Pistora, Hartshorn lead charge at SM North Relays
A foot injury kept Ali Pistora out of competition.
She recovered quite well from her injury Friday at the Shawnee Mission North Relays. Pistora broke her own school record in the javelin with a throw of 133 feet, 9 inches. That beat her current mark by more than four feet and gave her a gold medal at the meet.
"It was an awesome day to throw," Pistora said.
In the process, Pistora became the first Chieftain track athlete to secure a gold medal at the relays.
In discus and shot, Sarah Hartshorn continued to earn medals as well. Hartshorn placed second in the discus (115-2) and second in the shot (37-1 1/2).
Her shot put throw marked a personal best for Hartshorn.
She said she's been successful in both events because she's gotten better at using the spin technique in the shot put ring. Last year, Hartshorn used the glide technique, but midway through the season switched to the technique more common in discus.
"I think it's helping that I'm doing the spin on shot and discus," Hartshorn said. "I'm getting the technique down more."
While Pistora became the first Chieftain to take gold at SMN, Hartshorn earned the school's first silver medals.
Other THS athletes also scored points for Tonganoxie. Jennifer Wagner finished fourth in the 300 intermediate hurdles, while Christy Weller took fourth in the 800. Pistora also managed a seventh-place finish in the high jump.
"All the kids really stepped up that day," THS coach Chris Weller said.
Tonganoxie competed on the current Shawnee Mission North track for the final time Friday. The school now is renovating the football and track facility to the tune of $9 million. When the Chieftains return to the meet next year, it will have a new track, a 93-foot press box and a stadium that will seat 5,500 spectators.
The Chieftain girls, much like the THS boys, dominated their home meet last week. Tonganoxie won the meet with 166 points. Second-place Basehor-Linwood scored 83.
Tonganoxie's best event was the javelin. The Chieftains placed five throwers in the top six. Elizabeth Baska took first, while Diana Saladin finished third. Tracie Hileman, Sami Franiuk and Rachel Bogard rounded out the next three spots.
"Javelin's been really unbelievable this year," Weller said. "We're about four to five girls deep in that."
In her first attempt at the 400 this year, Christy Weller won the event with a time of 1 minute, 2.57 seconds. She also finished second in the 800.
Overall, Tonganoxie had four gold medals at the meet.
The Chieftains also competed Thursday at the Piper Invitational. Tonganoxie placed second in the team standings. Results from that meet will appear in next week's edition of The Mirror.
THS will make its final push for the state track meet, starting with today's Kaw Valley League meet at Mill Valley.
The host school has been the league's powerhouse in recent years, but Tonganoxie could challenge this year.
"I think they'll be in the top 2," Weller said about his team.
Tonganoxie boys track members made sure they had a top-notch showing for their home crowd last week at the Tonganoxie Invitational.
THS won the meet with 172 points, scoring well ahead of St. Pius X, which had 93. Lansing came in third with 92.
"It was a real good meet to get all of our team in their and run for the home crowd," THS coach Phil Williams said.
Tonganoxie had just two gold medals, but the Chieftains also produced eight silver medals. One of those went to Travis Guthrie, who had a throw of 143-3 in the javelin.
"I've been really impressed lately with Travis Guthrie," Williams said. "He's really been improving in the javelin."
Williams noted that John Davis also ran well.
The Chieftains also competed Thursday at the Piper Invitational. Tonganoxie finished second at the meet, although individual results were not available at press time.
Some team members skipped the Piper meet to compete at the tradition-rich Shawnee Mission North Relays.
THS sent its 4x400 (Travis Schultz, Robert Kirch, Levi Huseman and Kaleb Lawrence) and 4x800 relay teams (Andy Kolman, John Davis, Matt Chenoweth and Levi Huseman). In individual events, Huseman ran the 800, Lawrence competed in the 100 and 200, while Chenoweth high-jumped and Kirch long-jumped.
Tonganoxie didn't place anyone in their respective events. Kent Fleming planned to compete, but a sore knee kept him out of competition.
Today, the Chieftains will defend their Kaw Valley League title at this year's meet in Shawnee at Mill Valley. Tonganoxie won last year's KVL meet on its home track and will look for a repeat at today's meet, which starts at 4 p.m.