Young throwers shine at state
Hartshorn, Pistora provide only points for Tonganoxie in Wichita in discus, javelin events
Sarah Hartshorn's track season hit a snag back in April at the Cardinal Relays in Eudora.
Competing in the discus, Hartshorn either scratched or fouled on all of her attempts.
With not even one good measure on the results sheet, Hartshorn was issued a challenge by Tonganoxie throws coach Matt Bond.
"Coach Bond told me you have to decide whether you're going to be a thrower or just be OK with fouling out," Hartshorn said. "That kind of made me think I needed to work a little harder to show I wanted to throw."
The sophomore's marks in the last two weeks illustrated her new-found determination.
Hartshorn threw a personal best 113-7 at regionals in Tonganoxie and finished the meet in second.
¢ Class 6A: Hutchinson girls, Hutchinson boys
¢ Class 5A: Liberal girls, Liberal boys
¢ Class 4A: Buhler girls, Buhler boys
¢ Class 3A: Garden Plain girls, Hillsboro boys
¢ Class 2A: Olpe girls, Oxford boys
¢ Class 1A: Baileyville B&B girls, Pike Valley boys
Then came the state meet Friday in Wichita.
Hartshorn threw 116-11, helping her to a fourth-place finish. She was just one inch shy of third place and a bronze medal.
Hartshorn joined Ali Pistora as Tonganoxie's top medal finishers for both boys and girls at Cessna Stadium. Pistora, like Hartshorn, threw a personal best. The freshman heaved the javelin 129-4, which again set a school record. Buhler's Jenna Fast won the event with a 146-6 throw, while Lansing's Ashley Reider finished third at 131-4.
Pistora was in fifth heading into her final attempt, but leap-frogged Clearwater's Greta Tjaden. The CHS senior threw 128-5 in her first attempt, but fouled on four of her next five attempts.
"On her last throw, she PR'd again and moved into the fourth spot," Bond said about Pistora setting a personal record. "That says a lot about that kid."
She broke her own personal record for the year with the final throw.
Tonganoxie finished the state meet in 27th place with eight points -- all of which came from Pistora and Hartshorn.
Bond said his underclassmen have gone through growing pains this season, but they peaked at a perfect time.
"The PR (personal record) fact shows that maybe it's just because they're young and didn't know what was going on around them or that they know how to compete" Bond said. "And I think it's more about that -- competing."
A talented eighth-grade class coming up next year should continue Tonganoxie's youth movement, which the Chieftains hope will mean more state berths.
Of course, a state trip can be intimidating. In her first state appearance, Hartshorn said she needed a little time to settle down.
"The first time I actually got down there, it was Thursday night and Bond had me throw in the ring, and my stomach was just turning," Hartshorn said. "It was intimidating to see everyone down there."
Pistora also competed in the high jump and placed 12th in that event with a 5-0 height.
Katie Jeannin closed out her prep career with an eighth-place finish in the 800. She ran the race in 2:29.17. Rachel Weston missed the 100 hurdles finals. She placed 12th in prelims with a 16.63 time.
Shane Howard completed his career with one last piece of hardware. The senior placed seventh in the 300 hurdles Saturday with a 40.79 time. De Soto's Pete Crall finished fifth with a 40.71.
Levi Huseman finished the 800 in 12th with a 2:05.59 time and the Tonganoxie 4x800 relay team finished 12th in 8:37.45. Team members were Corey Brest, Matt Madeira, Andy Kolman and Huseman.
Howard also competed in the 110 hurdles, but finished in 10th in prelims, two spots from advancing to the finals.