Hornets celebrate 4th straight track championship

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I stood at the finish line ready for a photo as the 400 relay came down the stretch at the Central Nebraska Track Championships in April. I wanted that shot, on the offchance that the Giltner Lady Hornets defeated such stiff competition.
Oh, the photo I got.
The Giltner track teams gathered together one last time Thursday to celebrate their accomplishments from the past season, including a fourth consecutive Class D track championship for the girls and a come-from-behind runner-up finish for the boys team.
Along with the cake, ice cream and laughter that was shared between athletes, parents and friends, Giltner coach Nancy Lockmon delivered a blow-by-blow depiction of the season with little tidbits and insights few people previously had known.
Lockmon noted the success of “Little old Giltner” at the Central Nebraska Track Championships, which pits teams against each other regardless of class in arguably the best meet of the year.
The Hornets reset five school records that day and six throughout the season. The one thing that Lockmon told me after that meet that left me floored was “We’re right where we need to be, and we can go lower yet.”
She wasn’t wrong.
That photo I mentioned before was one of rarity for anyone who knows Jordan Hansen. She’s competitive as all get-out. She doesn’t smile that often, and if she does, it surely isn’t in the heat of battle.
But, in her last CNTC meet, I caught her with her guard down, a huge grin across her face as she crossed the line in the lead.
I told her afterward that she was caught by the camera and that she would have to save that one in the archives. Her parents wholeheartedly agreed.
Speaking of that 400 relay team, Lockmon also noted during her speech that not only did that lineup not change throughout the year, but it was also an undefeated foursome.
For those who follow track, that is such a hard feat to accomplish. The 400 relay is arguably the toughest to control with a plethora of things that can go wrong, whether it’s a misstep, a dropped baton or anything else.
As the night went on, Lockmon went through the two days of the state meet and how things were going, with a few tidbits of insider knowledge here and there.
Although it was fairly early on Saturday that the Lady Hornets had a pretty good indication that they had accomplished their big goal of another state title, it wasn’t nearly as a sure thing on the boys side.
In fact, I had hoped earlier in the day the boys might sneak in for that runner-up spot, but admittedly lost track of their progress after I noticed on the big board midday Saturday they were nearly doubled up in team points.
C’mon, sports guy.
The Hornets were severely backloaded, with several competing events in the waning moments of the meet.
In a short amount of time, they got points from Alex Goracke in the discus, Brodi Hansen in the shot and what Lockmon called one of the most important points from the 1600 relay.
It wasn’t as easy as it looked.
Brodi Hansen, who was competing for a state title in the pole vault, was also supposed to run on the 1600 relay.
Uh oh.
Lockmon recalled the now-hilarious story of finding a replacement in Rody Lyon, asking Brodi if the substitute was okay with him, and then trying to locate Lyon in a mass of state track patrons which included his dad getting word out over the loudspeaker.
All this effort resulted in an eighth place finish in the relay, which was worth one point. Giltner edged North Central for second place by a single point.
Giltner will add another large picture to the main hallway of its state championship lore with this edition of Hornets.
And yes, they should all be full of smiles.

RICHARD RHODEN can be reached at sports@hamilton.net.

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