Giltner's Hannah Preissler clears the bar while competing in the girls pole vault event during the Central Nebraska Track and Field Championships on Tuesday at Grand Island Northwest High School. Preissler won the event with a jump of 11 feet, 7 inches. (Independent/Barrett Stinson)

The Giltner girls track and field team has had a lot of success at the state track meet.

The Hornets have won the last four Class D state titles and they hope to continue that success this weekend at Omaha Burke Stadium.

Giltner’s drive for five begins at 3 p.m. Friday.

The Hornets will take eight athletes to the state meet, while riding some momentum after winning the Class D, District 6 title last Friday in Sandy Creek.

“The kids rose to the challenge on Friday with some great weather to compete in,” Giltner coach Nancy Lockmon said. “I think the kids are excited for their opportunity this weekend.”

Brooke Good (400 relay, 1,600 relay, 3,200 relay), Cortney Hoelck (800, 1,600 relay, 3,200 relay), Sydney Janzen (100, 200, 400, 1,600 relay), Aubrianna Leichty (400 relay), Hannah Preissler (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 1,600 relay, pole vault), Brayden Rhoades (400 relay, pole vault), Sydni Watson (400 relay, 3,200 relay) and Brooke Wilson (1,600, 3,200, 3,200 relay) are the state qualifiers for the Hornets. Many of those athletes have potential to help the Hornets have a successful weekend.

Preissler, the two-time defending Class D state champion in the pole vault, leads Class D after going 12-0 this season. Wilson has the top time in the 1,600 (5:32.66) and is third in the 3,200 (12:31.08). Aubrey Leichty has the third-fastest time in the 800 (2:30.04).

“We’re pretty confident that we can get the job done this weekend,” Lockmon said. “We just need to perform.”

With that in mind, Lockmon said there’s an athlete that is capable of scoring a lot of points for her team by herself.

That is Riverside’s Alix Bloom. The Charger senior is the defending state champion in both the 100 and 200 and is a two-time medalist in the long jump.

She has the best leap in the Class D long jump (18-1) this season, while having the second best time in both the 100 (12.73) and 200 (26.36). She also qualified in the triple jump (32-5).

Lockmon said while Bloom will score points for Riverside, she feels there are a number of teams that will be challengers to the Hornets this weekend like Humphrey St. Francis, Axtell, North Central and others. Unlike previous years where Giltner locked up the team title early Saturday, Lockmon feels the title could be decided during the 1,600 relay, the final event of the meet.

“It’s going to be wide open,” Lockmon said. “Don’t be surprised if you don’t see the team champion with the lead until late Saturday afternoon.”

The Shelton boys could also see some success. The Bulldogs, who claimed the Class D, District 5 Meet in Broken Bow Friday, qualified nine athletes for the state meet.

Rye Cheney (800, 1,600, 3,200, 3,200 relay), Mason King (400 relay), Marcus Lauber (400 relay, high jump), Angel Lehn (3,200 relay), Castor Ruyle (3,200 relay), Jesus Sauceda (3,200 relay), Steven Snyder (3,200), Remington Wright (400 relay) and Sterling Wright (200, 400, 400 relay) will all be competing.

Cheney has the best Class D time this season in the 1,600 (4:32.92) and 3,200 (10:24.31) and has the second fastest time in the 800 (2:02.85). Cheney — along with Jesus Sauceda, Angel Lehn and Castor Ruyle — helped Shelton to the fastest time in the 3,200 relay. Also, Lauber is tied in a three-way tie for the second-best leap in the high jump (6-6),

“We’re taking a lot of kids down who will be competing in a lot of events,” Shelton coach Ron Blase said. “I don’t want to put pressure on Ry but I think he can handle it but if he has a good meet, we have a chance to have a good meet.”

Also in Class D:

- Elba’s Kenna Graves and Central Valley’s Reilly Young have the top two marks in the discus this season. Graves has the best throw this season at 129-0, while Young is second at 125-8.

n Central Valley’s 400-relay team of Ashlyn Wright, Vanessa Wood, Devyn Erickson and Nelieigh Poss has the best time ran this season (52.24).

- The High Plains’ boys 400-relay team of Logan Russell, Dylan Soule, Tanner Wood and Keaton VanHousen have the best ran at 44.69 this season. Soule also has the second-best toss in the discus (150-9).

- Shelton’s Kathleen Juhl has the top time in the 3,200 (12:23.41) and the third-best in the 1,600 (5:45.08).

- Oscoela’s Brody Ienn has the second-fastest time in the 300 hurdles at (41.45), while Ansley-Litchfield’s Justin Bailey, the returning state champion in the event, has the third-fastest (41.75).

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Sports writer, mostly in volleyball, cross country, wrestling and track and field, for the Grand Island Independent for seven years.

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