Last season, Mike McClanahan was rooming center field for Papio South this time of the year.
This season, the Titan senior won three medals at the State Track and Field Championships to lead Papio South to finish in a tie for 11th in the Class A team standings with 27 points.
McClanahan switched from baseball to track to get faster and prepare himself for college football next year at Minnesota-Moorhead. That decision went well as he finished as the state runner-up in the 200-meter dash while placing fourth in the 100.
“It cam pretty naturally but I had some short strides at first,” he said. “I learned how to really run and it will help me as an athlete.”
McClanahan clocked a 22.14 in the 200 while finishing the 100 in 11.00. Both times were personal records for the Titan, who came into the state meet a bit under the radar.
“You can’t win a track meet on paper so I just wanted to come out here and do my best,” he said.
McClanahan also combined with Bradyn Pogue, Eddie Rosenthal and Luke Davis to place fourth in the 400 relay. Pogue also earned a sixth-place medal in the 200.
The relay team of Tony Nisotis, Rosenthal, Alex Pollett and Brian Clausen combined to place fourth in the 1,600 relay for the Titans. Dillon McNeill added an eighth-place finish in the 3,200 run.
• Frankie Allen was finally healthy for a state tournament and he made the best of it.
The Papillion-La Vista junior was banged up in both previous trips to state but used good health to grab a third-place finish in the 100 dash at state. Allen finished the race in 10.99 to place third, just .01 seconds out of second.
“I’ve been hurt freshman year and sophomore year so I’ve been battling injuries,” Allen said. “This is the first year I’ve been healthy and I’m pretty happy with the outcome.”
Allen was a bit banged up in districts, so he didn’t have the best qualifying times to state but he showed what he was capable of when healthy at state.
Allen also ran on the 400 relay team with Troy Almaguer, Zach Krogman and Tyson Money. The team placed eighth in the event and gained huge experience for a group that will all be back next season.
“Recently we’ve been off so I’m happy with the 400 relay,” Allen said. “Plus, we get everybody back next year so we’re going one of the top teams in the state.”
Alex Herman added two individual state medals in field events for Papio. Herman used a toss of 54-02.5 in the shot put to place sixth while added a seventh-place finish in the discus after a throw of 155-00.
Mitchell Klassen and Alek Abels added medal-winning performances in jumping events. Klassen cleared 13-06 in the pole vault to place seventh while Abels took sixth in the high jump with a leap of 6-02.
• Bellevue West had two boys and two girls earn a medal at the state meet.
Alex Lee and Sierra Hiatt each medaled in field events for the West girls. Lee notched a fifth-place medal in the discus while Sierra Hiatt placed eighth in the long jump.
For the T-birds boys, Jerome Houston raced to a fifth-place medal in the 110 hurdles. Gannon Spahn added an eighth-place finish in the pole vault.
• Trevor Marshall had the best showing for Gretna at the state tournament.
The Gretna sophomore cleared 6-6 in the high jump to earn a third-place medal. The sophomore also ran on the 1,600 relay team that finished one spot away from a state medal.
For the Gretna girls, Jadyn Makovicka and Addison Webster each earned medals in the hurdles. Makovicka, a senior, earned a sixth-place medal in the 300 hurdles by clocking a 47.13.
Webster capped her freshman season by running the 100 hurdles in 15.55 to place seventh.
• Ralston saw two individuals and one relay team medal at state over the weekend.
Leading the Rams was Natalya Wells. The Ram junior earned a pair of medals to record nine team points.
Wells placed fourth in the 300 hurdles, clocking a time of 46.88 while also taking fifth in the long jump with a leap of 16-06.50.
On the boys side, the Ralston 3,200 relay team had the best finish. Merlin Padilla, Owen Molgaard, Jackson Lepert and Thredrice Jones combined for a fourth-place finish after a time of 8:30.2.
Senior Connor McDonnell added a sixth-place finish in the 110 hurdles, finishing in 15.41.