Victorious at Eudora
Chieftain girls win another team title as athletes break meet, school records
Break out the erasers yet again.
Friday at the Eudora Invitational, Tonganoxie High girls track members broke four meet records, tied another and set two school records.
Oh, and the Chieftains also won the Eudora meet, outlasting the hosting Cardinals. THS scored 121 to Eudora's 113.
Senior Sarah Hartshorn set a new meet record and broke her own school record in the discus with a throw of 120 feet, 8 inches. Sophomore Ali Pistora also set a meet record in the javelin with a 125-3 heave. In addition, she tied a meet record in the high jump with a 5-2 jump.
Jennifer Wagner also broke meet and school records in the 300 hurdles with a 48.9 second time. And freshman Christy Weller set a new meet record in the 800 with a 2:27 time.
Tonganoxie also had gold medals in the long jump (Traci Hileman, 15-4), pole vault (Rachel Weston, 7-6) and high hurdles (Weston, 16.7).
Overall, five of Tonganoxie's eight gold medals came in field events, continuing a trend for the Chieftain girls of high point production in field events.
"The field events are just carrying the team right at the moment," THS girls coach Chris Weller said.
In the high jump, Hileman finished second with a 5-0 jump, while Weston came in fifth at 4-8. In the discus, senior Heather Deaver had a throw of 98-3, good for fourth place. Hileman also finished third in the triple jump with a 31-6 leap.
Tonganoxie had a fifth-place finish in the 4x800 relay and sixth-place finishes in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
In running events -- including the relays -- some team members are working through injuries.
"We've had a lot of shin splints and our calves seem to be killing us some," Weller said. "We're trying to emphasize stretching a little bit more."
Wagner, who had a big day breaking records in the 300 hurdles, stayed out of the high hurdles, the 4x400 and the pole vault because of a nagging injury.
"Hopefully we can get everybody healed up this week and start again," Weller said.
Tonganoxie had a junior varsity meet Monday at home. On Friday, the varsity will return to action at the Eudora Relays.
This time, state powerhouse Baldwin will be competing at Laws Field. De Soto, Sabetha and Kansas City Christian also headline the meet that should be a measuring stick for a Chieftain squad that has won its first three meets.
"Friday we'll find out what we're made of," Weller said. Royal Valley, Eudora, Pleasant Ridge, Perry-Lecompton, Immaculata, Cornerstone and Royal Valley also will compete at the meet.
A furious storm from the south prevented the Tonganoxie High boys track team from winning the Eudora Invitational on Friday.
The storm front was a cyclone from Ottawa -- make that several Ottawa Cyclones.
Ottawa scored 117 points, overpowering second-place Tonganoxie, which scored 83. OHS tallied six gold medals, helping the Cyclones to a convincing team title.
"We knew it was going to be a tough meet," THS coach Phil Williams said. "Ottawa is one we don't go up against too often."
Senior shot putter Caleb Blakesley led Ottawa's charge. Blakesley, who will start his college football career this fall at Kansas, won the event with a throw of 60 feet, 7 inches. Blakesley wowed spectators as his throws rolled out the front of the shot put ring. One attempt eventually rolled onto the track, which was northwest of the shot put ring.
Tonganoxie's Kent Fleming held his own in the stacked event. The junior placed fifth with a throw of 48-9.
Behind Tonganoxie at the meet were Bonner Springs and Osawatomie, which scored 66 and 64 points respectively. Eudora placed fifth with 44, while Louisburg finished sixth with 43. Paola scored 31 and Anderson County tallied 30. Other teams competing were McLouth, Pembroke Hill, Perry-Lecompton, Santa Fe Trail and Spring Hill.
Tonganoxie's best event was the triple jump. Sam Mitchell finished first with a 40-2 leap, while Jeff Hughes finished third with a 35-7 jump. Robert Kirch wasn't far behind at 35-0 1/2. Kirch also finished second in the long jump (20-6), while Mitchell was fifth (19-10). Matt Chenoweth earned a bronze in the high jump with a 5-10 height.
In the 400, Zach Ditty finished fourth with a 53.7-second time. Levi Huseman took second in the 800. He finished with a 2:03.4 time.
In distance running, Andy Kolman finished third in the 3,200. He had a 10:46.3 time.
"Distance runners ran their best times of the year," Williams said.
Andy Kolman's finish set a personal best by 30 seconds, while Justin Smith and Colt Coffin also ran their best times. Brett Garrett did not compete because of injury.
In the relays, Tonganoxie placed second in both the 4x800 and the 4x400.
The Chieftains still were nursing some injuries including Kaleb Lawrence, who likely would have contributed some points to Tonganoxie's team score.
Williams didn't think Tonganoxie would have overtaken Ottawa with everyone healthy, but he did think the score would have been closer.
"I think you're never going to get everybody doing the best at the same time, but overall I think we had a pretty good track meet," Williams said.
Tonganoxie's schedule continues to get more difficult as the season progresses. THS will return Friday to Eudora for the Cardinal Relays, which will feature Class 4A state power Baldwin. Tonganoxie still has track meets at Gardner-Edgerton and Shawnee Mission North approaching as well.
"I think it will help us," Williams said of the stiff competition. "We see different competition this week at Eudora.
"For the most part our weeks have gotten progressively more difficult, and that is what you want."
Junior Derek O'Brien placed fifth in the pole vault with a 10-6 height, but the Chieftains' leading pole vaulter likely is out for the season.
O'Brien broke his arm last weekend during an activity at the after-prom party.