Eight Arlington Eagles faced stiff opposition, but left the NSAA State Track & Field Championships with a pair of medals Thursday evening.
Sophomore Hailey O'Daniel earned fifth in the 1,600-meter run, while senior Cadie Robinson took seventh in the shot put.
“I thought our kids did a great job competing in what I think might be the toughest Class B competition there has been in a long time,” AHS coach Tyler Spitser said.
The efforts of O'Daniel and Robinson equated to six team points for the Eagles, who finished 24th in the girls' standings behind first-place Norris and runner-up Bennington. O'Daniel finished her mile run in 5:16.28, which was 11 seconds out of first, but also more than six seconds better than the sixth-place runner.
“Hailey is a competitor in whatever she does,” Spitser said. “She went out and competed today in the mile, and ran a 6-second (personal record).”
The Eagle had been disappointed with her 19th-place long jump finish, but bounced back in her track event, he added.
“That mile race was a great way for her to end her sophomore season,” Spitser said.
Robinson, meanwhile, wasn't necessarily satisfied with her discus finish — 15th with a 108-foot, 9-inch attempt — before placing in the shot put.
“I definitely could have thrown further,” the senior said May 17. “It's more fun when there's a lot of wind.”
A day later, the Eagle cleared 38-11.25 for a podium spot in the shot. She also had throws of 38-6.75 and 38-11 during her last high school sporting event.
“It's been awesome,” Robinson said of her career as an AHS softball and track athlete. “I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. I love the town. I love the community. I love the sports — everything.”
Her teammates, Arlington's Kaden Foust, Nolan May, Taylor Arp, Dallin Franzluebbers, Kevin Flesner and Luke Hammang, also competed at Omaha Burke Stadium during the state meet.
Foust reached the finals of the Class B long jump, but finished ninth with a leap of 20-10.5. He also took 15th in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.03 seconds.
Arp, meanwhile, just missed the finals of the discus event with a 10th-place attempt of 117-1.
May was 18th Thursday in the individual 3,200-meter run after joining Franzluebbers, Flesner and Hammang in the 3,200 relay for a 10th-place finish on May 17. The team crossed the finish line in 18:16.26.
While Hammang and Robinson closed out their high school years in Omaha, the meet also served as Spitser's last at AHS after coaching stints in football, boys basketball and track since he started in 2017. The physical education teacher thanked athletes, coaches, administrators, teachers and the community for their support.
“I don't know if I can put into words what the kids from Arlington have meant to me over the last six years,” he said. “We have been through a lot of ups and downs, and what I am the most proud of is the character our athletes have displayed no matter the situation.”