Burlington sophomore Amanda Viel was on the winning 3,200 relay team Tuesday in Elkhorn at the SLC Relays (Mike Ramczyk/Standard Press).

Demon thrower helps Burlington win shot put after recovering from car accident

By Mike Ramczyk

Nathan Bousman is finally back to some sense of normal.

In early December, the Burlington Demon junior was involved in a car accident and broke his neck and had to miss the entire wrestling season.

The tragedy resulted in Jason, Nathan’s dad and the Burlington track and field coach, stepping down as a wrestling coach to tend to his family.

Just eight months before, Nathan’s grandparents were injured in a car accident in Ireland, so it’s been a year of adversity for the Bousmans.

Four long, grueling months of emotional and physical pain passed, and Nathan was cleared to compete in sports two weeks before track season.

On Tuesday night at the Southern Lakes Conference track and field relays, Nathan and teammates Brian Konz and Taylon Hensley won the shot put relay, where Bousman hurled a personal-best 43-4.5.

Jason Bousman beamed with pride for his son.

“I think he’s done a great job overcoming adversity,” Jason said. “He broke his neck. It was difficult to know what he was going to be able to do in track. It was a downer for him. He’s going into the trades. It’s great to see him win.”

“Both of us picked each other up. It’s that father-son bond that made things happen. It’s been a long journey with the family, and it’s been a difficult time. It’s been good to see us come together and get through this.”

Konz, who usually only does discus, stepped up for the team to throw shot put, and Hensley overcame a shoulder injury during wrestling season.

Burlington placed third among the eight conference teams with 90.42 points.

Waterford won the boys event with 111.43 points.

For the girls, Burlington landed in fifth.

The Demon boys also won the 400 relay, where Zach Wallace, Jack Hartzell, Jack Shenkenberg and Nick Webley ran a blazing 45.61.

In the 800 relay, Wallace, Shenkenberg, Webley and Ben Vos nabbed first place with a time of 1:37.79.

“We’ve been blessed with good numbers, with guys over 85 alone, an all-time high, it’s nice to be able to use several lineups,” Coach Bousman added.

Webley, who says he is about 85 percent in his recovery from a broken leg during football season, also won the long jump Tuesday with a leap of 20-0.5.

Burlington’s Lucas Zasada took third with a 19-4.75.

For the girls, Amanda Viel, Meghan Harris, Celia Inthamavong and Addie Mangold won the 3,200 relay with a time of 11:07.41.

Emma Langley won the discus for the Demons with a personal-best 111-10.

“Our distance group has done a real nice job,” Bousman said.

“I am very pleased with the girls team. Getting the right team chemistry is something we’re focusing on this year. We are trying to go ‘all in.’ Everyone’s counting on each other to do their best in an event like this.”