The Sidney Track and Field team is back home after competing at the state championships in Omaha. Plenty of them are returning with medals around their necks. The success bodes well for the future.
"We won six meets this year, the goal is to win them all next year," Sidney head track and field coach Matt McKay said. "That's what we're working at. That's the mantra going in."
A pair on the team earned gold in Omaha. Jacob Dowse took home the state crown in high jump. Karly Sylvester won two gold medals - finishing atop in discus and shot put.
"It was nerve wracking going into it," Sylvester said. "Obviously, I wanted to perform well at my last state. It was really exciting. My adrenaline was up. It was good. I won both, which was really exciting for me."
Sylvester will continue her track and field career at UNK. She’s proud to end her high school career on top.
"It was super awesome to be able to perform well at state and win two golds for my last meet," Sylvester said.
Dowse just wrapped up his sophomore year and will be back to defend his crown in 2022. Finishing atop the podium was a surprise.
"I didn't really think I would go down there and win," Dowse said. "I thought I'd get a top-8 or something, you know, I didn't think I'd win it."
On top of the gold medal, Dowse set a personal best with his 6’8” jump at the state championship meet. He holds that in higher regard than the 1st place finish.
"I think setting a PR because it just means I'm improving and getting better at what I'm doing," Dowse said when asked if the gold medal or PR is more important to him.
Next year, the track team will return several key contributors along with Dowse. Karsyn Leeling, Chlose Ahrens and Talissa Tanquary all medaled in Omaha as freshman. Head coach Matt McKay says despite losing Sylvester and the rest of the seniors, the future is exciting for Red Raider Track and Field.
"We have the distance crew, they're always solid and we got some jumps obviously everywhere," McKay said. "It's just a matter of putting it all together and staying healthy. That's one of the biggest things. If we can just be stronger and faster next year, we should do some good things down at state."
The Sidney boys team finished in 12th place out of 41 teams that appeared at state in Class B. The girls squad ended their season with a 4th place finish out of 39 teams competing in Omaha.
Medal Winners from Sidney
Chloe Ahrens - 5th place, Girls 100m hurdles - 3rd place, Girls 300m hurdles
Talissa Tanquary - 7th place, Girls 400m dash - 7th place, Girls 800m
Daniel Bashtovoi - 7th place, Boys 1600m
Karsyn Leeling - 2nd place, Girls high jump
Cameron Leeling - 8th place, Boys high jump
Mitchell Deer, Cameron Brauer, Treyson Johnstone, Daniel Bashtovoi - 2nd place, Boys 4x800m relay
Jacob Dowse - 1st place, Boys high jump
Karly Sylvester - 1st place, Girls high jump - 1st place, Girls shot put