Girls place seventh at Baldwin Invitational
Tonganoxie finished seventh out of 10 teams Friday at the Baldwin Invitational track meet.
While the Chieftains finished behind both other Kaw Valley League teams running at Baldwin, Bill Shaw, Tonganoxie High School girls track coach, said his team's scores will increase. He said he was happy with the results of Friday's competition.
"I thought it was a good opening meet for us," Shaw said.
Bryce Downey, who plans to sign a letter of intent today to high jump at Emporia State University, was the team's only gold medal winner.
Downey, a three-time state qualifier in the high jump, finished first in the high jump. She cleared five feet and beat the second-place jumper by two inches.
The 400-meter relay team came within a whisker of a gold too. Shaw said any of the first three teams across the line could have won. Tonganoxie was awarded third in 55.65 seconds, a promising sign for a group that has two new runners since last season.
Freshman Laura Korb, running in her first varsity track meet after placing at the state cross country meet in the fall, placed third in the 3,200-meter run in 13 minutes, 5.84 seconds.
Wendy Altman and Erin O'Brien joined Downey in scoring in the field events. Altman placed third in the javelin, throwing it 102 feet. O'Brien was sixth in the discus with a toss of 84 feet, seven inches.
Arrika Reeder placed fifth in the 100-meter dash, finishing in 13.78 seconds. The 3,200-meter relay team was third in 11:19.35.
The biggest blow to the team came in the pole vault. Andrea Korb, who set the school record in the pole vault last season and was expected to provide points in that event this year, broke her left wrist.
Shaw said she would be out for a minimum of five weeks. He said there is a chance that she could return to throw the javelin, but she will not be back vaulting this year.
Shaw's strategy contributed to Tonganoxie's lower score. Because it was the first meet of the year, Shaw entered most of his athletes in two or three events.
As the season progresses and his athletes are in better condition, he said he expects many of the girls to compete in four events the maximum at each meet.
Shaw told the girls before practice Monday to expect harder workouts in the coming weeks as they prepare to participate in additional events.
The girls competed Tuesday at Lansing. The junior varsity will compete Monday at DeSoto.
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