Both cleared 6-6 this spring.  Gamble believes Ridenour has the potential to develop into a top multi-events athlete.

Another Nebraskan who will be a freshman at CSC is Michael Gibbens of Sargent. He won the 100 hurdles and was second in the 300 hurdles at the district meet and went on to place fourth in the Class D 300 intermediates at state.  His brother, Jack, a sophomore at CSC this spring, placed in the 400 hurdles at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Meet.

Wyoming's contribution to the men's team is Greg Pitts of Douglas, who was third in the Class 3A 100 meters at the state meet in 11.12 seconds and anchored the second place 4x100 relay.

Another of the Eagles' top prospects appears to be Hunter Kratz of Seward, Alaska, who was signed by CSC distance coach Brian Medigovich last fall after repeating as the runner-up at the state cross country meet.

Kratz won the 800 meters and was third in both the 1600 and 3200 at the Alaska State Meet as a junior.  This spring, he had Alaska's best times of 1:57 in the 800 and 4:19 in the 1600, but had strep throat and could not run those races at the state meet. He also the leading scorer on the Seward High basketball team this past year.

Medigovich believes Tristian Old Horse of Hot Springs, S.D., also has the potential to help the Eagles in the distances.  He ran the 1600 in 4:33 while placing at the state meet.

Gamble, whose specialties include coaching jumpers, is elated to have Isaac Grimes and Dwayne Williams, both from Rancho Verde High School at Moreno Valley, Calif., joining his team. 

Grimes has gone 47-9 ½ and Williams 44-7 in the triple jump.  Grimes is also a 21-foot long jumper, a 6-6 high jumper and has run the high hurdles in 15.12 seconds and the intermediates in 40.77.

Other prospects include Isaac Rodriguez, a middle distance runner who is transferring from Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, and Marcus Ruhrer, who frequently placed in the 300 hurdles as a senior at Rancho Verde High at Gilbert, Ariz., this spring.  


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