Sweeping the field
Boys, girls track teams finish first at meet Friday
Tonganoxie left its competition in the dust Friday at the Basehor-Linwood Invitational, exploding out of the gates and dominating field events.
The boys scored 162 points, 51 more than second-place Lansing. The girls team followed suit, scoring 125.33 points to beat second-place Perry-Lecompton by six points.
Although the team shredded the competition at the meet, Coach Phil Williams said he knew the team could do better.
"I was real please with most of the kids," he said. "But I think there's room for improvement in all the events."
For the boys, a victory was almost a foregone conclusion before the runners ever took their marks. The boys team had already scored 90 points after completing the field events. That score alone would have beaten fourth-place Perry-Lecompton.
Williams said he was pleased with how well the field events went.
"We went first, second, third in the pole vault, and we medaled in all the field events," Williams said. "I think we showed a lot of depth there."
In fact, the boys team earned medals in every event.
On the way to its 90-point performance, the field unit earned 14 places, including three firsts and three seconds.
Earning first-place medals in field events were Tony Miller in the javelin, Dustin Schultz in the pole vault and Joey Holek in the long jump.
Roger Robinson earned a silver in the shot put, and Joe Calovich did the same in the high jump. Karl Cleavinger took second in the pole vault.
Unfortunately for the competition, Tonganoxie moved its show to the track where the runners added to the Chieftains' huge lead.
On the track, THS earned 15 places. While Calovich won the 110-meter hurdles to bring home the Chieftains' only running-event gold, eight others earned either second- or third-place medals.
Two of the boys' silvers came from 4x800- and 4x400-meter relays. Kyle Norris earned the other second in the 1,600 meters, missing gold by three seconds.
Bringing back bronze for the Chieftains was Shane Howard in the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles, Rodney Lobb in the 100 meters, Matt Madeira in the 400 meters and the 4x100-meter relay team.
Though the girls didn't dominate the field events to the extent the boys did, they held their own and then poured it on during running events.
The girls earned seven places in field events, including two firsts, three seconds, one third and one sixth.
The team dominated the high jump, with Stephanie Chenoweth taking the gold and Sarah Mages taking the silver.
Joining Chenoweth on the gold medal podium was Erin O'Brien, who won the pole vault. She cleared 8 feet, which was good enough to break her own school record of 7 feet, 6 inches.
Sarah Bradley and Keri Walker accounted for the girls' other two silvers, with Bradley taking second in the shot put and Walker taking her second in the javelin.
O'Brien also took the team's only third-place medal in the field events when she threw the discus 94 feet, 7.25 inches.
But as strong of a showing as the Chieftains had in the field events, the team doubled its medal output in the running events.
On the track, the team earned 14 top-six place, however, only one of its medals was gold.
That was earned by Aimee Eisman, who struck gold in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 17:32.
The Chieftains took home three second-place medals. The 4x400-meter relay team earned one of those. Jennifer Reischman earned her gold in the 300-meter hurdles and Erin Seymour earned hers in the 3,200 meters.
"Erin Seymour ran a great race," said girls Coach Bill Shaw. "She looks like she should really be coming on strong this year."
Picking up third-place medals in the girls running events were Brittany Jerome in the 300-meter hurdles, Keri Walker in the 3,200 meters, Reischman in the 100-meter hurdles and the 4x100-meter relay team.
"There were eight schools there and, to be perfectly honest, I figured we'd finish somewhere in the middle of the pack based on who we lost from last year," Shaw said. "But I was pleasantly surprised."