NCHS track teams snag third at regionals

Jim Lyons
Posted 5/14/24

Niobrara County High School tracksters pulled out all the stops at the 2A regional meet in Sundance.

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NCHS track teams snag third at regionals


SUNDANCE – The Niobrara County High School (NCHS) Tigers had an outstanding 2A East Regional Meet on Friday and Saturday in Sundance. For the first time since 2014, both teams brought home third place trophies. The girls scored 99 points while the boys tallied 89.

Seniors Melody ZumBrunnen and Cory Bruegger were honored as the 2024 SEWAC athletes of the year. ZumBrunnen won this award for the third consecutive year. Bruegger also earned the SEWAC athlete of the year award for basketball.

Girls highlights

Melody ZumBrunnen led the girls’ track team with four golds in sprints and the long jump. She won the 100-meters in 13.28 seconds and the 200-meters in 26.75 seconds. ZumBrunnen also ran the 400-meters in 1 minute, 0.89 seconds and long jumped a season’s best of 17 feet, 3 inches.

Freshman Marleigh Smith had a fantastic meet, setting two personal bests in the high jump and pole vault. Smith high jumped 5-02 to win the regional title and vaulted 8-03 to place second. She also placed fifth in the 100-hurdles at 18.68 seconds.

Junior Gracie ZumBrunnen captured silver in the triple jump, clearing 32-06. She also secured bronze in the 100-meters, posting a time of 13.55 seconds and the high jump at 4-10. ZumBrunnen was fourth in the 800-meters at 2:32.

Junior Taci Bartschi cleared 7-06 to earn bronze in the pole vault.

Senior Phoebe Allbright placed in both throws. She was seventh in the discus, clearing 97-07 and eighth in the shot put with a throw of just under 30 feet.

Senior Abby Glavan punched her ticket to state in the long jump, placing seventh at 14-03 ¾. 

The 4x100-relay team – Bartschi, Glavan, freshman Addisyn Bauersachs and freshman Heidi DesEnfants – finished seventh-place finish at 57.68 seconds.

Boys highlights

Bruegger brought home two individual gold medals in the 400-meters and triple jump. He ran a career best of 50.39 seconds in the 400-meters, nearing the NCHS record held by Jerit DeGering. He was also near his career best in the triple jump, going 44-04 ½. Bruegger finished third in the long jump with a leap of 20-07 ¾.

Sophomore Nathan Miller snagged the regional championship in the high jump, clearing 6-04. Miller also triple jumped for the first time, going 39-10 ¼ to place fifth. He also placed fifth in the long jump at 20-01 ¾.

The boys’ 1600-meter sprint medley relay team of Bruegger, senior David West, sophomore Isaac Assman and freshman Brady Swisher set a new school record with a run of 3:46.49 and placed second.

West was the regional runner-up in the 800-meters, running 2:03. He finished fourth in the pole vault, clearing 11-06 and placed eighth in the 1600-meters at 5:14.

Assman ran well in the hurdles, placing fifth in the 110-meter, timing in at 16.92 seconds and seventh in the 300-hurdles at 48.00 seconds.

Freshman Raynce Brott continued to throw well. He placed third in the shot put, throwing just over 41-02 1/4 feet and took fourth in the discus with a heave of almost 124-09.

Relays were huge for the Tigers down the stretch for scoring. The 4x100-relay team of Brott, Assman Swisher and Miller placed seventh at 48.48 seconds.

Senior Gabe Matthews and sophomores Corbin Matthews, Charlie Gaukel and Cian Kimes placed seventh in the 4x400-relay, clocking in at 4:24.

The 4x800-relay team – Gabe Matthews, Corbin Matthews, Gaukel and Swisher – came in seventh place at 10:21.