Mill Valley, Gardner master field at GEHS Trailblazer Invitational
Thank goodness for May.
Surely temperatures will start feeling more like spring now that a new month is here.
On Friday at the Gardner-Edgerton Invitational, Tonganoxie and the rest of the competing teams once again battled the elements.
"It was 45 degrees and when we did those jumps," THS girls coach Chris Weller said, referring to the jumping events. "Two weeks in a row is all I can handle."
Luckily the weather cleared off later in the evening, but along with the elements, the Chieftains had to battle a talent-heavy group of teams on the girls side.
Mill Valley won the meet with 138 points, while Gardner-Edgerton placed second with 103. Tonganoxie, meanwhile, finished third with 71.
"Mill Valley and Gardner girls-wise, they're both loaded," Weller said. "They're two of the more dominant teams in 5A."
Weller pointed to the pole vault heights as evidence of the salty competition.
Jennifer Wagner and Rachael Weston tied the school record with jumps of 8-6, but finished sixth and seventh respectively at the meet. A Gardner athlete finished at 10-0, while second place was 9-0. The rest of the top seven finished at 8-6.
Sarah Hartshorn finished with a personal best in the shot put of 36-4, good for second place.
In the discus, she again finished first with a throw of 106-7.
Tracie Hileman, who has been Tonganoxie's points-leader throughout the season, finished third in the long jump (15-4). That marks the first time this season she has not won the long jump. She also placed fourth in both the triple jump and high jump.
Rachael Weston took home fifth in the high jump and fourth in the 100 hurdles.
In the 800, Christy Weller again was near the top of the race. She placed second with a 2:30.38 time.
Tonganoxie participated in its home meet Tuesday and sent runners Thursday to Piper and Friday to Shawnee Mission North.
The SM North Relays should give Tonganoxie another stiff day of competition as the Chieftains prepare for regionals and state.
Tonganoxie's run toward regionals received a potential setback last week when Ali Pistora injured her foot.
Weller said Pistora would have tests run today on her foot to determine how extensive the injury is.
One of the area's better javelin throwers and high jumpers, Pistora advanced to state in both events last year as a freshman.
Tonganoxie's depth couldn't push the Chieftains to a second consecutive meet title Friday at Gardner-Edgerton.
The Chieftains placed fifth out of eight teams as Gardner-Edgerton piled up 157 points for the team win. Mill Valley finished second with 123, while Bonner Springs placed third with 77. Louisburg finished just ahead of THS with 79.
"It was a tough meet," THS coach Phil Williams said. "I was real pleased with how we competed.
"Bonner has a few kids who can finish pretty high. Gardner's team is really loaded. Mill Valley is pretty tough -- that didn't leave too much left."
Tonganoxie didn't earn a gold medal at the event, but had three silvers with Levi Huseman's finish in the 800 (2:03.71) and Robert Kirch's leap in the long jump (20-1). The Tonganoxie 4x400 team also earned a silver with a season-best time of 3:35.67.
"They have a lot of potential," Williams said. "It was a good way to end up."
Jeff Hughes was the lone THS athlete to score twice in individual events. Hughes placed fifth in the high jump (5-6) and fourth in the triple jump (40-2 3/4).
The Chieftains still are without some of their top participants, but Kaleb Lawrence recently returned from injury.
Sam Mitchell was out again with a sore groin muscle, while Kent Fleming was nursing a bad knee, although Williams was hopeful Fleming would be healthy for the home invitational.
Tonganoxie's top pole vaulter, Derek O'Brien, and top discus thrower, Bryan Morris are with injuries. O'Brien broke his arm, while Morris is out with a broken thumb.
"We've been kind of snake-bit on those," Williams said.