Haynes medals, Kastanek has busy day for Falcons

By The Voice News - May 25, 2017

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The Voice News

Freeman’s Kayla Haynes placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles.


OMAHA – As Freeman junior Blake Kastanek laid on the Omaha Burke track following the 300-meter hurdles, he thought his state meet experience was over.


In his exhausted state, he seemed okay with that.


Within a six-hour period, he had competed in the high jump, run two heats of the 110-meter hurdles after a glitch in the system forced a rerun of his first race heat, gone back to the high jump, done his first flight of the triple jump and then run his preliminary heat of the 300 hurdles where he hit one of the first hurdles and nearly went down.


“From 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., he was go go go,” Freeman head coach Jim McLaughlin said.

“I think he’s a tired kid. He had a long day.”


Then as he lay sprawled out on the track, one of his Freeman coaches hollered over to him that he had made the finals of the triple jump.


Kastanek pulled himself up to his knees and stumbled over to the triple jump pit where he laid on the ground for a few more minutes before having his name called to do three more jumps in the final.


“I thought right after he got done with the 300 hurdles, his first jump in the triple was 40-feet-10 or something,” Freeman head coach Jim McLaughlin said. “It wasn’t his best, but it was out there and I thought it was an encouraging sign.”


Kastanek ended up finishing in ninth place with a jump of 41-feet-8.25 inches. Eighth place was 1.25 inches further at 41-feet-9.5.


“To come to the State Meet and make finals, is a big deal,” Kastanek said.


In the high jump, Kastanek was one of seven jumpers who cleared 6-feet-0, but went out at the next height. Only three jumpers went higher.


However, when all the misses and tie-breakers were taken into consideration, Kastanek ended up ninth, one spot out of a medal.


“My second jump at 6-feet-2 probably was my best,” said Kastanek, who had cleared 6-feet-4 earlier this season. “I put myself in a position to place, but it didn’t work.”


In the 300 hurdles, Kastanek was clocked in a time of 45.10, which was eighth in his heat.

“I had a busy morning so I got out of the blocks a little different,” Kastanek said of his 300-meter preliminary. “I didn’t go down after I hit the first hurdle, but I stumbled a little bit. I finished it at least.”


Kastanek didn’t qualify for finals in either of his hurdle races, but left with a good feeling about next season.


“I am excited to be able to compete in four different events,” Kastanek said. “The atmosphere here at Omaha Burke is incredible. Maybe next year they can space them out a little bit more.”


Teammate Seth Weber competed in his final state meet in the 400 meter preliminaries.

After finishing third in the second heat with a time of 52.42, he waited around to see how the third heat would go, and also reflected on his own race.


“I think lane 7, I wasn’t used to it,” Weber said. “I have always been in the first four or five lanes. In lane seven, it’s kind of hard. It’s all you. You can’t really see out ahead of you and know whether to speed up or slow down. It’s my race. I just didn’t run fast enough. We were all right there at the last 100-meter mark. I just didn’t have enough left.”


Weber ended up finishing 11th overall in the preliminaries and did not make finals.

“I gave it my all,” said Weber, who was a four-year qualifier for the Falcons. “It is a great experience getting to come out here and getting to run on this track. Running here all four years is a big accomplishment for me.


Junior Michael Gronewold rounded out the Freeman runners with a 2:07.1 time in the 800. That placed him 20th.


On the girls side, sophomore Kayla Haynes brought home a pair of medals.


Haynes, who placed eighth in the 100 hurdles as a freshman, came in fourth this year with a time of 16.4 seconds.


“Kayla had a good race,” McLaughlin said.


Haynes also tied for eighth in the high jump with a leap of 5-feet-0.


The Freeman 3,200-relay team of seniors Lauren Parde and Marissa Waters and freshmen Brylie Hartwig and RaeAnn Hartwig ran 10:26.5, which placed them 11th.


Brylie Hartwig also competed in the 1,600 on Saturday and ran 5:34.4 to place 14th.


Sophomore Tessa Hestermann rounded out Freeman’s competitors in the triple jump. She scored a leap of 30-feet-6 to place 24th.







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