City prepares for track regionals
On the eve of Friday's regional track meet, which is to be held here, the Tonganoxie coaching staff is confident the team is as ready as it could be for the event.
"At this point there isn't a whole lot we could could do if we weren't," said coach Bill Shaw. "But right now I think were in the shape we want to be in."
That seemed to be the case at the Kaw Valley League track meet, where individual performers did shine, though the team scores weren't as lofty as some might have expected.
Coaches said that this year, the league has more talent in it than it has had in years.
"As a team, we performed about as well as we could have," Shaw said.
And they performed well during what turned out to be a difficult week for Tonganoxie team members, both on and of the track.
The storm that sent a tornado to Tonganoxie Thursday night also sent lightning bolts to Basehor, causing the Kaw Valley league track meet to be postponed at 8:30 p.m. until Friday at 3 p.m. That meant senior Arrika Reeder had to wait until the next day to claim gold for Tonganoxie in both the 100 and 200.
But a day and a disaster between qualifying and finals didn't slow Reeder down. She turned in a blazing time of 12.59 in the 100 and 28.3 in the 200. Shaw said these times were close to the best, if not the best, times Reeder had ever posted.
Joining Reeder as a league champion on the girls side was Laura Korb, who won the 1,600 in 5:51.6, edging the second place DeSoto runner by 2.4 seconds. Korb also took fifth in the 800 with a time of 2:44.6.
Wendy Altman looked to have captured gold in the javelin with her throw of 108 feet, but Santa Fe Trail hurler Amanda Coppoc bested Altman's throw on her final attempt, catching the afternoon's fickle wind just right and planting her stick nearly four feet farther than Altman's. Andrea Korb took fifth in the event with a toss of 102 feet, eight inches.
"It was the same wind for everyone, but there is some skill involved in how you use it," Shaw said. "If you caught it right and got the tip down, that really helped add distance to the throw."
The wind wasn't a problem for Chieftain Tyler Wise who claimed the Kaw Valley pole vault championship over stiff competition from the Perry-Lecompton team. A fellow Chieftain vaulter Dustin Schultz took fifth, by clearing 11 feet, six inches.
Wise's vault of 13 feet netted the only gold for the boys team, which finished fifth in the meet. The girls team finished fourth.
Though placing fifth as a team, the Tong-anoxie boys track team had some outstanding individual performances, with many athletes showing their well-rounded conditioning by placing in multiple events.
A top performer for the Chieftains was Tony Miller, who took fourth in the shot put with a loft of 42 feet, eleven and one-half inches and fifth in the javelin with a throw of 139 feet, 10 inches.
In the high jump, Tonganoxie captured both second and third, with champion polevaulter Tyler Wise clearing six feet, two inches and teammate Scott Breuer clearing six feet even.
Jumper Joey Holek was another Chieftain who placed in multiple events, capturing fifth place in both the long jump and the triple jump.
In the distance events, the boys were as dominant as ever. Kyle Norris took second in the 1,600, with a time of4:56.5. Alan Davis took fourth in the 3,200 with a time of 10:50.5.
In the 800, Jared Smith lost at the tape to Lansing's Slater. Smith's time of 2:02.92 was a mere 0.17 of a second to slow for first. Teammate Andy Snapp took fourth in the event.
In the 4x800 meter relay, the Tonganoxie running machine which has been dominant lately stumbled slightly, falling to Santa Fe Trail by two seconds. The team's time of 8:38.8 was good enough for second place, however. Two weeks ago at Shawnee Mission, the team turned in a time of 8:14.1, which was one of the best times in the state.
"I think we were a little overconfident," Boys coach Phil Williams said. "But I'd be real surprised if they don't get the job done at regionals."
The 4x100 meter relay team took sixth with a time of 46.51.
The 4x400 relay team finished in fifth placing with a time of 3:38.2, in a race that saw the Perry-Lecompton team set a new meet record of 3:27.9.
With Reeder's double golds in the 100 and 200, Korb's gold in the 1600, Altman's close finish in the Javelin and other high finishers, coaches said they were pleased with how the team is coming together going into regionals. Senior jumper Brice Downey back from injuries.
"With Brice, we could have taken third," Shaw said. "But as soon as we saw that she was less than 100 percent, we decided not to risk it."
Coaches said they didn't want to take the chance of her re-injuring her sprained ankle before regionals and state. Coach Shaw said she would be back in the Chieftain line-up this Friday for the regional meet.
Another top performer for the girls team was Erin O'Brien, who took third in both the discus and the pole vault. She threw the discus 105 feet, three inches and vaulted seven feet, six inches. Teammate Nancy Milleret cleared six feet, six inches, which was good enough for sixth in the pole vault.
Two other girls who placed in multiple events were Alicia Stauch and Aimee Eisman.
Stauch took third in the 3,200, finishing her eight laps 27 seconds out of first with a time of 13:04.4. She grabbed fourth in the high jump, clearing four feet, eight inches.
Eisman took sixth in both hurdle events, logging a time of 54.31 in the intermediate hurdles and 17.4 in the high hurdles.
Reischman took sixth in the triple jump, going thirty feet, eight and one-half inches.
In the relays, Tonganoxie placed third in the 4x100, and fifth in the 4x400 and 4x800.