Walker leaps over school triple-jump record
The moment was distinct.
Running in the prelims last Wednesday at the Kaw Valley League meet, Jacob Walker glided across the triple jump runway.
With the sand pit nearing, one foot solely pattered on the rubber surface.
Walker extended his arms and legs as he reached for the soft sandpit.
A small Tonganoxie contingency just beyond the Basehor-Linwood track let out a collective holler as assistant coach Chris Weller gave Walker an exuberant five on the side and a celebratory hug.
Walker not only leaped into first place in the Kaw Valley League meet with the jump of 43-4 1/4, he also set a new Tonganoxie High record.
The senior broke Micah Bray's record of 43-1 set in 1996.
As for Walker, he improved his own personal best by about seven inches.
"I don't have much of a second jump and I knew I was farther then, so I knew I did better there," Walker said.
Tonganoxie coach Phil Williams thought the measurement should rank fairly high in state.
"I think it would be top five," Williams said.
Walker must wait until Friday to test his own record again. Overall, it will be against a vastly different field at regionals in Louisburg. The Chieftains will have four KVL foes in the field of 16 teams, including Piper's Marcus Carr, who took second behind Walker on Friday. At state last season, Carr placed seventh in the triple jump with a 41-8 3/4 jump.
Walker, who also finished third in the long jump (20-4 1/4), was one of three Chieftains to take home gold. Kyle Norris won the 1,600 with a 4:39.4 time, while Andrew Miller took first in the javelin with a 171-11 throw.
Tonganoxie finished in second with 96 in the team standings. Lansing easily won the meet with 116. Perry-Lecompton took third (83) and Mill Valley was fourth (66).
Other Chieftains scoring at the meet were: 800 -- 3. Norris, 2:03.3, 5. Levi Huseman, 2:07.12; 1,600 -- 5. Tommy Powell, 4:51.84, 6. Corey Brest, Tonganoxie, 4:51.88; 3,200 -- 4. Powell, 10:49.83, 5. Andy Kolman, 11:01.48; 4x400 -- 5. Tonganoxie, 3:43.24; 4x800 -- 2. Tonganoxie, 8:37.35; 110 hurdles -- 4. Shane Howard, 15.98; long jump -- 3. Walker, 20-4 3/4; shot put -- 2. Nick Stein, 48-0 3/4; 6. James Hartshorn, 44-5; discus -- 128-3 1/2; triple jump -- 6. Billy Baska, 39-8 1/2; high jump -- 5. Joe Calovich, 5-10; 6. Matt Chenoweth, 5-10.
Williams said Lansing likely would be extremely difficult to catch at Friday's 16-team regional in Louisburg.
"If they perform well they're going to score as many as they did at league," Williams said.
Tonganoxie already has seen most of the teams in the region. Teams at the Class 4A regional are Baldwin, Basehor-Linwood, Burlington, De Soto, Eudora, Anderson County, Bishop Ward, Lansing, Louisburg, Mill Valley, Osawatomie, Ottawa, Piper, Prairie View, Spring Hill and Tonganoxie.
Tonganoxie was missing one if its top performers with Heather Helm sidelined suffering from a serious ankle sprain.
Still, Tonganoxie managed a second-place finish at last Wednesday's KVL meet.
Katie Jeannin won the 800 (2:30.91) and Jennifer Reischman won the 100 hurdles (16.5). The 4x800 again won gold despite Helm's absence. Tori King stepped in and the Chieftains finished with a season-best time of 10:12.78.
"I'm not taking anything away from Heather," THS coach Bill Shaw said. "It was a league meet and Mill Valley's got a great squad and they kept pushing us."
The Jaguars now are the three-time defending champions. Mill Valley cruised to a first-place finish with 159. Tonganoxie was a distant second with 102.
Before Mill Valley was created from the De Soto district, the Wildcats won the previous two titles.
Other Tonganoxie placers at KVL were: 800 -- 5. Madison Weller, 2:35.52; 1,600 -- 3. Laura Jeannin, 5:49.26; 3,200 -- 4. Laura Jeannin, 12:40.68; 4x100 -- 6. Tonganoxie, 55.72; 4x400 -- 4. Tonganoxie, 4:23.27; 100 hurdles -- 4. Rachel Weston, 16.91; 300 hurdles -- 2. Weston, 52.02; 3. Reischman, 52.21; shot put -- 3. Sarah Bradley, 34-8 1/4; discus -- 4. Heather Deaver, 102-6 1/2; triple jump -- 5. Kylie Ritchey, 30-9 1/2; javelin -- 2. Kelly Breuer, 99-10; high jump -- 2. Rachael Weston, Tonganoxie, 3. 4-8, Kylie Ritchey, 4-8, Rebecca Mages, 4-8.
Tonganoxie should be strongest in hurdles and the 4x800 relay. Katie Jeannin will be a contender in the 800 again, while the Chieftains will send three girls to regionals in the high jump because all made the qualifying standard for regionals. Usually, teams are allowed just two participants per event unless all make the qualifying mark.
Helm is very questionable for regionals. If she can't return, the Chieftains still will have both Reischman and Weston competing in Louisburg.
"It'll be an extremely tough regional," THS coach Bill Shaw said. "There's a lot of quality there in almost every event."