SACRAMENTO – Steven Conrad etched his name into Nevada County sports history with his performance at the Sac-Joaquin Section Track and Field finals at Sacramento City College Friday.
The Nevada Union senior smashed two school records and came .02 seconds away from a third as he became the first area athlete to qualify for four events in the state meet since NU girls’ legend Durelle Schimek did so in 1986.
Conrad set school marks in the both the 200-meter dash with a second-place time of 21.35 and the long jump with a third-place distance of 24 feet, two inches.
The University of California at Berkeley-bound decathlete just missed the program’s best-ever mark in the 110 high hurdles with a second-place time of 14.59. He also took second in the 100 at 10.78.
The top three from each event earned a berth into the state meet at Hughes Stadium June 3-4.
“That had to be one of the greatest individual performances I’ve ever seen from any NU athlete. Ever,” long-time Miner head coach Sig Ostrom said. “He tells me what he’s going to do, but I’m always pretty skeptical. He does what I pretty much expect in the trials, but he has a way of stepping up in the finals.”
Conrad knew he was in for a big day from the moment he fell out of the rack.
“I woke up this morning feeling great. I came here and felt great. Things were perfect today,” said Conrad, who will compete in all four events at the state meet. “I felt great doing all four today. I can do it again.”
NU’s Nathan Jones took seventh in the 300 intermediate hurdles with a time of 40.52. James Brindley had a no height in the pole vault.
Sara Heidelberger dropped .20 off her personal best time in the 300 low hurdles at 46.77 to finish ninth. Shannon Lingo posted a time of 5:44.54 in the girls 1,600 to take 27th.
For Bear River, senior Chelsea Haverty matched the school’s girls long jump record of 17-3, which she set at last week’s section qualifier, but missed the cut for the state meet in eighth place.
“It’s kind of a bittersweet ending. It was awesome to see all of (these great athletes), but it’s sad that this is my last sport in high school,” Haverty said. “But I guess it had to end sometime.”
Bruin freshman high jumper Rachel Welz also had her dream of a ticket to the state meet dashed when she bowed out at the 5-4 mark.
Welz, who set the school’s girls record this year at 5-5, didn’t hang her head.
“It was a good experience,” she said. “I did a lot better than I was expected to as far as rankings go.”
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