Back in charge of the KVL
THS boys capture second league title in three years with home victory
Tonganoxie is back at its perch atop the Kaw Valley League boys track world.
After finishing second last year at the KVL league meet, the Chieftains won this year's meet convincingly, scoring 103, nearly 20 points ahead of Lansing last Wednesday at Beatty Field in Tonganoxie.
THS had just two first-place finishes -- the 4x800 and Billy Baska in the long jump -- but once again scored often in most events. THS scored in 17 of 18 events with discus being the lone empty event.
"I thought we had several kids come through," THS coach Phil Williams said. "Billy Baska did a great job. Of course, Shane Howard had a really good day. He didn't have any firsts, but really performed well."
Howard finished second to De Soto's Pete Crall in the 300 and 110 hurdles. Howard lost by just more than 0.3 of a second in the 110. The senior also finished second in the high jump.
In the 100 meters, junior Kaleb Lawrence settled for fourth, but a photo finish showed Lawrence just missed a silver medal. Lawrence also placed fifth in the 200.
Levi Huseman again had a successful day in the 800 with a second-place finish at 2:03.82. Corey Brest placed fifth with a 2:08.55 time. In distance events, Andy Kolman finished second in the 3,200 meters behind Mill Valley's Jay Matlack and fifth in the 1,600.
Chris Clark joined Stein as the only other weight-event thrower to score for the Chieftains. Clark finished fifth in the javelin with a 146-2 throw.
THS also held its own in the relays. Along with the 4x800 win, the Chieftains finished second in the 4x400 and sixth in the 4x100.
Tonganoxie now has won four meets on the year and has finished lower than second just once -- in the season-opening Bobcat Relays where the Chieftains finished third.
With KVL and Tonganoxie Invitational wins secured, the Chieftains appear in their best form with regionals approaching Friday in Tonganoxie.
"We battled some minor injuries in the earlier part of the season," Williams said. "We got healthy and that helps a lot."
A host of league teams will be at the Class 4A regional, and Eudora and Baldwin also will be in town for the state-qualifying meet.
"They're both going to be tough team-wise, especially Eudora," Williams said. "I think we have a chance to be in the top two or three.
"I wouldn't say we are the favorite to be the team champion, but I think we have a chance to."
Mill Valley again was too much for its KVL counterparts.
The Jaguars scored 152 points, a whopping 50 ahead of second-place De Soto.
Tonganoxie, meanwhile, finished in fourth with 79 behind Lansing. The Lions scored 81 on the day.
Sarah Hartshorn and Rachel Weston were Tonganoxie's lone gold medalists. Hartshorn won the discus with a 107-2 throw; Weston won the 100 hurdles with a 16.77 time. The hurdles again were a strong point for Tonganoxie. Jennifer Wagner finished fifth and Rachel Bogard sixth in the 100 hurdles. And in the 300 hurdles, Wagner finished second and Weston fourth.
For complete Kaw Valley League results, look on page 2B.