OMAHA — Elliott Purdy remained true to his promise, although it came sooner than expected — and in a different event altogether.
The North Platte junior tossed aside Friday’s third-place finish in the shot put final by shattering a school record en route to a silver medal in the Class A discus on Saturday at Burke Stadium. The effort also helped the Bulldogs finish seventh overall as a team for Class A boys with 39 points.
"Yesterday’s yesterday," Purdy shrugged. "Shot put is kind of my main event, but coming out here today and getting a personal best in discus definitely lightens the blow a bit."
Purdy’s 177-foot, 7-inch throw not only surpassed his previous 176-foot personal best, which he recorded earlier in the year at the Papillion Invite, it also replaced North Platte’s previous record by a whopping five inches.
"I’ve been toying with it all year, so it’s kind of a big release off the shoulders," Purdy said. "The school record was 177-2, so breaking that by five inches felt really good."
Purdy, who entered Saturday’s discus competition with the fourth best qualifying mark behind teammate Joseph Larson, admitted that the signs for a good day had sprinkled themselves throughout the week.
"I had a good week of practice, so I knew something was going to happen and maybe I could have a decent weekend for discus," Purdy said. "But I wasn’t expecting to feel this loose or have this good of a day."
Lincoln East’s Tyler Brown finished the event with the gold, edging Purdy with a field-best 187-foot toss. Larson snagged bronze with 168-3, and North Platte teammate Nicolas Davis finished fifth with a throw of 157-11.
North Platte sophomore Kymani Sterling also added a silver medal for the Bulldogs in the Class A 400-meter finals.
Sterling, who battled Fremont’s defending champion for first place down to the final step, clocked a 49.54-second lap that missed Wesley Ferguson’s winning time by .47 seconds.
"I was nervous before the race," Sterling said. "This is my first time here, but I feel I did very good. I almost had him."
Wallace’s Swedberg wins gold in the 400
Prior to Sterling’s heat, the boys Class D 400-meter finals, too, came down to a defining kick down the stretch.
Despite tweaking his hamstring in the 200-meter prelims on Friday, Wallace’s Micah Swedberg shot off the blocks early on Saturday’s 400-meter finals to win the gold.
"I was a little worried about it," Swedberg said. "But I wanted to leave it all here today. I knew coming out on the last turn that it was all or nothing."
Swedberg’s 49.93 bested runner-up Osvaldo Cano of Garden County and Kenesaw’s Wyatt Hansen.