Nebraska's elite in high school track and field, who gather Friday and Saturday at Burke Stadium for the state meet, have overcome this spring's abysmal weather.
“There still are kids who haven't raced each other,” Lincoln North Star coach Matt Musiel said. “This is the stage where they get to see each other, finally.
“Look for some good times because these top kids want to be pushed.”
Joe Harter of Millard West in the boys 3,200 meters, Papillion-La Vista's boys 400 relay and Lincoln Pius X's boys 1,600 relay are No. 2 on the all-time charts.
No. 3 marks have been put up on the girls charts by Tierra Williams of Auburn in the long jump and Aaliyah Pete of Elkhorn South in the shot put.
In 10 of the 17 boys events, the state leader has a better mark after districts than a year ago. For girls, the tally is eight of 17. Many of the gains were in field events, five of six for boys and four of six for girls.
It's a contradiction to how this year compares to last year, when the spring was record warm and meets weren't getting snowed out in early May.
In an analysis of the 10th-place times and distances on the 2012 and 2013 season charts, only in six boys events and three girls events are this year's marks an improvement.
Sprinters, who like it hot, have been affected the most. Kenzo Cotton of Papillion-La Vista, for example, hasn't hit his 2012 pre-state marks while leading the state in the boys 100 at 10.65 (10.59 in 2012) and 200 at 21.61 (21.55).
Kearney's boys and Lincoln Pius X's girls could be double winners in the two-day state meet that starts at 9 a.m.
With a 1-2-3 sweep in the shot put, Kearney's first event of the day, the Bearcats would be off to a fast start in retaining their Class A title. They have won 14 Class A and 14 grand championship titles in the past 19 seasons.
A grand championship may be harder to achieve for Kearney, given the quality points projected for Pius X in the all-class scoring.
While the Thunderbolts trail Kearney 111-70 in the Class A scoring projection based on season-best marks, the grand-championship gap with the Bearcats is only 4.5 points (69.5-65).
Other projected boys team champions are Scottsbluff in Class B, Thayer Central in Class C and Paxton in Class D.
Pius X, which hasn't won a girls track title since Class B in 1982, is expected to finish ahead of defending champion Millard West for the Class A title and also win the grand championship.
The Thunderbolts are projected to outscore West 86-75 in Class A and 70-58.25 in the all-class scoring.
Kearney Catholic's girls may be untouchable in Class C. The Stars are forecast to score 97 points while unseating Fillmore Central as champion.
Holdrege and Auburn are the Class B favorites, with O'Neill St. Mary's expected to prevail in Class D.
All-class: Kearney 69.5, Lincoln Pius X 65, Millard West 55, Fremont 42, Lincoln North Star 41.9, Papillion-La Vista 40.4, Lincoln NE 20.5
Class A: Kearney 111, Lincoln Pius X 70, Millard West 69, Papillion-La Vista 55, Lincoln North Star 51.5, Fremont 44.5, Omaha Burke 27, Grand Island 24.5, Lincoln NE 24, Lincoln East 23
Class B: Scottsbluff 72.5, Elkhorn South 61, McCook 59, Alliance 45.5, Blair 27, Gretna 26, Ogallala 25, Grand Island Northwest 25, Columbus Lakeview 20.5, Omaha Gross 19.5
Class C: Thayer Central 51.5, Ord 45, St. Paul 37, Malcolm 35, Freeman 33, Nebraska Christian 32, Wisner-Pilger 31, West Holt 27, Battle Creek 26, Grand Island CC 26
Class D: Paxton 41, Cambridge 39, Hartington 38, South Loup 31, Randolph 28.5, Cross County 28, Bertrand 26, Pawnee City 23.5, Kenesaw 22.5, Elm Creek 20, SMC 20
All-class: Lincoln Pius X 70, Millard West 58.25, Auburn 37, Omaha Central 31.5, Kearney Catholic 27, Bellevue West 25, Papillion-La Vista South 24, Norfolk 23, McCook 23, Omaha Marian 22, Lincoln North Star 21, Millard North 21
Class A: Lincoln Pius X 86, Millard West 75, Omaha Central 51, Bellevue West 47.5, Norfolk 43, Millard North 40, Omaha Marian 39, Papillion-La Vista South 38, Lincoln East 32, Lincoln North Star 26
Class B: Holdrege 58.5, Auburn 57, McCook 41, Columbus Scotus 40, Syracuse 37.5, Crete 33, Gothenburg 27, York 27, Grand Island NW 26.5, Waverly 25
Class C: Kearney Catholic 97, Fillmore Central 60, Crofton 45.5, Ord 42, Lincoln Christian 37, Superior 33, David City Aquinas 26, North Bend 24.5, Sutton 20
Class D: O'Neill St. Mary's 63.5, Humphrey St. Francis 47, Arapahoe 44, Humphrey 39, BDS 37, Bertrand 32.5, Hartington 20
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