Spahr’s gold leads Eagles at state track


Sarah Spahr of Milford was clean through the first four rounds in the high jump.

She was the only one who hadn’t missed through 5-4, Coach Cody Gregory said.

After 5-4, only four jumpers were left in the Class C competition, including defending champion Bryn McNair of Chase County, and the bar was moved to 5-6.

All four missed their first attempts at 5-6. All four missed their second tries, as well.

Spahr had been calm and confident all week at practice, Gregory said.

“She’s been so rock solid all year,” he said.

Margaret Haarberg of Kearney Catholic, Chloe Hanel of Clarkson/Leigh and McNair missed their third jumps. Spahr was the last of the quartet to go.

“I told her to slow down and picture a perfect jump,” Gregory said. “She closed her eyes, and when she opened them, that confident look was back.”

Fellow Eagles Tyce Lopez and Zeb Reil were warming up for the 4x100-meter relay nearby, and Gregory told them to watch, that Spahr was going to make the jump.

She did.

“There was a lot of emotion after that,” Gregory said.

Teammate Lilly Kenning was a three-time silver medalist in her individual races. She finished the 800-meter run in 2:15.68, the 1,600 in 5:15.42 and the 3,200 in 11:39.21.

In the 3,200 on May 19, Gregory said, Kenning ran stride for stride with eventual champion Jordyn Arens of Crofton.

“That was the first individual race for Lilly on that track,” Gregory said.

Kenning’s time was a personal best and a new school record, he said.

The sophomore came back May 20 for the 800 and finished behind Jordan Metzler of Wakefield. Gregory said Kenning was locked in after a moment of prayer with a fellow runner from Arlington.

To finish her individual races, Kenning lined up for the 1,600 and held the lead for most of the race. Arens, though, didn’t give up.

“She was closing like a freight train,” Gregory said.

The two made contact on the final stretch and brought out a yellow flag. After review, however, the flag was withdrawn, Gregory said.

Kenning’s fourth medal came in the 4x800-meter relay, the first event of the meet May 19. She teamed with Kylie Jakub, Delaney Carraher and Kaitlin Kontor to finish fourth in a time of 10:10.15.

“We took a gamble starting two freshmen,” Gregory said. “It was not our best, but it was OK.”

The girls finished in fourth place in the team standings, 1.3 points out of third and four points in back of the champion Bishop Neumann.

“We were in the race to the end,” Gregory said.

Coming from Waverly, that wasn’t new for him. But Assistant Coach Jake Kment told him “this was the most fun I’ve ever had at a track meet.”

Milford’s boys’ team brought home one set of medals, thanks to a third-place finish in the 4x800-meter relay. The Eagle team of Isaac Roth, Hudson Mullet, Kaleb Eickhoff and Avery Carter finished in 8:21.95, breaking the school record for the third consecutive meet.

Gregory said they changed the order of runners from districts, and that paid off.

Eagles competing who did not score were Camille Stauffer in the discus, Tanya Miller in the 400-meter dash, Dane Kolb in the long jump, Roth in the 300 hurdles, the boys’ 4x100-meter relay, Caden Nelson in the 110-meter hurdles and Gavin Dunlap in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs.

Eickhoff and Carter also ran individual races for MHS. Eickhoff was in the 800 and Carter the 1,600.