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Thunder Ridge's Lowe on pace for state

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

LOGAN - Last year, then-Kensington-Thunder Ridge senior Blane Hrabe asked Trevor Lowe if he wanted to try javelin. Lowe started in the new event, and quickly emerged as one of the top Class 1A javelin throwers. Hrabe and Lowe eventually finished second and fourth at state.

"I didn't really expect to make it to state, and then I did pretty good at state, so I thought that was really cool," Lowe said.

A spring later, Lowe has already broken Hrabe's school record. He and La Crosse senior Kip Keeley, the defending state champion, are heavy state favorites. Keeley ranks third in the state and first in 1A with a throw of 190 feet. Despite having limited meets, Lowe stands fourth and second with a mark of 187-9. No other 1A thrower is within 20 feet, according to Carol Swenson's statewide performance list.

"We have had a lot of them that have been cancelled because of the bad weather, but it hasn't been too bad," Lowe said.

As well, Lowe, also an all-state fullback, has decided to walk on and throw javelin for Kansas State University next year.

"Decided to go to K-State for college," Lowe said. "(Coach) Darren (Grauerholz) thought I might be able to make it on the team."

On Tuesday, Lowe, with his usual long run-up to the line and neon socks, won the Logan Invitational with a mark of 166 feet.

The runway, "That's just where I felt comfortable starting from," Lowe said. "...(The socks), I just thought they looked cool. I thought they were different."

On his fourth throw, Lowe possibly could have thrown farther, but barely scratched when his foot slipped over the line.

"I didn't throw as good today as I wanted," he said. "Still pretty good."

Lowe continues to learn in the javelin. Between throws, especially after his third attempt, Lowe talked with Grauerholz and assistant coach Jim Struckhoff.

"They watch and tell me how to do better," Lowe said.

Lowe hasn't paid much attention to the rankings, but Grauerholz keeps him updated. Lowe was aware Keeley had exceeded 190 feet. However, the two attend different regionals and won't see each other until state.

"I think that would be cool," Lowe said of winning state.

Atchison takes high jump

Sophomore Miranda Atchison is part of a deep group of six Class 1A jumpers that have cleared 5-2, including four from the area. Atchison, who missed qualifying for state as a freshman, sees one of the other 5-2 jumpers on a near-weekly basis in Almena-Northern Valley sophomore Kortney Cunningham, a state qualifier last spring.

"It gets me motivated," Atchison said.

Atchison and Cunningham both cleared five feet, but Atchison won on misses. Last year, Atchison cleared five feet at one meet, buy has consistently cleared five feet this year After she cleared 5-2 earlier this spring - a jump she called "nerve-wracking," - Atchison set another goal to clear 5-4. Atchison said she has "worked on more technique" this year with Struckhoff, the Longhorn jumps coach.

"Just doing what I usually do and get my shoulders up," Atchison said of clearing 5-4.