KEARNEY — The University of Nebraska at Kearney track and field team won eight events, had 14 runner-up finishes, turned in 10 record-book efforts and had many national list performances Saturday at the Central Nebraska Challenge at Kearney High School.
This team-scored meet was UNK’s first home outdoor event in nearly two years and the first of three meets at KHS this year.
The UNK men scored 178.33 points to edge Fort Hays State (145) for first place with Chadron State a distant third (83.33). The Tiger women (128.33) won with UNK a close second (108) and Black Hills State at third (89).
Kearney redshirt freshman Brayden Sorensen was among the men who had a strong day. He won the high jump, clearing 7 feet, 0 1/4 inches, to come up just short of the school record of 7-0 1/2 set by Montrez Jackson in May 2019. Sorensen’s jump is the second-best in D2 this year.
Also moving into second place in the list of top UNK performances was redshirt sophomore Luke Stuckey, who won the 1,500 in 3 minutes, 49.56 seconds. Stuckey’s effort also puts him on the national list.
Also winning was redshirt freshman Wes Ferguson, who won the 800 in 1:51.52, and redshirt freshman Micah Swedberg, who won the 400 in 47.77 seconds. Ferguson, one of three Lopers in the top four, now ranks seventh in school history with Swedberg fourth.
In field events, junior Andrew Schuller won the discus with a career-best 173-4, putting him eighth on the all-time list.
Also having a strong day was Ravenna freshman Jack Drahota in the 100-meter high hurdles (15.39) and 400-meter intermediate hurdles (55.10)
The Loper women were paced by sophomore Claire Cornell and junior Logan Prater. Connell won on the long jump (18-7 3/4) with Prater second in the discus (145-10) and hammer (179-6).
Freshman Jaida McEwen had the third-best javelin throw in UNK history (139-9) to place second.
Saturday, UNK competes at the Wichita State Open.