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The Shelby-Rising City Huskies had many highlights during the 2018-19 athletic calendar. 

The football team made the playoffs for the first time since 1999, Brenna Houdersheldt qualified for the girls golf state championship making it five straight years that S-RC was represented in the tournament and Mason Schleis and Grant Lindsey qualified for the state tournament in wrestling.

But, perhaps the greatest accomplishment for Shelby-Rising City came in track and field when the boys tied for fifth as a team in the state championship and brought home four medals including a gold, silver, fourth place and sixth place. 

The Husky girls also had success finishing 21st as a team at the state meet with two fourth place finishes. 

The medals came from Mason Schleis winning the state championship in the long jump and Austin Coffin taking silver in the same event, the boys 1600 relay placed fourth, Kamryn Pokorney finished in fourth place in the shot put, Alison Nekl tied for fourth in the high jump and Mason Schleis placed sixth in the 400. 

The 26 points and fifth place finish is the best in school history for the boys, with the previous best coming in 2018 when the Huskies scored 21 points and placed ninth as a team. 

Schleis' gold medal, according to NSAA records, was also the first gold medal for the Huskies since Shelby and Rising City merged schools. 

His mark was a jump of 21 feet and 4 inches that won him the championship. That jumped tied his personal record set a week early at districts and was the second best jump from a Class C athlete that season. 

Coffin jumped 21 feet, 1 inch for second place. 

"Every day in practice we battle," Schleis said after winning the state championship. "It was a battle all year. To go one-two at state, it's a fitting ending. Just how we drew it up. It's a perfect ending."

The gold was a culmination of two months of work with the first meet of the season happening on March 15 at the Concordia Meet in Seward. 

Schleis got his first gold of the season there, winning the long jump with a distance of 20-8. 

The boys won the Concorida meet and the girls placed fifth, a sign of things to come during the season. 

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From there, the Huskies competed at the Osceola Invite on March 28 where the boys took second, trailing only Nebraska Christian. The boys scored in all but one event, two of three relays and won six events overall. 

Schleis once again won the long jump. 

The girls tied for fourth with Humphrey St. Francis, scoring in eight events. 

At the Fullerton Invite on April 1, the boys finished in second place and the girls took home third. 

Colin Wingard won the discus and Schleis won the triple jump during the meet. 

The season continued on April 9 at the High Plains Invite where Schleis won three more gold medals leading the boys to a second place team finish. He won the 400, long jump and triple jump. 

On April 18, the Huskies traveled to Genoa for the Twin River Invite. Schleis had another solid performance winning the 200, 400 and triple jump. 

S-RC then hosted its home track meet on April 23 and came away with the team championship. Schleis once again won the 200, 400 and triple jump.

On April 27, the Huskies competed in the Crossroads Conference meet. S-RC was in a close battle with McCool Junction.  

Schleis was once again the top scorer, winning the 200, 400 and triple jump helping S-RC to the team trophy. 

On May 9, the Huskies started the postseason going to the district championships. 

In total, Schleis, Coffin, Wyatt Whitmore, Max Hoatson and Grant Lindsley on the boys team and Pokorney and Nekl on the girls team secured a spot at the state meet.

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net 

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