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UNK Track: Two School-Records Fall at UNL

University of Nebraska Kearney Lopers logo.

Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney track and field team won five events and set two new school records this weekend at the annual Nebraska Graduate Classic in Lincoln. 


The non-team scoring meet was hosted by Nebraska and featured Division I through junior college competition. This was the Lopers first meet since early December.

Setting new UNK standards were distance runners Myles Bach (Cedar Rapids, Ia.) and Wes Ferguson (Fremont) with Mara Hemmer (Fremont) recording the second fastest time in an event. All three efforts came on Friday night with Bach placing first out of 24 in the 3,000 (8:17.60), Ferguson leading a field of 26 at 1,000-meters (2:23.80) and Hemmer first out of 22 in the women's 1k (2:55.19). 

Bach's time smashes the previous UNK standard of 8:20.70, set by All-American Tanner Fruit in February 2013. The time also currently ranks fifth in Division II. Next, Ferguson bests the 2:25.36 All-American Cole Wellnitz ran in January 2016 with Hemmer's time just off the 2:53.47 All-American Marissa Bongers turned in February 2014.

Also in the men's 1k, senior Cole Willis (Kearney) was fourth with a career-best time of 2:26.40, good enough to move up two spots to third on the Loper all-time list. Also making a move on that list was Trevor Matousek (Holdrege) who came fifth thanks to a 2:28.22. That is the fourth best time in school history. 


On Saturday, UNK went 1-3 in the women's 800 and had three of the top five finishers in the men's 800. Coming in first in these events was Hastings junior Seth Simonson (1:54.25) and Funk junior Baylee Alstrom (2:22.15) with Kearney freshman Nicole Messbarger (2:22.96) and Ogallala senior Max Lindgren (1:54.75) the runners up. Finally on the track, Axtell sophomore Lane Bertrand qualified for the 60 hurdles finals (8th/8.61; 8.56 in prelims), Ravenna freshman Jack Drahota was sixth out of 26 in the 200 (22.61) and Iowa senior Maddie Bach was fourth in the women's 3k (10:25.39).

In field events Friday night, Kearney sophomore Brayden Sorensen was third in the high jump (6-11) with Central City redshirt junior Andrew Schuller ninth in the weight throw (58-5.25).

UNK heads to Maryville, Mo., next weekend for the Bearcat Open.


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