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Hardy soars

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Photo by Ethan West/Buffalo Bulletin Senior Casey Matthews fights hard to clear the bar in the pole vault at the 3A State Track Meet at Kelly Walsh last weekend.
Sonja Karp, NLJ Sports Editor

NHS junior takes first place at state meet

Newcastle High School’s CJ Hardy brought home the gold at the 3A State Track Meet last weekend, after he cleared the high jump bar at 6 feet, 4 inches, setting a new personal best and claiming the title of 3A State championship in that event.

With his first-place finish, Hardy, a junior, also earned 3A All-State honors and was just one-quarter of an inch shy of setting a new school record in the high jump for NHS.

“With one year to go, I think we can get him a little stronger and he should be able to get that record,” Dogie track coach Matt Conzelman predicted. “It’s also the first time in quite a while that we’ve had an individual state champion in the men’s division, so that was really cool.”

“The Douglas kid that beat him at regionals didn’t have a good day, but a Powell kid just kept hanging with CJ,” Conzelman continued. “CJ went first at 6 feet, 4 inches and cleared it, but then the Powell kid missed. He got it on his second try, but because CJ made it in one, he got first!”

Hardy was among 12 Dogies who made their way to Casper for the meet. At the elite competition, the athletes did well, with four individuals and one relay team making the podium in their events.

Colton Vanderpool Mobley was busy in the sprints in Casper over the weekend. He finished in the heartbreak position in the 200 Meter Dash, where he came in ninth in the prelims, however, he raced his way into the finals of the 100 Meter Dash by finishing eighth out of a field of 22 runners on Friday with a personal best time of 11.38. On Saturday, Mobley improved his finish by one place to take seventh in the finals.

“The prelims were pretty exciting. There were three heats so we just had to wait to see if he made it, and then he did sneak in,” Conzelman said. “It was great for him to get there and then improve to seventh. He was also really close in the 200, and he ran a [personal record] in the prelims of that, so he did really well.”

Mobley was also the lead off leg of the 4x100 Meter Relay on Friday where he, along with Dane Crabtree, Casey Matthews and Collin McConkey, finished fifth out of nine teams vying for hardware.

Adalyn Olson did well on the big stage over the weekend. The freshman qualified for the state meet in three individual events. On Thursday, she ran the 100 Meter Hurdles prelims where she finished 15th out of 18 runners, but on Friday, she made the finals in the 100 Meter Dash with her eighth-place finish out of 16 runners. Then, on Saturday, she repeated her eighth-place finish in the finals.

“It was awesome that she made it in the top eight,” Conzelman said, grinning. “There were some fast girls in that race, and she was right up with them.”

Like Mobley, Olson landed in the heartbreak spot in Long Jump, where she finished ninth out of 18 jumpers, and just off the podium with her personal best leap of 16-06.75.

Aspen Bloom competed in both the mile and two-mile races. She started off the state meet on Thursday running the 3200 Meter race where she finished 11th out of 17 runners. On Saturday, she made the podium in the 1600 Meter race by finishing eighth out of 17 runners with a personal best time of 5:40.55.

“We knew she had a good chance going into the mile,” Conzelman said. “She ran a great race, stayed in the hunt and improved her time by about 10 seconds.”

Delainey Dresen performed well in the Triple Jump where she finished 10th out of a pool of 16 jumpers with a personal best leap of 33-03. Julie Morris was the other Lady Dogie to qualify for state. She finished 13th in Discus and 15th in Shot Put, competing against 17 other athletes in each event.

McConkey ran in the 100 and 200 Meter prelims where he came in 16th and 17th, respectively. In the 200, he set a new PR for himself with a time of 23.49 seconds. Sam Cunningham finished 12th with a PR in the two-mile race and 14th in the mile race, Eli Morrill was 13th in the triple jump and 14th in the 110 Meter Hurdles, Matthews finished 12th in Pole Vault, while Thomas Prell ended the Pole Vault with no height.

As a team, the Dogies finished in 11th place with 16 points, while the Lady Dogies tied for 14th with two points.

Given that only three of the 12 athletes who qualified for state this year were seniors, the future of Dogie track is bright.

“It was great for the kids to get their feet wet this year,” Conzelman said. “It’s a very unique environment there at state, so now they know!”

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