A lot can happen in 21 years. Back in 1993, the Dallas Cowboys won the Super Bowl against the Buffalo Bills. The Colorado Rockies played in their first season. The Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup against the Los Angeles Kings. Tennis star Monica Seles was stabbed. All of these things seem as if they happened a long time ago, because many undergraduate students weren't even born. 21 years ago marked the start of something special, the longest streak of consecutive regular-season wins in high school track and field.
Kearney High School, located in Kearney, Neb., is nationally recognized for its streak. Over 22 seasons, the Bearcats won 123 regular-season meets in a row. Not included in its streak are postseason wins. During that time, Kearney has won 21 consecutive district titles and 11 consecutive state championships. As an athlete, having Kearney on your schedule always resulted in a whirlwind of emotions. Yes, there's a lot of competition, but winning against them is impossible.
Winning against them was impossible. The streak that felt as if it would last forever came to a halt on April 5, when Millard West High School beat Kearney at the Columbus Invitational. The last team to beat Kearney in the regular season was Lincoln Southeast High School, in the first meet of the 1993 season.
“Winning every meet for 22 years seems like a long time, at least people tell me that,” Kearney coach Roger Mathiesen said to the Kearney Hub. For the Wildcats of Millard West, nothing felt better.
“Kearney is a class team, very well-coached and traditionally sound in field events. And nothing is sweeter than victory,” said Millard West coach Max Kurz.
One former Bearcat holds Nebraska track and field state records. Colby Wissel broke the 1,600-meter run record back in 2004, registering a 4:10.44. Wissel has the three fastest times run in that event in Nebraska history as well. Wissel also has the 3,200-meter run record in his name, running 8:55.55, also in 2004.
Even though the streak is over, Kearney still holds a strong grip on the high school track and field community throughout Nebraska and the nation. Its consecutive winning streak may be finished, but it's going to take years and years to take the Bearcats' record away from them.