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South Sioux’s Joe Krajicek knows his team will have best effort at state

May 16, 2019

As South Sioux girls track coach Joe Krajicek looks at the heat sheets, he sees ways for his team to rack up a good number of points at the Class B NSAA state track meet, which starts on Friday at Burke Stadium in Omaha.

Juniors Nya Diew and Megan Hansen have the chance to put together some top performance and when coupled with the 4x100 relay, McKenna Comstock in the pole vault and Ashley Hedquist in the 3,200 run, Krajicek thinks his team could score anywhere from 18 points to as many as 30 points during the two-day state track meet.

“We will see how it shakes out. There could be some rain on Saturday that could affect some things,” Krajicek said. “We will go out and give it our best effort. I was telling our coaching staff, if we scored 30 points, we would have an unbelievable state meet.”

Diew has had some of the top throws in the state in the discus and in the shot put. As a sophomore, Diew finished in third place in the discus and she was disappointed in the outcome. She’s out to prove she’s the top performer in the discus in the state this weekend.

Diew threw 149-feet, 2-inches at the state qualifying meet with temperatures in the 50′s with the wind blowing. It was the top throw in Class B by almost seven feet that day. Diew’s best throw this season is 159-10 back in April at a meet in Bennington. The state record is 165 feet.

“The forecast on Friday looks good and during a hot, breezy day, she threw 159-10. The record is in her wheelhouse,” Krajicek said. “I think she knows what she can do and knows what people expect her to do. (Last year) she wanted to be at the top and she used that as inspiration. She’s hit the weight room and done everything we’ve asked her to do. She’s a lot stronger this year and more explosive and that’s a credit to her work ethic.”

While Diew has dominated in the discus this season, she’s had almost as successful of a season in the shot put. She comes in as the top seed after throwing 43-7.5 at state qualifying. Arlington’s Mildred Young is behind her with a 42-2 throw

The only problem is the weather could take a turn for the worse on Saturday, which affects the way Diew throws.

“If she goes and does what she can do and throws a 43 or 44 footer, that will be right in there. She is one of the few girls that spins when she throws the shot, so the wildcard is the weather,” Krajicek said.

Hansen didn’t have her best race in the 100-meter hurdles at the state qualifying meet, finishing in a time of 15.41 seconds. The telling part is even though that wasn’t her top time, it was the top time in Class B that day and she’s the top seed in the event going into state meet. The next closest time is 15.51 by Platteview’s Teri Zanker.

Times will improve at the state meet, giving Hansen quite the challenge, but she’s ran against the top hurdlers in the state for much of the season and has hung with them all season. Krajicek excepts Hansen to rise to the challenge once again.

“She has worked hard to get to where she is at. She’s not as fast as the others from a foot speed perspective but she is technically sound and wants to be as good as them. She will do fine down there,” Krajicek said. “She has raced most of the kids in that field and she’s seen some very good hurdlers and held her own each time. I totally expect her to be in the hunt and she is very consistent with her times.”

Hansen will also run in the 300 hurdles and she’s a key piece of the 4x100 relay, which goes in with a state qualifying time of 51.77. That time is right on the edge of finishing in the top eight.

The other three runners in the 4x100 are McKenna Sims, Trista Harsma and Marybeth Rasmussen, who is competing at state for the fourth time.

“We don’t have that 12.5-second 100-meter girl. We have four pretty fast girls that are very competitive and don’t like to lose,” Krajicek said. “They have their sights set on a school record of 50.8 and I think 50.8 gets them a medal. That time is in their wheelhouse. They have all been in big-time atmospheres before so they won’t be afraid of the moment.”

Comstock, a junior, qualified for state in the pole vault after clearing 9-2 in the pole vault at state qualifying. Krajicek thinks Comstock has a 10-foot jump in her at state.

“Coach Steve Snyder has done a tremendous job with her. She was over 10 feet at conference and got excited just hit the bar,” Krajicek said. “Ten foot is historically a medal in the vault. She has some big goals. She is one that hasn’t hit it as high as she is going to yet.”

Hedquist, a freshman, shaved 45 seconds off her best time at districts to earn a wild-card spot at state.

“She’s a talented kid and we knew that but she blew it out of the water at districts,” Krajicek said. “You never know what to expect as a freshman, so just go down there and enjoy the moment. No pressure just see what you can do and hopefully have a good experience, run a good time and more importantly, compete.”

The Class B state meet starts at 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday’s finals begin at 9:30 a.m. Class C and A start at 9 a.m. on Friday.