Hartshorn, Pistora snag silver medals at state
Sarah Hartshorn needed a pep talk from throwing coach Chris Parkin.
In her first two throws in the Class 4A discus, Hartshorn fouled and then threw the discus a mere 86 feet, 10 inches in her final event in a Tonganoxie uniform.
"I was choking," Hartshorn said. "I felt like 'OK, well this is my last track meet and I'm not going to perform.'"
And then came Parkin's words of encouragement.
"He told me: 'It's just another track meet; go out there and throw like I know you can,'" Hartshorn explained.
In her next throw, her final of the prelims, Hartshorn launched the discus 125-1. That throw qualified her for finals. During her first throw of finals, the senior improved on the previous mark with a 130-7 throw. That throw helped Hartshorn to a silver medal. Colby's Lissa Mazanec won the event with a 134-9 throw -- inches better than Hartshorn's career best, which also is the THS school record.
"Actually, I wish I would have got the gold because it was my senior year," Hartshorn said. "That's what I was I was hoping for, but I'm glad I got into the finals, considering my first two throws."
During the track season, Hartshorn decided she would attend Pittsburg State, but would not continue competing in college.
However, she promised Parkin before the meet that if she performed well at state, she would throw in college for at least one year.
Hartshorn has gained interest from Neosho County Community College, but is waiting to see whether she'll receive looks from other colleges.
Hartshorn also competed in the shot put Friday, but she didn't advance to the finals. Her 35-2 1/4 throw placed her in 12th. She entered the meet as the No. 6 thower, but she struggled with fouling on her throws by hitting the top of the toe-board.
Gary Allen and sunflower seeds
Hartshorn said during any track competition this year, she has a normal routine -- listen to country music artist Gary Allen before she competes and chew on sunflower seeds before and in between her throws.
Although Hartshorn promised Parkin she would throw at least a year in college, Parkin did not come through with one of his promises, Hartshorn said.
Parkin was supposed to dye his hair red for the state meet, but he backed out.
"We even offered to get the spray stuff, but he said no," Hartshorn said.
Coaches tried to convince their athletes that Wichita didn't have a Wal-Mart, and therefore the hair dye could not be purchased.
"And our hotel was right by the Wal-Mart," Hartshorn said with a laugh.
Pistora takes silver; Grizzle finishes fourth
Ali Pistora, who last year finished third in the 4A girls javelin, placed second this year.
Pistora's throw of 140-7 was more than four feet behind Labette County sophomore Katelyn Penner (145-0), who also won the event last year.
Teammate Roxie Grizzle placed fourth with a 133-6 throw.
Grizzle also placed 11th in the shot put (35-5 1/4), while Pistora placed 13th in high jump (4-10).
Other girls who competed at state included:
- Tracie Hileman, 13th in long jump (15-5 1/2); 16th in triple jump (32-1 1/2).
- Jennifer Wagner, 11th in 100 hurdle prelims, 17.24; 12th in pole vault, 8-6; 9th in 300 hurdle prelims, 47.63.
- Christy Weller, 7th in 800, 2:22.86; 14th in pole vault, 8-0.
Tonganoxie finished 11th at state as a team with 21 points. Concordia won the meet with 80, while Eudora finished second with 57.
Guthrie leads boys squad at state
Travis Guthrie's throw of 167-4 earned the junior an eighth-place finish in the 4A javelin. Guthrie threw his top throw during his second attempt. Concordia senior Zach Balthazor set a new state record in 4A with a 198-8 mark. The previous record was set in 2003 by Scott City's Kale Katt (197-1).
In the shot put, Kent Fleming finished his high school career with a 48-11 throw, good for ninth place. TMP-Marian's Eric Thomas won the event with a 62-9 1/2 throw, which also was a new 4A state record. Thomas broke a 1997 throw set by Beloit's Casey Seyfert.
In other events, Jeff Hughes finished 11th in the triple jump with a 41-7 1/2 throw.
He also placed 13th in the high jump at 5-8. Kendrick Whittington cleared 5-10, good for 12th.
THS did not score any points at the meet. Abilene won the 4A team crown with 75 points, while Baldwin finished second with 69.