Burke Stadium's track, already sizzling with fast times Saturday, was state record-hot over the noon hour with Kenzo Cotton.
After finishing the state's fastest boys 400-meter relay in history (41.40 seconds), the Papillion-La Vista junior came back with less than an hour's rest to claim the state record in the 100 meters that eluded him a year ago — with the same time of 10.41 seconds — because of wind.
“I think they're equally important, but the (400 relay) got me more excited because it's more of a team thing,” said Cotton, who set the 200 state record at the 2012 meet. “The weather's been about perfect. That's why I was trying to go fast.”
Cotton and relay teammate Nick Bartels were the only athletes to collect three all-class gold medals. Bartels swept the hurdles races.
Jalen Allison and Lucas Hostetler also ran on the Monarch quartet that took down the state record of 41.74 by Omaha Central in 2007.
A third state record, by Millard West in the boys 1,600 relay, brought the two-day meet at Burke Stadium to a rousing close. The Wildcats, and runner-up Lincoln Pius X, each eclipsed the 28-year-old record of 3:17.15 by Fremont.
Add in a sizzling boys 1,600 in which winner Mohamed Hamdan of Lincoln North Star and third-place Joe Harter of Millard West put marks on the all-time charts (runner-up Danny Aldaba of Fremont already was there), and this was a wrapup to the season difficult to envision in the snow that fell across much of the state just two weeks earlier.
Besides the three state records, Saturday's warm and partly cloudy conditions produced three class records, two additional meet records and 16 marks that rank on the all-time top-10 charts.
“The kids didn't get pounded all season like the unseasonably warm spring we had last year,” Millard West boys coach Max Kurz said. “Maybe Mother Nature knew something.”
The girls half of the meet produced three double-gold medalists — freshman Chloe Akin-Otiko of Bellevue West in the 100 and 200; Sidney Hirsch of Millard West in the 1,600 and 3,200; and Rachel Bramhall of Papillion-La Vista South in the 100 high hurdles and 300 lows.
Kearney's boys and Millard West's girls repeated as Class A champions. Millard West also won its first girls grand championship based on gold-medal scoring.
Lincoln Pius X was the boys grand champion for the first time, with Papio second, Millard West third and Kearney fourth. The World-Herald's Gregg McBride Award will go to both grand champion teams.
Elkhorn South, which scored only nine points last year at state, won the Class B boys title in the school's third year as Jake Nelson won the 200 and 400 titles.
Auburn, with Nebraska recruit Tierra Williams winning four events, claimed its first Class B girls title.
Other team champions were Thayer Central's boys and Kearney Catholic's girls in Class C and Hartington's boys and O'Neill St. Mary's girls in Class D.
Hamdan became the first three-time gold medalist in the boys 1,600 in 94 years. The NU recruit pulled away in the final 150 meters from Aldaba of Fremont and Harter, who was the 3,200 gold medalist Friday, for a time of 4:13.59 that is fourth on the all-time chart. Harter's 4:14.81 is seventh.
The day's opening track event, the 800 meters, produced a meet record and four all-time marks.
Molly Sughroue of McCook, who repeated as the girls gold medal winner, went onto the chart in fourth at 2:12.66. Class A winner Alyssa Thavenet of Lincoln Pius X went from 10th to ninth with a 2:14.09.
Boys gold medalist Jacob Holtmeier's time of 1:51.72, good for the Class A meet record for the Pius X senior, was fourth all-time and Hamdan, the Class A runner-up, ninth at 1:53.09.
Millard West ran the third-fastest girls 400 relay, 47.89, with runner-up Omaha Central taking seventh all-time with its 48.17.
At the break prior to the final four track events, Pius X led Kearney and Papillion 58-52.
“I thought we were in trouble right there about 2 o'clock,” Kearney coach Roger Mathiesen said. “We knew what Pius and Papillion were going to be getting.”
Kearney went ahead with 17 points in the discus, led by Luke McNitt winning the gold medal at 171-1, an event in which Pius X and Papillion had no qualifiers.
The Bearcats, in winning Class A for the 15th time in 20 years, got 23 points from their 1-2-4 finish Friday in the shot put to score 40 of their 85 points in the weight events.
They took a seven-point lead into the last event and secured the win with a fifth-place finish in the 1,600 relay. Papillion-La Vista, which needed to be first or second and have Kearney be no better than sixth or eighth, respectively, for a tie, finished eighth.
Pius wound up second with 75 points, followed by Papio with 73 and Millard West with 68.
“This title is as gratifying as any we've had in a while,'' Mathiesen said.
Contact the writer:
402-444-1041, firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter.com/stuOWH