Gretna sophomore Braden Lofquest ran harder than ever before when he won the boys 800-meter dash from the first heat at the NSAA Track & Field Championships at Omaha Burke on Thursday.
“I’ve been talking with my coach for a while now, weeks, and after running a little bit of a slow time in districts and getting put in the slow heat, I knew I had to go out there and push it,” Lofquest said.
After taking care of the first 200 meters strongly, Lofquest knew he just had to stick with it.
“Really wanting to fight it and it worked out for me.”
After the race, Lofquest needed assistance off the track and was visibly exhausted, even saying his head was still pounding after the second heat wrapped up and his time of 1:53.30 held up as the best time by nearly a second. The time was also good for all-class gold.
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“This is the hardest I’ve ever raced. I mean, I pushed 110 percent, I don’t think I could give more. Put my heart out there. I just did it for myself and for my team. I did for my coaches, (they) are a big part of this.”
As a sophomore, Lofquest has run track for only the last two years and made his first state appearance this year.
“I didn’t think I’d be here. One year later, being a state champion. It’s crazy.”