Prep pulse: March 11, 2019

Prep pulse: March 11, 2019

This past week happened to be rife with current or former area prep stars doing good things in their respective athletic ventures.

The first achievement I heard of came from Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin junior Caleb Lahey.

Lahey is a reigning News-Gazette All-Area first-team choice on the football field, but he's also a successful weightlifter.

On March 2, Lahey performed a clean sweep of three competitions at a powerlifting showcase, hosted by Maroa-Forsyth.

Lahey showed out in the 200-211-pound weight class, breaking a pair of meet records.

Lahey's bench press of 350 pounds exceeded the previous top mark by 5 pounds. He also surpassed the event's best-ever squat mark by 20 pounds, powering through a 500-pound lift.

The third individual triumph for Lahey didn't carry a meet record, but he still outlasted everyone in the power clean.

Lahey earned a reputation on the gridiron as being an extremely tough runner to stop, piling up a local-best 1,872 yards and 27 touchdowns on 247 attempts last season.

The other three individuals whose accomplishments I learned of all are recent high school graduates, but their efforts still deserve to be recognized in this space.

Jessica Franklin, Nicholas Jackson and Austin Rauch all earned All-American status with their respective programs at last Friday's NCAA Division III track and field indoor national championships.

Franklin, a 2018 Mahomet-Seymour alumna who also attended Arthur Okaw Christian now at Illinois Wesleyan, wound up in eighth place in the pentathlon in Boston, securing the last possible All-America spot.

Her personal-best point total of 3,402 was greatly aided by the final event, the 800-meter run. Franklin won that race with a clocking of 2 minutes, 20 seconds and pushed herself from 11th in the pentathlon standings to her final spot.

During the five-event jaunt, Franklin also posted personal-bests in the 60 hurdles (9.21 seconds) and shot put (35 feet, 2 1 / 2 inches). At the same meet, Jackson, a 2017 Champaign Central grad, and Rauch, a 2018 Clinton graduate, matched Franklin with All-America status.

Rauch, representing Knox College, and Jackson, representing Adrian College, finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the men's high jump by each clearing 6 feet, 8 inches.

These two are the most recent Class 2A male state high jump champions as well. Rauch won the event last year by going 6-10, while Jackson took down the title the year prior with a top leap of 6-9.

All four of these young athletes appear likely to continue on an upward trajectory, so expect to hear more about them soon.

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