Chieftain teams compete at SMN Relays
Overland Park Unlike most schools, Tonganoxie High doesn't set up a big shade-providing tent somewhere in the stadium to keep its athletes out of the blistering sun when it travels to track meets.
"We're just (Class) 4A. We don't have the money for it," joked senior Ali Pistora.
Besides, it likely wouldn't get much use, given that anyone with a passing interest in both the boys and girls programs is gathered where the throws are taking place.
Such was the case Friday night at the Shawnee Mission North Relays, and with good reason.
Sisters Roni and Roxie Grizzle each won two medals, including a gold apiece, to pace a top-five finish by the Tonganoxie girls in the team standings, while Zeb Kissinger and Travis Guthrie collected the sole team points for the boys with strong performances in the javelin.
Tonganoxie finished a point out of fourth on the girls side, as Gardner-Edgerton scored 43.
"It sure makes it look good in a track meet when they start the running events and you've already got a hundred and something points in the field," said girls coach Chris Weller, slightly exaggerating the Chieftains' bounty.
Yet the point still stands. As the Tonganoxie girls prepare for today's Kaw Valley League meet at Santa Fe Trail, they've got to feel confident their stable of long-distance throwers will keep them in the hunt for a league title based on their most recent showings.
Roxie Grizzle again showed why she's the favorite for state gold in the javelin later this month, setting a meet record with a throw of 154 feet, 2 inches. She also finished third in the shot put with a distance of 37-5 1/4.
"I felt good about the 154 - it flew good," said Grizzle, who, a week earlier, topped the 160 mark with one of the best throws in the nation this spring.
"But I don't want to just get the one throw out there. I want to get as many good throws as possible."
And she might need every one of them, just to keep bragging rights on her own team. While Grizzle's big throw came in the preliminaries, it nearly didn't hold up through the finals, as Pistora launched her runner-up toss of 152-8 on her final throw of the competition.
"It's the last throw. You have to make it a good heave," said Pistora about coming up big at the end. "It's good to get into the 150s."
Meanwhile, Roni Grizzle has started a discussion that her older sister might not even be throws queen in her own family, nabbing her own meet record with a throw of 42-3 1/4 in the shot put, while finishing fifth in the discus with a distance of 112-11 1/2.
"Roni's broken the shot put record, I believe, three times now," Weller said. "And Roxie and Ali really push each other."
The Tongie girls rounded out their 42 team points with Pistora's eighth-place finish in the high jump (5-2), and a 7-8 finish by Christy Weller and Andie Jeannin in the 800 meters.
"Overall, when you're talking about the caliber of kids we competed against, I thought we did real well," said Chris Weller, anxious to see how the collective performance translates into today's league meet and targeted foe Mill Valley. "I think we've got a legit shot at them. If everyone can do their specialty, I think we can beat them."
The Tonganoxie boys didn't exhibit nearly the same depth as the girls, earning just five team points. However, they came in a familiar area, as Kissinger finished sixth with a toss of 172-10 - topping his previous best effort by 10 feet - while Guthrie took eighth with a throw of 165-0.
And while it didn't result in team points, Jeff Hughes added a season-best leap of 42-2 1/2 in the triple jump.
"We brought seven (kids), and we knew that probably most of them weren't going to place. It's a chance to get their times and distances improved," said boys coach Phil Williams. "All the kids did close to their best if not their best. I was real pleased with everyone."
Boys team scores
Lawrence Free State 46, Olathe North 45.5, Shawnee Mission Northwest 44, Kansas City Harmon 44, Olathe East 43, Shawnee Mission East 37, Shawnee Mission West 35, Olathe Northwest 35, Gardner-Edgerton 32, Blue Valley 25.5, Mill Valley 25, Emporia 24, Shawnee Mission North 22, Lawrence 22, Ottawa 21, Shawnee Mission South 20, Blue Valley West 20, Blue Valley North 18, Leavenworth 16, Kansas City Wyandotte 15, Bonner Springs 14, Atchison 13, Olathe South 13, Kansas City Washington 13, Overland Park Aquinas 12, Blue Valley Northwest 10, Shawnee Maranatha 9, Girard 8, De Soto 5, Lansing 5, Roeland Park Miege 4, Tonganoxie 4, Kansas City Sumner 2.
3,200 - 18. Chris Price, 10:49.26.
300 hurdles - 16. Chris Jordan, 42.73.
High jump - 9. Kendrick Whittington, 6-2.
Triple jump - 13. Jeff Hughes, 42-2 1/2.
Discus - 12. Tyler Gurss, 128-5 1/2.
Javelin - 6. Zeb Kissinger, 172-10. 8. Travis Guthrie, 165-0.
Girls team scores
Leavenworth 70, Olathe East 64, Overland Park Aquinas 60, Gardner-Edgerton 43, Tonganoxie 42, Roeland Park Miege 40, Shawnee Mission South 40, Ottawa 31, Blue Valley West 31, Olathe Northwest 30, Lawrence 28, Mill Valley 22, Emporia 22, Blue Valley 20, Shawnee Mission West 19, De Soto 19, Shawnee Mission Northwest 17, Kansas City Sumner 17, Shawnee Mission East 16, Lawrence Free State 16, Shawnee Mission North 15, Kansas City Harmon 9, Atchison 8, Olathe South 6, Blue Valley Northwest 4, Kansas City Wyandotte 4, Olathe North 3, Blue Valley North 2, Girard 2, Kansas City Turner 1.
800 - 7. Christy Weller, 2:27.09. 8. Andie Jeannin, 2:27.48.
100 hurdles -1. Tracie Hileman, 17.15.
300 hurdles - 17. Jennifer Wagner, 49.93.
High jump - 8. Ali Pistora, 5-2. 18. Hileman, 4-10.
Shot put - 1. Roni Grizzle, 42-3 1/4. 3. Roxie Grizzle, 37-5 1/4.
Discus - 5. Ron. Grizzle, 112-11 1/2.
Javelin - 1. Rox. Grizzle, 154-2. 2. Pistora, 152-8.