To earn a berth to the State Track & Field Championships, student athletes put in countless hours of training, practice, sweat, early mornings and late nights. It’s a hard road to Burke Stadium in Omaha, and this past weekend 18 young men and women made that journey representing Gothenburg High School.

The state championships feature the top competitors in the state in their respective events. To make it past prelims and qualify for finals is a big step. To get on the podium is a big accomplishment. To win the gold is the stuff dreams are made of. And if you’re wondering what it could possibly feel like to be the best athlete in the entire state in your event, not once but twice, ask Madison Smith.

Last year, as a sophomore, Madi brought home the gold medal in the Class B discus and earned the All Class gold medal - meaning she threw farther than any other female competitor regardless of class. This year, she did it again. She defeated 22 girls to win the Class B title. The All Class gold medal put her at the top of a pool of 93 - yes, 93 - athletes.

Madi’s gold winning toss of 145’ 2” was a full 10’ short of her personal best of 155’ 5” at Broken Bow earlier this season. She broke her own school record so many times throughout the season it was hard to keep up!

Madi was not the only state medal winner for the Swedes. Teammate Ava Weyers picked up the 4th place medal in the long jump with a leap of 16’ 10”. Ava also joined Aubrey O’Hare, McKena Gilligan and Taylor Burge on the 4x400 relay team that finished with the 8th place medal.

Aubrey picked up a 5th place medal in both the 100m hurdles and the 300m hurdles. She and Ava were both also on the 4x100 relay team with Taylor Burge and Clara Evert, but unfortunately the team was disqualified.

On the men’s team, Jake Burge captured the 7th place medal in the pole vault. The 4x800 relay team of Parker Graves, Nathan Sager, Yahriel Gaeta and Isaiah Urman finished in 7th place, and the 4x400 relay team of Zach Harbur, Burge, Sager and Wes Geiken finished 8th.

All in all it was a good day for the Swedes. Next week we will recap Gothenburg’s outstanding track and field season.



100m Hurdles - Aubrey O’Hare, 5th, 15.61

300m Hurdles - Aubrey O’Hare, 5th, 45.95

Discus - Madison Smith, 1st, 145’ 02”

High Jump - Madison Smith, 11th, 4’ 11”

Long Jump - Ava Weyers, 4th, 16’ 10”

Triple Jump - Ava Weyers, 17th, 32’ 9.75”

Shot Put - Addison Wyatt, 20th, 34’ 7.5”

4x400 Relay - Aubrey O’Hare, Ava Weyers, McKena Gilligan, Taylor Burge, 8th, 4:08.21


400m (Prelims) - Zach Harbur, 13th, 51.58

1600m - Parker Graves, 13th, 4:34.26

Long Jump - Alaric Jesseph, 23rd, 18’ 8.25”

Pole Vault - Jake Burge, 7th, 13’ 6”; Tyler Trumbley, 10th, 13’ 6”; Kade Cox, 13th, 13’

Shot Put - Bennett Geiken, 18th, 46’ 11.25”

4x400 Relay - Zach Harbur, Jake Burge, Nathan Sager, Wes Geiken,8th, 3:26.84

4x800 Relay - Parker Graves, Nathan Sager, Yahriel Gaeta, Isaiah Urman, 7th, 8:14.07