The North Bend Eagle


 

Queen of the Ring

Queen of the Ring

Just two years into her career, Dirkschneider stakes claim as best thrower in NBC history

by Nathan Arneal
Published 5/15/13

The North Bend Central girls throw crew has made its mark as one of the best in the state recently. Under the tutelage of coach Bob Feurer, the Tiger girl throwers have collected 11 state meet medals in the past seven years.

During that time the school record in either the shot put or discus has been bettered four times.

But it took until Thursday’s district meet for an NBC thrower to do something that hadn’t been done since the early ‘70s. With a toss of 135-3 feet, sophomore Samantha Dirkschneider broke the school record in the discus, adding to the shot put record she already owns. The last person to hold both titles was Becky Kucera, who set early records in both the shot put and discus in 1972, the second season of NBC girls track and field. Kucera’s discus record was broken in 1977, and no one has held the record in both weight events since.

That is, until Thursday.

Dirkschneider entered the district meet coming off a season-low performance at Bergan, where her best effort measured 108-0. It didn’t take her long to put that behind her.

Dirkschneider’s first throw Thursday measured 134 feet, breaking the record of 130-6 set by Jamie Spath in 2008.

“I felt really awesome," Dirkschneider said. “Right when I walked out of the ring I instantly looked at Mr. Feurer when they said 134 feet, and he just threw his arms up. It was just a good feeling.”

Her next throw was even better: 135-3, which held up to win the gold medal. Head coach Jeff Voss wasn’t surprised.

“That’s what she does,” he said. “She had a bad day at Bergan, but she wasn’t going to be denied today.”

The sophomore has been bothered by a groin pull for much of the season, but extra rest the week prior to districts had her feeling good Thursday.

Unfortunately, she said she tweaked the groin again at the end of the district shot put.

Dirkschneider made a name for herself in the shot put as soon as she stepped on the scene as a freshman, winning the East Husker championship, breaking the school record and placing third at state. Her record shot put of 43-1 was the best throw in all of Class C in 2012.

In the discus, her “other event,” she toiled in the shadow of senior teammate Samantha Dolezal. It wasn’t until this season that Dirkschneider began to look at the discus as an event where she could equal her success in the shot put.

“When Sam Dolezal got so close to (the record) last year, I told myself I could probably never do that,” she said. “I could never throw that. But I did and I surprised myself.”

While Dirkschneider has unified the NBC throwing records, she is still chasing something both Dolezal and Kucera accomplished: winning a state championship.

Going into this weekend’s state meet, her best throws of the season, 42-0 and 135-3, have her ranked fourth in Class C in both events. Based on district results, she is seeded second in both throws.

One of her primary obstacles in the shot put will be a familiar one, defending state champion Samantha Liermann of Wisner-Pilger, who is ranked No. 1 in the state and beat Dirkschneider in the EHC meet April 27.

Two East Husker throwers battling it out for conference and state gold isn’t anything new to Dirkschneider. She said it reminded her of her sister Deanna, who held the NBC shot put record until little sis broke it last year. Deanna

Dirkschneider placed second at state to Annie Jackson of Tekamah-Herman for two straight years.

Feurer is looking forward to the next two years of Sammy Dirkschneider’s career.

“Honestly, Sam’s an athlete, which is somewhat of a rarity in the throws,” Feurer said. “Good athletes make things look easy that aren’t for most people.”

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