Injuries hamper girls team
An injury-stricken Tonganoxie girls track team traveled to the Gardner Invitational Friday for its toughest test of the season.
And though Tonganoxie finished seventh out of the 10 competing schools, Coach Bill Shaw said his team hadn't failed that test. He said it was a learning experience.
"They saw what the competition's going to be like at the regional track meet," Shaw said. "People who have ambitions for state can see what it's going to take to get to that next level."
But, Shaw said, having a healthy team would help.
Missing from the Tonganoxie line-up was Aimee Eisman, who is a major point-winner for the team.
"She's had some bad arches," said Coach Bill Shaw. "So she sat out the whole meet."
But even if Eisman had competed, the best the team could have finished would have been fifth.
"That was the toughest meet we've had all year," he said. "There were two 5A powerhouses there: Paola and Gardner. And then Mill Valley is really pretty good, too."
Mill Valley is the only Kaw Valley League school that the girls and the boys, too have yet to beat.
But though the team didn't finish in its usual podium position, Shaw said several girls individually did well at the meet.
Because of the strength of competition, nobody placed first or second, but the team did score several personal bests.
Erin O'Brien earned the teams lone bronze in the discus with a toss of 97 feet, 4 inches.
Jennifer Reischman took fourth in the 100-meter hurdles, setting a personal best of 17.18 seconds.
She's still recovering from an injured quadriceps.
Freshman Katie Jeannin also set her personal best mark in the 400 meters, taking fourth with a time of 1 minute, 4.05 seconds.
Shaw said that Jeannin had a good shot at taking the league championship, since the first the places were taken by non-league opponents.
Shaw said he also was impressed with the 1600-meter relay team of Meghan Needham, Lauren Donnelly, Kelly Breuer and Jeannin. The team also recorded a personal best of 4 minutes, 36 seconds.
Shaw said he expected his team would be back up to full strength and health soon.