It’s no secret that Nate Gerry is fast.
Anyone who has watched the Washington senior sprint down the sideline in a frequent Warrior rout on the gridiron could see that Gerry has a gear that almost nobody else in the state can approach.
On the track, the senior put his speed on display at last year’s state meet, winning the 200-meter dash (as well as the gold medal awarded to the fastest time among all three class) and finishing just three-hundredths of a second behind Lincoln’s Gemechu Godi in the 100.
But there’s something different about this season’s early days. The Nebraska football recruit made that clear Tuesday in Yankton with a state-record 100 time of 10.3 (10.28 rounded up), breaking the old mark of 10-4 held by West Central’s Slade Hinricks (2002) and Rapid City Central’s Cole Tucker (2005).
At the time, Gerry didn’t realize he had made history.
“I came home Tuesday night and looked it up a little bit and saw that Hinricks from West Central had a 10.4 and I think that’s when it hit me,” Gerry said. “For the first outdoor meet of the year, I thought it was a pretty good time, but there’s room for improvement and things I need to work on.”
Wait, there’s more.
“I had three goals at the beginning of the season: to break the 100 and 200 records and to run a faster time each week,” he added. “To know that I accomplished one of my goals at the first outdoor meet of the year feels good, but I’m going to continue to work on the little things and improve to where I can increase my time.”
Shedding time off his record isn’t out of the question with Gerry’s freakish athletic ability, even though his 100 mark ranks third nationally among high schoolers for 2013.
Taking over the 200 mark of 21.1, a time that has stood for 87 years by Chet Bruce of Hot Springs and is the longest-standing record in South Dakota high school boys track, could be more of a challenge.
But it’s not impossible.
Gerry’s gold medal time last year at state was 21.83, but he also recorded a 21.4 earlier in the season. He won Tuesday’s event in Yankton with a time of 21.6 and should be able to improve on it as temperatures rise.
He also has a big stage for what could potentially be a record-breaking run in the 200 special event at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on May 3.
“(Tuesday) was definitely not the weather to run the 200 in,” said Gerry, “but it’s still one of my goals and I’m excited to run the 200 special event at the Howard Wood Relays. Hopefully that’ll be a good meet and a chance for me to step it up.”
Whereas the chilly temps didn’t hold back Gerry’s performance on the track, it also had little effect on Washington thrower Michaela Mayer, who won both the girls discus (125 feet, 9 inches) and shot put (39-9.75) by wide margins as the Warriors combined to win 22 events on Tuesday.
“It hurts as far as not being able to get on the track and with workouts, but you adjust and go with it,” said Warriors coach Everett Gebhart of the chilly spring conditions. “As far as affecting performance, I don’t think it has at this point.”