Chieftains bound for state
Boys, girls send 15 participants to Wichita State
Madison Weller wasn't quite sure what motivated her and the other Tonganoxie 4x800 relay members Friday at regionals in Louisburg.
It could have been the starter's gun sounding at the meet that decides who advances to state. It might have been the final school bells sounding off hours before through the THS halls.
Whatever the impetus, Tonganoxie whipped up a regional title and a berth in the State Track and Field Championships on Saturday in Wichita.
"I was just excited," Weller said. "I was feeling it.
"We were ranked first, so we knew we had to get first. The momentum was there and I think the excitement of school getting out was part of it."
With Tonganoxie jockeying for position for nearly six laps, the sophomore made her way to the front of the pack. During her second lap, Weller built a lead and senior Katie Jeannin capitalized. As the final leg of the team, Jeannin cushioned Tonganoxie's lead and gave four Chieftains a great start to summer.
THS won the race with a convincing 10:02.4 time, nearly 11 seconds ahead of second-place Baldwin (10:13.2). Lansing also will go to state after posting a 10:13.9 time, as will fourth-place Mill Valley, which finished in 10:15.8.
The team of Weller, Katie Jeannin, Laura Jeannin and Tori King will run after 11:50 a.m. Saturday in Cessna Stadium. The girls finished eighth with 34 points. Baldwin blazed its way to a regional title with a 103-point outburst. Osawatomie advanced to state as a team with a mere 66 in second place. Kaw Valley League champion Mill Valley took third with 59, while fellow KVL foes Lansing (54) and De Soto (37) took fourth and fifth respectively. Anderson County tied De Soto and Eudora was seventh with 36.
The 4x800 team nabbed Tonganoxie's lone gold medal.
Katie Jeannin also took second in the 800 (2:28.10), while junior Rebecca Mages took fourth in the high jump with a 4-8 jump. Jennifer Reischman secured a second consecutive trip to state with another 100-meter high-hurdle berth.
Reischman took fourth at regionals with a 16.4 time, which was 2 seconds behind event-winner Jenny Snyder from Osawatomie. The senior won the regional event last year in Tonganoxie with an identical time. Reischman medaled last season with a seventh-place finish at state.
Other participants just missed a trip to Wichita.
Reischman barely beat out Rachael Weston in the hurdles as Weston took fifth just 3/10 of a second behind her teammate. Weston also placed fifth in the 300 meter low hurdles (51.7) and sixth in the high jump (4-8).
Kelly Breuer missed a chance at state as well. She finished fifth in the javelin with a personal best 106-9 throw. De Soto's Lisa Lambert won the event with a 128-11 toss; Lansing's Ashley Reider was second with a 124-7 throw.
Sarah Bradley finished out Tonganoxie's scoring with a 34-1 throw in the shot put. Bradley was 4.5 inches away from Basehor-Linwood's Katie Dukes in third place.
One of Tonganoxie's vans will be weighted down come Friday.
After failing to advance any throwers to Wichita last season, Tonganoxie qualified three last Friday in Louisburg.
Andrew Miller won the javelin with a career-best 179-9 throw, while Chris Clark also will make his state debut after taking third in the event with a 160-4 throw.
Throwing coach Matt Bond said Clark broke the news to him from across the Louisburg sports complex.
"160, Bond, 160!" Clark told the THS coach. "The last 10 days he's really been coming around."
With the addition of David St. Cyr as javelin coach this season, Bond said throwers have improved.
"He's why Chris Clark has come along," Bond said.
Nick Stein also heads to state with a third-place finish in the shot put (46-7). Ottawa's Caleb Blakesley won the shot put with a convincing throw of 54-9.5.
The boys 4x800 team will join its female counterpart in Wichita as the boys also took first in the event. The team of Kyle Norris, Tony Aligo, Levi Huseman and Shane Howard finished with a time of 8:27.5.
Jacob Walker turned in his second consecutive triple jump title with a 42-11.75 jump. The gold medal came more than a week after the senior set a new school record in the event. Walker also placed fourth in the long jump (19-11).
Mark O'Brien will head to state again with a third-place finish in Louisburg. O'Brien cleared 12-6 for the state berth. Last year, O'Brien advanced with a 12-0 height.
Norris will run in the 1,600 at state after taking third Friday. He finished in 4:41.8 behind Ottawa's David Cox (4:36.6) and Mill Valley's Jay Matlack (4:40.4).
Although he will compete in two events, his name won't appear in any lane assignments in this year's 800. After taking third in last year's state event, Norris pulled up with about 200 meters left in the race and didn't finish.
State qualifiers a year ago, Shane Howard and Joe Calovich won't be headed back in the high jump. Calovich took sixth with a 6-0 height. Howard tried to get back to state in the 110 high hurdles, but missed fourth place by 1/10 of a second. Howard had a 15.7 time. The junior also took sixth in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles with a 42.6 time.
The Chieftains managed a third-place finish in the team totals with 62 points. Meet favorite Lansing won with 95, while Ottawa produced 80 for second.
Baldwin 103, Osawatomie 66, Mill Valley 59, Lansing 54, De Soto 37, Anderson County 37, Eudora 36, Tonganoxie 34, Louisburg 30, Burlington 26, Ottawa 26 Bishop Ward 15, Prairie View 14, Spring Hill 14, Basehor-Linwood 6, Piper 1.
Lansing 95, Ottawa 80, Tonganoxie 62, Anderson County 58, Osawatomie 55, De Soto 37, Louisburg 35, Mill Valley 33, Eudora 24, Piper 22, Baldwin 19, Basehor-Linwood 16, Prairie View 16, Burlington 5.