Posted 8 months ago
By John Axtell
Most signed before their senior seasons, and with a solid group of returning veterans, Baily expects another good CSC team.
Headliners of area interest are incoming freshmen Kelsy Wood of Hemingford, Nicky Applegarth of Chadron, Cody Franklin of Bridgeport, Matt Klein of Scottsbluff and Jesse Bleidt of Garden County.
All placed at state this spring with Bleidt the boy’s Class D discus champion and Franklin taking the boys Class C 1600 and 3200 titles.
Baily is also adding two other Panhandle athletes who spent the last year at Western Nebraska Community College, which doesn’t have track.
Isaiah Castellaw played baseball for the Cougars, but was the Class B intermediate hurdles champion for Scottsbluff High in 2012. Ryan Bustinza of Gering placed 5th at the Class B State cross country meet in 2010 and was one of Panhandle’s top 1600 and 3200 runners a year ago.
Also well known in the region is St Thomas More star Stachia Reuwsaat of Rapid City, who took 4 golds at this year’s South Dakota Class A state meet.
Reuwsaat set a state record of 18 feet, 9 ½ inches in the long jump on Day 1, then took the 100-meter dash in 12.14 seconds and the 200 meters in 26.12 seconds before anchoring More’s winning 4×100 relay of 50.44 seconds.
Baily has 5 recruits coming from Colorado high schools. Angelique Urenda of Pueblo won the Class 4A high jump title with a leap of 5-5 and placed 7th in the pole vault, while Kerri Ruff of Eaton was 2nd in the Class 3A discus and was 5th in the shot.
Chris Cutcher and Bryce Johnson are hurdling teammates from Mesa Ridge High School in Colorado Springs. Cutcher was 4th at state this year in the 110 high hurdles while Johnson was 7th in both hurdles events.
One of Baily’s most intriguing recruits is Austin Waterman of Greeley West High School, who a season-best of 180-feet in the discus but finished 2nd at in Class 5A at 165-5. He’s also a 2-time state wrestling champion with 40 pins in a 44-0 season last winter.
Three distance runners from Wyoming are also joining the Eagles. Robert Ricks of Douglas was 4th in the 1600 and 6th in the 3200 at the Class 3A state meet, while Hank Jackson of Lingle-Fort Laramie was 2nd in Class A in both 1600 and 3200. The fifth is Garrett Derr of Torrington.
Kelsey Wood qualified for state in 4 events her final 2 years at Hemingford High, placing 2nd this year in both hurdles with career-best times of 14.91 and 44.80 seconds. The marks were 3rd in the all-class standings in the low hurdles and 4th in the high hurdles.
Wood also placed 4th in the 100 and 7th in the long jump at the state meet, and had career-best marks this year in all 4 events…including 12.57 in the 100 and 17-5 ½ in the long jump. She was also valedictorian of her class.
Matt Klein won both hurdle races at the Best of the West, Western Conference and Class B District meets, then finished 3rd in the highs and 8th in the intermediates at state. His season-best times were 14.92 in the highs and 39.82 in the intermediates.
Garden County’s Jesse Bleidt topped his season best in the discus by 16-feet, 10-inches with his Class D championship throw of 152-10.
Cody Franklin opened his senior year at Bridgeport by claiming the Class D state cross country title last fall, then closed it with his Class C titles in the 1600 and 3200 meters in times of 4:30.95 and 9:43.47, respectively.
Nikki Applegarth was undefeated in the 3200 through the district meet with a top time of 11:50.27 and ran on Chadron High’s 4th place 4×800 relay team.
Baily is excited that Franklin and Applegarth both lowered their times significantly as seniors. Franklin knocked 23 seconds off his best time in the 3200 and 15-seconds in the 1600 , while Applegarth lowered her best 3200 time by 37 seconds.