The Lincoln Track Club awarded six $2,500 scholarships totaling $15,000 to local high school track and field athletes for the seventh consecutive year on Sunday, June 7. In lieu of an in-person award presentation, the LTC board traveled in a car parade to each scholarship winner’s house to present the awards.
“As a board, awarding scholarships to these outstanding student athletes is one of highlights of our year,” said Glen Moss, LTC president. “Being able to support our local athletes at the next level is a part of our mission to run, connect, and give back to the community. With so much going on in the world this year, we want to make sure our six recipients get the honor and recognition they deserve in a senior year where so much has been taken away.”
The 2020 scholarship recipients are:
Lindsey Blehm, Lincoln Southwest: She ran cross country and track for the Silverhawks where she was cross country team captain her junior and senior years. A seven-time Class A state medalist in the 800m, 1600m, 3200m, and 4x400m relay, Blehm’s breakout season was 2019 where she won the all-class gold medal in the 800m at the Nebraska State Track and Field Championship. She was also the runner-up in the 3200m and 4x400m relay as well as a fourth-place finish in the 1600m. “Lindsey’s leadership, work ethic, ability to overcome adversity, and ability to rise to the occasion when stakes are high made her a critical member of our 2018 and 2019 Girls Class A State Championship track and field teams,” said Brett Schuster, LSW head coach.
Blehm plans to run track and cross country at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln where she will study civil engineering.
Tyler Boyle, Lincoln Southwest: He was a member of the Silverhawk cross country and track and field teams. A two-time captain for the LSW cross country team, he led his team to the Class A State Championship in 2019 with a LSW record time of 15:54. Boyle was the 2019 all-class gold medalist for 3200m at the Nebraska State Track and Field Championship. “Tyler is among the best and most honorable student athletes I have ever coached. His determination and work ethic make him a truly special runner and role model to his teammates. His tireless hard work as athlete and leader on the team is the perfect avenue for us to see the star Tyler has become throughout his high school career,” said Ryan Salem, LSW head coach.
Boyle will be running cross country and track for the University of South Dakota where he plans to double major in sports marketing and media and exercise science.
Tyler Brown, Lincoln East: Brown was the 2019 Nebraska Gatorade Athlete of the Year for track and field as one of the best throwers in the nation. He was the 2019 all-class gold medalist in discus at the Nebraska State Track and Field Championship and finished fourth in the shot put. On the national level, he won the 2018 discus and finished second in 2019 in the Junior Olympic National Championship. He also placed eighth in the shot put in 2018 at the Junior Olympics. “Tyler is a coach’s dream. He listens, he converts information into results and never gets a big head. He is willing to learn, grow and develop as an athlete,” said Suzie Pierce, president of the Lincoln Youth Track Club.
Brown will be the fourth person in his family to throw for the University of Nebraska–Lincoln track and field team. He plans to major in business administration.
Javier Kenney, Lincoln East: He ran cross country and track at Lincoln East. Kenney helped the Spartans qualify for the Nebraska State Cross Country Championship in 2019 after a five-year absence. Because of his role in turning around the program, he was awarded the Andrea Kabourek “I Can, I Will” Award in November 2019. He was a key member of the 4x800m relay team that qualified for the Nebraska State Track and Field Championships in 2018 and 2019. “Javier has helped revitalize our middle distance and distance corps of runners and establish an identity of toughness and determination. He matured into one of the finest leaders I’ve been associated with in my coaching career,” said Brian Kabourek, head East cross country coach.
Kenney will run cross country and track at Nebraska Wesleyan University where he will major in athletic training.
Ellyn King, Lincoln Southeast: She was a multi-sport athlete at Lincoln Southeast competing in cross country and soccer. King was team captain and qualified for the 2019 state cross country meet where she finished 29th with a PR of 19:50. She played soccer for three years and was going to be a member of the Knights track and field team before the season was canceled. “Ellyn has a tremendous amount of grit. Her competitive spirit and leadership helped make her teammates better. I believe she has a level of persistence that will serve her well later in life,” said David Nebel, head Southeast cross country coach.
King will run track and cross country at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She plans to major in psychology and minor in exercise science.
Abigail Schmidt, Lincoln East: She led the Lincoln East cross country team to two runner-up and two state championships. One of East’s top runners, Schmidt finished in the top 15 in state all four years including a runner-up finish as a sophomore in 2017. Schmidt is the second East athlete, boy or girl, in school history to medal all four years at the Nebraska State Cross Country Championship. She was given the Spartan Hero Award for her leadership and the Shining Star Award for being a positive role model. “Abigail is one of those runners with drive, determination, and talent who makes an immediate impact. She has been a joy to coach because of her ability to put the team above herself,” said Kabourek, head East cross country coach.
Schmidt will run cross country and track for the University of South Dakota where she will major in medical biology.
The LTC established the scholarship program in 2013 to assist area cross country and track and field athletes who plan to compete at the next level. Scholarships were first awarded in 2014 to six athletes in the amount of $1,000 each. Beginning in 2015, the amount was upped to $2,500 each for up to six recipients. Since 2014, the LTC has awarded $83,500 in scholarships to 37 athletes. Lincoln East has the most scholarship recipients at 13 with Lincoln Pius X in second with five. Lincoln Southwest has four recipients followed by Lincoln High, Lincoln Northeast, Lincoln North Star, and Lincoln Southeast with three recipients. Waverly has two recipients, and Malcolm has one.
Photos by Kayla Wolf