Grizzle sisters the definition of success for Tonganoxie
Chieftains sisters’ combined arm forces shatter THS track records
They throw so much and do it so well that their name is becoming synonymous with the action.
They are the Grizzle sisters - senior Roxi, junior Roni and freshman Dominique - and they throw, throw and throw some more.
Between them they heave shot put, discus and javelin for Tonganoxie High, and earlier this month the Chieftain sisters set a new standard in throwing dominance - and sibling rivalry - when they finished first (Roni), second (Roxi) and third (Dominique) in the shot put competition at the Bobcat Relays at Basehor-Linwood High.
The fact that the junior out-Grizzled the senior in the shot put that night, though, should come as no surprise. They each have their own specialty - Roxi's is the javelin and Roni's is the shot put - and they each hold the THS record in their event of choice.
Roxi, who will throw collegiately for Nebraska next year, broke her own javelin record with a throw of 160 feet, 6 inches at Basehor and Roni set a new mark in the shot put with a throw of 43 feet, 5.75 inches April 1 at Lansing.
Dominique said she doesn't yet know what event she would concentrate on, but she obviously has some big shoes to fill. The youngest Grizzle is hopeful she will one day catch up to her sisters in ability and with the help of THS javelin coach Dave St. Cyr and throws coach Matt Bond, whom the sisters credit for their development, that just might be possible.
In the shot put at least, Dominique isn't too far behind, as she proved at Basehor when she joined her sisters on the medal stand, which was a proud moment for their mother, Beth.
"It's something I've been waiting for for quite a while," their mother said of seeing them all competing in the same event.
The daughters knew it was a special occasion for their mom, and they were happier about that than they were about sweeping the medals in the event.
"It was pretty cool," Roxi said. "My mom has always wanted us to play together."
Beth had hoped to see them all play basketball this season, but Roni ended up being the lone Grizzle on the hardwood when Roxi and Dominique decided not to play.
Added Dominique, "It was pretty cool. I like seeing my mom happy."
While having siblings compete in the same event can provide some special moments, difficult ones come as well.
"There's some negatives," said Roni. "I'm always afraid that Roxanne's going to come out and beat me."
That has happened on more than one occasion and Beth said a particularly tough moment came in 2006 when Roxi was a sophomore and Roni was a freshman. The two were competing in the shot put at the Class 4A regional, where the top three finishers in the event would qualify for state. Roxi came up on her last throw and beat out Roni to move on to state.
"That was the worst moment because I've got one girl that I'm trying to be happy for and the other in tears because she didn't make it," Beth recalled. "It took a little while to get over that one."
The ups and downs of throwing competition for the Grizzles might not have ever happened if their older sister, Ryan Frame, a 2004 graduate of De Soto High, hadn't blazed a family trail by getting involved in track and field.
Roxi was just in middle school then and actually ended up throwing at practices with her sister at the nearby high school. From that point on the sisters started throwing at USATF meets in the summer and just kept improving with time.
Now, for one year only, all three are competing on the same team and scoring critical points for a talented THS girls squad coached by Chris Weller. The sisters take a business-like approach and are pushing each other politely without talking any trash.
Roni said she and her sisters benefit from the sibling rivalry.
"I thrive on that," she said.
And their competitive nature, Dominique said, doesn't damage their sisterly bond.
"Through everything we're still family, and we're still a team," the youngest Grizzle said.
As long as that's the case the sisters will keep Grizzling - or throwing - their way into the Tonganoxie record books.