(Neb.)-Chadron State signs promising track recruits
Several highly successful high school track and field athletes will be joining the Chadron State College track and field program when the 2013-14 school year begins in August.
Head coach Ryan Baily said the Eagles are fortunate to sign such a promising group. He believes it could be one of the best he has ever recruited.
"This certainly appears to be an outstanding class," Baily said. "They should help us a lot. I'm excited about them. We'll have a solid group of veterans returning, too, so we should have another good team."
Several of the recruits are from the Panhandle and had outstanding senior seasons in 2013. They include Kelsy Wood of Hemingford, Nicky Applegarth of Chadron, Cody Franklin of Bridgeport, Matt Klein of Scottsbluff and Jesse Bleidt of Garden County.
Other signees include Stachia Reuwsaat (Roosat) of St. Thomas More in Rapid City, the star at the South Dakota Class A Meet. During the first day, she set a state record of 18 feet, 9 ½ inches in the long jump, then won the 100-meter dash in 12.14 seconds, the 200 meters in 26.12 seconds and anchored the winning 4x100 relay that was timed in 50.44 seconds.
Several Coloradans have signed with the Eagles. Among them is Angelique Urenda of Pueblo, who won the Class 4A high jump at the state meet with a leap of 5-foot-5 and placed seventh in the pole vault by clearing 10 feet.
Another girl from Colorado signing with the Eagles is Kerri Ruff of Eaton, who placed second in the Class 3A discus at the state meet with a throw of 129-7 and was fifth in the shot at 37-4.
One of the Eagles' most intriguing recruits is Austin Waterman of Greeley West High School. He placed second in the Class 5A discus at 165-5 and hit 180 feet during the season.
Waterman also was what a reporter called "one of the most dominant Colorado wrestlers in recent years."
Waterman was the Class 5A 220-pound state champion as a junior when he had a 44-1 record and pinned 41 of his opponents. Last winter, he moved up to heavyweight, although he still weighed less than 230 pounds, and had 40 pins while going 44-0 while winning another state title.
Baily said he's pleased the recruits, most of whom signed before the 2013 season began, concluded their high school careers on high notes at the state meets.
Others from Colorado signing with the Eagles include teammates Chris Cutcher and Bryce Johnson of Mesa Ridge High School in Colorado Springs. Both placed in the Class 4A hurdles at the state meet.
Cutcher was fourth in the 110 highs in 14.89 seconds and Johnson was seventh in both the highs in 15.12 seconds and the 300 intermediates in 39.70 seconds.
Hemingford's Wood closed out her high school career by placing second in both Class C hurdle races at the state meet with career-best times of 14.91 and 44.80 seconds. The marks were third in the low hurdles and fourth in the highs in Nebraska's all-class standings.
Wood also placed fourth in the Class C 100 and seventh in the long jump at the state meet. She had bests of 12.57 seconds in the 100 and 17-5 ½ in the long jump this spring, when she had career-best marks in all four of her events. She also was the Hemingford valedictorian this spring.
Klein is expected to bolster the Chadron State men's hurdle corps. He won both hurdle races this spring at the Best of the West, Western Conference and Class B District meets with best times of 14.92 in the highs and 39.82 seconds in the intermediates. He also placed third in the highs and was eighth in the intermediates at the state meet.
Another Scottsbluff hurdler, Isaiah Castellaw, has signed to join the Eagles after attending Western Nebraska Community College this past year. Castellaw was the Class B state champion in the 300 intermediates at the state meet his senior year in 2012 in 39.06 seconds. That time also was second in the all-class standings.
Garden County's Bleidt sailed the discus 152-10 while winning the Class D state championship in May. That throw exceeded his best mark of a year ago by 16 feet, 10 inches.
Franklin and Applegarth are among the newcomers who are expected to strengthen the Eagles in both cross country and the distances.
Franklin won both the Class C 1600 and 3200 meters at the state meet in 4:30.95 and 9:43.47 and also was the Class D state cross country champion last fall for Bridgeport after placing fourth in the race as a junior.
Applegarth was undefeated in the 3200 this spring through the district meet with a top time of 11:50.27 and ran on Chadron's 4x800 relay team that placed fourth in Class B at the state meet.
Baily is pleased that both Franklin and Applegarth improved so much this spring. Franklin knocked 13 seconds off his best time in 2012 in the 1600 and lowered his time by 23 seconds in the 3200. Applegarth took 37 seconds off her best time as a junior in the 3200 this spring.
Three distance runners from Wyoming also will be joining the Eagles. They are Robert Ricks of Douglas, who was fourth in the 1600 (4:36.23) and sixth in the 3200 (10:14.16) in Class 3A at the state meet; Hank Jackson of Lingle-Fort Laramie, who was second in both the Class A 1600 meters (4:46.0) and 3200 (10:47.84) at state; and Garrett Derr of Torrington.
A Gering native, Ryan Bustinza, also will be among the Eagles' cross country and distance prospects in 2013. As a senior at Gering High in 2012, he had bests of 4:39.36 in the 1600 and 10:04.37 in the 3200. He placed second in the latter event at the Class B-6 District Meet. He also finished fifth in Class B at the Nebraska State Cross Country Meet in 2010 when he helped Gering finish second in the team standings.
Bustzina attended Western Nebraska Community College this past year.
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