THS boys track wins team title at Eudora
The Cardinal Relays might not have been a typical meet for the Tonganoxie High boys track team, but that didn’t take any luster off a team title Thursday at Eudora.
With the track meet happening a day before the high school portion of the Kansas Relays, in Lawrence, some teams didn’t have their full compliment of athletes available for competition at Eudora.
By the end of the night, the Chieftains, who weren’t sending any athletes to the Kansas Relays, had won five events to help secure a team title and THS coach Phil Williams said there was no reason to downplay the results because of the circumstances.
“We were very excited, and I was pleasantly surprised, to win the meet at Eudora,” Williams said. “Of course, several teams were not at full strength because of the KU Relays, but the win still gives us confidence and hopefully will be a springboard to future success.”
Plus, the coach said, Tonganoxie’s athletes performed at a level that was worthy of a first-place finish.
“If our kids hadn't competed well, I wouldn't have felt nearly good as I did, regardless of the team score,” Williams said. “On a cold, misty night, they really attacked each event like they meant business.”
The team’s senior field athletes led that attack, as Dylan Scates won the long jump and triple jump events, Adrian Whittington took first place in the high jump and Jake Willis scored another victory in the pole vault.
Still, the contributions of THS runners were not lost on Williams.
“Our field kids did well, as usual, but the big difference was that we scored a lot more points on the track than we have been,” the coach said.
The Chieftains received first-place points in the 4x800 relay thanks to Marcus Titterington, Dalton Harrington, Evan Stilgenbauer and Matt Briggs achieving their best time of the year, 8:59.1.
“They started the running finals off with a win,” Williams said of the 4x800 team. “The rest took it from there.”
After helping the 4x800 team take first, Briggs followed it up with third-place finishes in both the 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters races, giving him 5,600 meters on his personal odometer at Eudora.
“I felt Matt Briggs had one of the best meets of anyone we have had for a long time,” Williams said. “He medaled in the 4x800, 1,600, and 3,200, and you don't find many who will even try that combination of events, let alone medal in all three.”
Freshman Evan Stilgenbauer also took third place on the track with his 2:14.3 time in the 800-meter run.
The Chieftains’ 4x100 relay team was in position to medal before a bad handoff ruined their race, Williams said of a sixth-place finish by Tyler Basso, Dylan Jacobs, Whittington and Scates.
The depth of Tonganoxie’s field events was on display again at Eudora, where the Chieftains had 14 top-seven finishes between their jumpers, throwers and vaulters. Williams credited the THS field coaches — Matt Bond (throws), Brandon Ruud (javelin), Steve Hughes (pole vault) and Chris Weller (jumps) — for developing young athletes the past couple of years, and said it is really paying off now.
Williams said Scates has become one of the best triple- and long-jumpers in Class 4A, Dallas Jacobs can score points in all three throwing events, Lucas Ahart has become a top javelin thrower for THS and he called Willis one of the best two or three pole vaulters in the state.
The coach said sprinters are really the only thing lacking on this season’s team.
“We knew at the beginning of the year that we weren't going to score much in the short races, but have really been doing well in almost everything else,” he said. “We are looking forward to getting some nice weather and finishing the season strong.”
At 4 p.m. on Friday, Tonganoxie will compete at the De Soto Invitational.
Thursday at Eudora
Team scores: 1. Tonganoxie, 110; 2. Perry-Lecompton, 83; 3. Mill Valley, 78; 4. De Soto, 70.5; 5. Pleasant Ridge, 62; 6. Eudora, 61.5; 7. Baldwin, 53; 8. McLouth, 42; 9. Piper, 40; 10. Kansas City Christian, 12.
Shot put — 4. Dallas Jacobs, 43-2.
Discus — 4. Dallas Jacobs, 126-9; 7. Clayton Neas, 118-1.
Javelin — 4. Lucas Ahart, 149-7; 7. Dan Hopkins, 143-6.
Long jump — 1. Dylan Scates, 19-11.75; 3. Adrian Whittington, 19-0.25.
High jump — 1. Adrian Whittington, 5-10; 3. Dylan Jacobs, 5-10.
Triple jump — 1. Dylan Scates, 42-3; 2. Adrian Whittington, 41-0.25.
Pole vault — 1. Jake Willis, 13-7; 4. Cody Martin, 11-0; 7. Ian McClellan, 10-0.
4x800 — 1. Marcus Titterington, Dalton Harrington, Evan Stilgenbauer, Matt Briggs, 8:59.1.
1,600 meters — 3. Matt Briggs, 5:03.9.
4x100 relay — 6. Tyler Basso, Dylan Jacobs, Adrian Whittington, Dylan Scates, 47.5.
800 meters — 3. Evan Stilgenbauer, 2:14.3.
3,200 meters — 3. Matt Briggs, 10:58.4.
4x400 relay — 7. Dylan Jacobs, Dalton Harrington, Noe Puebla, Dan Hopkins, 3:59.8.