THS jumpers’ jackpot
If an event includes sand or a bar, the Tonganoxie High School boys' track team is probably faring well in it.
If that event involves a leap or a bound, it's definitely a good time for the Chieftains.
Sophomore Joe Calovich took first in the high jump at the Cardinal Relays on Friday, while fellow classmate Billy Baska won the long jump with a 19 foot, 1/4 inch jump, and claimed the triple jump with a 38-9 3/4 performance. Calovich took second with a 38-4 3/4 jump, and won the high jump with a 6-4 effort. Caleb Poterbin took sixth in the triple jump and long jump as well.
"Our jumpers are carrying us," said Phil Williams, THS boys' coach. "Baska did well and Calovich did well."
The Chieftains finished in fourth place with 70 points. Perry-Lecompton won the meet with 126, while Sabetha (113.5) was second and Eudora (98) was third.
Tonganoxie did have troubles in another field event that the Chieftains usually dominate. Dustin Schultz, who took first at the last two THS meets, didn't place at the Cardinal Relays. Travis Andrews was the only Chieftain medalist, taking third in the event.
Kyle Norris took first in the 880-yard run, while Norris teamed with Nathan Bailey, Tony Aligo and Levi Huseman in the two-mile relay.
Alan Davis did not compete at Eudora. Instead, he participated in the Kansas Relays in Lawrence on Friday. Davis finished with a time of 9 minutes, 53.47 seconds. He was 28th out of 34 runners. Baldwin's Matt Noonan, who will run track for Missouri next season, took third, while Mill Valley's Griffin Lee was 11th.
Davis will be back with the Chieftains on Friday when the team competes in the Gardner-Edgerton Invitational.
Williams said the team must to be prepared for another strong meet.
"Our throwers need to start improving," Williams said.
Andrew Miller was the lone Chieftain placing in a throwing event.
He took fifth in the Javelin. Miller sat out the previous meet with a nagging back injury.
The Chieftain girls' team also took fourth place, marking the first meet they haven't won an invitational this season.
Tonganoxie finished with 71 behind Sabetha (160), Perry-Lecompton (104) and Baldwin (85).
Still, the Chieftains missed points because of injuries, while other athletes turned in personal bests.
Rachel Weston didn't compete because of a foot injury, and Madison Weller, who runs on the 4x400 and 4x800 teams, was out with a knee injury. Weston traditionally places in the hurdle events.
For those who did compete, the Cardinal Relays were a success, as four competitors turned in personal records.
Jennifer Reischman had her best time, taking first in the 110 high hurdles with a 16.67 finish. She also took fourth in the 330 hurdles for the Chieftains.
"She was very happy because it's the first time she's placed first at a big meet," Tonganoxie coach Bill Shaw said. "She's been working on those first three hurdles. She's usually a come-from-behind hurdler."
Erin Seymour, who usually places in the mile run, sat out of the event after experimenting with the 4x800 relay. Seymour then ran her personal best in the two-mile, placing second with a 12:53.4 time.
Erin O' Brien normally contends for the pole vault title, but had to settle for fourth in the event. O'Brien, though, had a personal best in the discus, taking second with a 106-2 throw. Laura Jeannin had a personal best in the half mile and took second with a time of 2:36.09. Elizabeth Smith also had her best time in the two-mile.
THS will compete at Gardner-Edgerton on Friday. Paola, GEHS and Mill Valley will be some of the meet's better teams.
Mill Valley is the only Kaw Valley League team the Chieftains haven't faced.