Benish Brings Home The Gold
Area Class D Schools Compete in Omaha NSAA State Meet
May 25, 2023
The area's Class D schools sent their NSAA State Meet qualifiers to Omaha for competition on Friday and Saturday, and at least one area athlete had the trip of her life, ending with a Gold Medal.
Leyton sophomore Zaili Benish capped her outstanding sophomore season in Track by stunning the field and ripping off a personal best time in the 300 Meter Hurdles, her strongest event, edging the runner-up while leaving the rest of the runners in the dust in a Gold Medal winning performance.
Benish qualified for the finals with a scorching 47.27 time in the preliminaries, but she was nearly a quarter of a second behind top qualifier senior Macy Richardson of Sterling's time of 46.40. Benish went all out in the finals and turned on the jets in the stretch, and edged out the Sterling senior, with Benish's 46.00 time just a touch quicker than Richardson's time of 46.03.
Benish's 46.00 time was her personal-best, and brought home a Class D State Championship for the Warriors. The win came after Benish had a 19th place finish in the 100 Meters, and a 17th place finish in the 100 Meter Hurdles. Benish was also the anchor on the 14th place 4x100 Meter Relay team of Claire Watchorn, Macey Roelle and Shawnee Gamble. Junior Claire Watchorn also had a 24th place finish in the 200 Meters and a 22nd place finish in Discus. For the Leyton boys, senior Justin Earnest medaled in the 400 Meters, placing fifth with a time of 52.17. Sophomore Zachary Anderson placed 14th in Shot Put and 22nd in Discus, senior Dawson Juelfs placed 15th in Pole Vault, clearing 11 feet, and freshman Alec Watchorn was unable to clear the minimum height in the High Jump. The 4x400 Meter Relay team for Leyton, consisting of Chance Carter, Cort Rummel, Alec Watchorn and Justin Ernest, placed 10th with a time of 3:35.45.
Potter-Dix sent a set of qualifiers, and were led by senior Luke Kasten's 17th place finish in the 100 Meters and 16th place showing in the 200 Meters. Senior James Pease placed 19th in the 1600 meters and freshman Dylan Tabor placed 18th in the 300 Meter Hurdles. Senior Lily Tabor earned 12th place in Pole Vault, clearing 8 feet while sophomore Taylah Wilson finished with an NH, unable to clear the minimum height.
Creek Valley sent two qualifiers, juniors Anna Speirs and Samantha Marin in the 1600 Meters and 3200 Meters respectively. Both athletes turned in personal best times, with Speirs earning 14th place with a time of 5:55.14 in the 1600 Meters and Marin earning 15th place with a time of 13.29.57, which broke her own school record in the 3200 with this performance.