Not once in 13 years as the head track and field coach at Nodaway-Holt has Jamie James ever been able to watch one of his girls athletes win a state championship.
By the end of this weekend, that could change.
The most dynamic girls athlete to come through Nodaway-Holt in a long time, junior Megan Rosenbohm enters the Class 1 State Track & Field Championships in Jefferson City as one of the top gold medal contenders in two of her four qualifying events—the long jump and triple jump.
If she can win one or both, she'd be the first state champion at Nodaway-Holt since Randy Miller won the triple jump in 2003.
"It's just going to depend on how she performs that day," said James who will accompany Rosenbohm at state. "If she continues to progress like she has in both jumps, she's going to give herself that opportunity. It would be a great accomplishment to bring home one. Two would be even better. That is possible for her."
A state title is about the only thing lacking from Rosenbohm's extensive track and field career resume.
She's won five medals in two years at state—three as a freshman and two as a sophomore.
Last year, she came close to winning the triple jump, finishing runner-up to Westran's Brenna Cerveny.
Rosenbohm is the No. 2 seed in this year's triple jump field and the top seed in the long jump, both of which she won at districts and sectionals.
The triple jump is first on her state agenda today at 2 p.m.
Rosenbohm jumped 34-2.50 to win sectionals, a mark that's second only to St. Elizabeth junior Allie Heckemeyer's 35-8.
No one else in the field of 16 jumped further than 34 feet at sectionals.
Rosenbohm's season best in the triple is 35-0.75 at districts.
The long jump is Rosenbohm's fourth and final event of the weekend Saturday at 2 p.m.
She is competing in it for the first time at state since her freshman year.
Rosenbohm's sectional winning distance of 16-4.25 is close to three inches further than what her two closest competitors—Heckemeyer and Salisbury's Sarah Wilhite—jumped last weekend.
James estimates there are five girls in the field that have jumped over 16 feet at some point this year.
"It's an extremely competitive field," said James. "She has as good of a chance as anyone to win it. If she performs to the best of her abilities, she'll have an opportunity to bring home a state title."
Rosenbohm is not considered a state title contender in either of her other two events—the 200M dash and 400M dash. And to medal in either one, she'll have to run better than her seed.
Page 2 of 3 - She's ranked 13th in the 200M dash (27.74) and 10th in the 400M dash (1:02.88)
A top eight finish in each preliminary race is needed to advance to Saturday's finals which would assure Rosenbohm of a medal.
Rosenbohm has medaled in the 400M dash twice and finished seventh last year. She has never run at state before in the 200M dash.
The prelims of the 400M dash are today at 3:20 p.m. and the finals are Saturday at 2:05 p.m. The 200 prelims are today at 5:05 p.m. and the finals at 3:05 p.m. on Saturday.
"If Megan runs her personal best in the 400, she'll make the finals," said James. "If she runs what her best has been all year, she should still have a chance to be in the top eight. The 200 is probably a little harder. The majority of the 16 kids are very close."
Rosenbohm is Nodaway-Holt's lone state qualifier and one of only two Nodaway County athletes competing in multiple events.
Five of the remaining county state qualifiers are going for the first time and two—Jefferson's Shanna Welch and West Nodaway's Emily Cordell—are returning medalists.
Welch made it to state in the triple jump for the fourth straight year with a third place finish at sectionals.
She's medaled in each of her previous three trips to state, finishing fourth as a sophomore and sixth as a junior. Welch is seeded seventh this year with a mark of 33-3, putting her in contention to medal again.
Cordell earned her way to back to state in the 400M dash, running second in sectionals. A fourth place finisher at state last year, Cordell is seeded eighth with a time of 1:02.47.
She'll be in the first heat of the 400 prelims today at 3:20 p.m.
"I think she'll do really well," said West Nodaway head coach Roger Johnson. "If she goes down like last year and knocks time off, she's got a chance to be one of the top kids in the state. She wants to improve upon her finish from last year."
Another state returner with medal hopes is North Nodaway sophomore Alysa Lyle in the high jump.
She won the event at sectionals with a season-best height of 5-0 and is seeded seventh, three spots above last year's 10th place finish.
Chamois' Allison Mehmert owns the top height of 5-3, while the third through seven seeds are all at 5-0.
Lyle jumps today at 11 a.m.
In the boys triple jump, Northeast Nodaway junior Steve Schulte is right on the edge of medal contention, seeded ninth.
He jumped a season-best 40-9.75 at sectionals to finish fourth. Schulte make his state debut at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Page 3 of 3 - NEN senior teammate Sage DeLong is the 13th-seeded runner in the 100M dash field with a time of 11.67.
All 16 state qualifiers ran in the 11's during sectionals.
The 100M dash prelim race is today at 1:20 p.m. and a top eight finish advances DeLong to Saturday's finals at 1 p.m.
The only other boys qualifier—West Nodaway sophomore Trevor Meyer—competes in the long jump today at 11 a.m.
He's also a No. 13 seed with distance of 19-4 that got him fourth place at sectionals.
"We feel he's going to have to jump 20 or better to be in contention for a medal spot," said Johnson.
West Nodaway's 4 x 400M girls relay is an even bigger underdog to medal, seeded 16th with a time of 4:38.49. The Lady Rockets qualified for state as the final seed out of Sectional 4 with a dramatic last-lap rally by Cordell.
She and senior Madison Hagey—a member of last year's 4 x 800M relay—both have state experience, while sophomores Toni Caroll and Mel McGinness are first-time state qualifiers.
The 4 x 400M prelims are tonight at 6 p.m. and the top eight run in the finals Saturday.
"We've been fighting some injuries all year and hopefully we're getting through that," said Johnson. "We definitely have the potential to drop time when we're down there which is a good sign."