Tonganoxie thrower has record-breaking day
THS freshman soaring to state with top performance
Tonganoxie High had several athletes punch their tickets to state at a Class 4A regional Friday at Piper, but one particular performer might have had an effort for the ages.
Freshman LeeRoi Johnson came into the boys discus event seeded eighth.
On his first throw, he threw 142 feet, 10 inches.
Three attempts, he bettered that mark by nearly 22 feet.
The rookie threw a personal best 162-4 and secured a silver medal at regionals.
He’ll be heading to Wichita’s Cessna Stadium in his first season on the THS squad.
“That was incredible,” THS boys coach Preston Troyer said Friday, referring to Johnson’s top throw.
The freshman was one of four THS boys to earn state berths.
Senior Levi Koch placed third in the discus with a throw of 153-10, while junior Dylan Staatz finished third in the triple jump at 41-11.25.
Staying with the yearlong script in the jumping events were Staatz and senior Devan Smith.
Smith and Staatz again provided a 1-2 punch in the long jump.
Smith won gold with a leap of 21-4. Staatz wasn’t far behind at 21-2.25 for the silver medal.
Smith looked to be in good shape for a berth in the high jump as well, but he had to settle for sixth (6-0).
The top four placers in each regional event advance to state.
Sophomore Drew Cook almost joined his team for a spot in Wichita. Cook finished the 1,600 in 4:46.05, good for fifth. He missed a state berth by just more than 3 seconds.
THS finished the meet in fourth with 44 points. Baldwin won the boys team title with 90, Piper placed second with 85 and Bishop Miege finished third with 72.
Girls sending 9 to state
The girls will have good representation in relays and field events at state.
The 4x800 team of freshmen Emma Campbell and Mia Bond, sophomore Emily Chambers and senior Tressa Walker placed second with a 10:05.46 time, 10 seconds behind Baldwin. The Chieftains and Bulldogs will have the top two times in 4A heading into state, according to girls coach Rachelle Pauly.
The 4x400 team of freshman Sierra Staatz, senior Kourtni Freemyer, Bond and Walker placed third with a time of 4:12.97. THS initially placed fourth, but THS and Basehor-Linwood coaches protested that an Atchison relay team member stepped outside her lane and inside the track.
Meet officials eventually ruled in favor of the protest and Atchison was disqualified.
Senior Summer Cerny placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles (17.53), while fellow senior Jessica Minear took third in the triple jump (34-1) and another senior, Jackie Whitledge advanced to state with a fourth-place finish in the long jump (15-8).
Campbell almost had a state berth in the 1,600, as she finished fifth in 5:32.29, about four seconds behind the final state qualifier.
Chambers placed sixth at 5:43.25 in the 1,600.
Freemyer scored points for THS in the pole vault with a sixth-place finish (9-0), but couldn’t nab a state berth. She’s been battling an ankle injury since the league meet the previous week, but still was able to earn a berth in the 4x400.
Baldwin also won the girls team title, though much more decisively than the boys.
The Bulldogs scored 127 — 57 points ahead of second-place Basehor-Linwood (70). Piper took third (55) and De Soto placed fourth (49).
Eudora scored 39 for fifth, while THS scored 35, good for sixth.
THS boys and girls teams will compete Friday and Saturday.
Check tonganoxiemirror.com for a schedule of when THS athletes will compete.