Hornet pride. Giltner student-athletes give community reason to celebrate

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“It’s just awesome to be a Hornet.”
Jared Hastings said what many of his Giltner teammates and their families were thinking last weekend during a memorable couple of days in Omaha. The Hornets did what few other teams have been able to accomplish at the Nebraska State Track Meet, winning both the boys and girls championships in the same year. That takes some doing, since the event brings the state’s best talent together for what is always an extremely competitive test of athletic ability.
The Hornets were impressive, winning seven events between the two teams and six other medals. It was a fitting end for a talented group of student-athletes who have carried the orange and black torch with pride, and in fact raised the bar of success for future generations to aspire to.
There was a matter-of-factness about this group that made a state title seem within reach going into the meet. In fact, eighth-year coach Nancy Lockmon called the trek to Omaha “a business trip,” hinting that the Hornets had every intention of taking care of business and bringing home some hardware. How much hardware they ended up hauling home to Hamilton County had to surprise even their head coach.
“It’s just great for our kids and our community,” Lockmon said.
Hastings won two individual golds in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles, then ran a leg on the winning 4x100 relay with teammates Brett Good, Nicholas Preissler and Ben Hinrichs. On the girls side, freshman phenom Jordan Hansen won the ultra-competitive 100 and 200 meter dashes, while senior teammate Kelbie Lyon fought through pain to win her third straight gold medal in the shot put, knowing full well that her team needed 10 first place points to clinch the title.
“Being a Hornet is honestly the best thing that has ever happened to me,” Lyon said after the meet. “You are surrounded by so many great people it’s just the best thing ever.”
What was equally as impressive about these kids was the humble demeanor and class they showed in victory. They were all hungry for success, but to a person spoke more about the joy and pride of competing for their teammates, as well as their home town of Giltner. That says an awful about the community support these young people have experienced during their glory days at Giltner High.
And talk about glory days. Years from now when these kids get together for reunions they’ll be able to talk about their success, which in recent years has included state titles in football, boys basketball, boys track, girls track and volleyball.
Congratulations to the Giltner track teams, as well as to the coaches, parents and members of a proud community who have helped these Hornets shine.
Kurt Johnson

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