A technicality was all that kept Dylan Kautz from replacing his own state record.

The Norfolk Catholic senior would have bettered his Class C 100-meter record when he sprinted down the front stretch in 10.63 seconds Friday after he ran a 10.70 a year ago. It was the fastest qualifying time to reach the Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. final.

“I’m happy with it,” Kautz said. “I got into the finals tomorrow, and that’s all you can ask for.”

But a reading of 2.4 meters on the wind gauge — NFHS regulations require a reading below 2.0 — meant it won’t count for a state record. And the next two class prelims that followed were well below 2.0.

The wind struck again a few hours later for Kautz in the 200 preliminaries. He won his heat in 21.77 seconds, the fastest qualifying time that appeared to break the previous state and meet record of 21.78 set in 2001 by Fort Calhoun’s Cole Biodrowski. But the wind gauge was at 2.3.

Also for the Knights, senior Ethan Piper — a Husker football recruit — took home a runner-up finish in the shot put. His best throw came in at 55 feet, 3 ½ inches.

Kautz also holds a record in football, with the 11-man mark of 7,580 rushing yards in four seasons. As a senior, he rushed for 2,737 yards and scored 47 touchdowns — 45 on the ground — in 13 games. Already a three-time state champion in the 100 and 200, Kautz took Friday’s news in stride.

“There’s nothing you can do about it,” he said. “Just gotta let it go past and focus on your next race.”

In the next breath, he emphasized what needed to come next.

“If you don’t focus, you don’t perform well,” he said.

A refreshing addition

A new option for state track fans to get refreshments during the competition was unveiled Friday.

Cold bottles of water and soda were being hawked by vendors in the seats on the west side of Burke Stadium.

For the first time since the meet has been at Burke, fans didn’t have to leave their seats to get a beverage.

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Making most of shot at state

When Pleasanton’s Riley Racicky threw 44 feet in the shot put at the first meet this year, he thought his hopes of winning a gold medal at state were a pipe dream.

Friday, his pipes delivered a throw of 53 feet, 2½ inches — good enough for the Class D gold.

“I’m pretty excited. I don’t think anybody (from Pleasanton) has won a gold medal down here that I know of. I could be wrong about that,” he said. “It feels pretty good being the first I know about, and if I’m not the first, I feel great about myself for throwing that.”

Pleasanton coach Randy Bauer said Racicky is not the first, but he can be forgiven for not knowing that. No Bulldog has brought home a gold medal since 1968, a gap of 51 years.

He almost needed to provide it to meet officials as proof because a typographical error put Racicky in 13th place with a 43-foot throw.

“They had it messed up. I was freaking out about that,” Racicky said. 

Spectator participation

The final equipment-related delay came before the Class D girls 200-meter prelims. It lasted 18 minutes, but during the final hiatus someone started piping music through the Burke Stadium speakers.

When Jefferson Starship’s “Jane,” a 1979 song, began to play, fans in the east stands broke out their cellphones, turned on their flashlights and began waving them back-and-forth, concert style.

Fans in the west stands soon followed, and Burke Stadium was lit a bit brighter for five minutes. No butane lighters, which is what was used at Starship and other concerts four decades ago.

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