By BRETT MARSHALL
SUBLETTE — Officials at Sublette High School did everything they could possibly think of to get one step ahead of Old Man Winter and Mother Nature.
But even the plan to move the Haskell County Relays ahead 24 hours, originally scheduled for today to Monday, to beat an impending winter storm and frigid temperatures didn't work.
Yep. Once again, the Old Man and Mother had other ideas, and it wasn't particularly pretty.
Just minutes before the 4 p.m. start to the field events at Sublette High School stadium, the temperature was a balmy 72 degrees and the wind was blowing 20 mph out of the north.
By 6:20 p.m., when the 100-meter dash, the third track event, was completed, the temperature had dropped right through the basement to a bone-chilling 38 degrees, and the wind had picked up to 39 mph, gusting to 46 mph. And with a healthy dose of dirt blowing in, and it was a day to forget.
Mercifully, the officials halted the meet with just the seven field events and three running events (4x800-meter relay, 100/110-meter hurdles and 100-meter dash) completed. And the meet will not be rescheduled to a later date.
Coaches were unanimous in their disdain of the spring weather that has plagued nearly the entire track season through the first four weeks.
"Never seen it like this in all my years," said veteran Satanta coach Janie Lutz.
"We've barely had a day or two where it was decent at all," said Andrea Jones, head coach at Stanton County.
One could only imagine what they were really thinking about some of the nastiest weather in recent memory.
But out of the miserable conditions came one spectacular performance, and it was not in an event where one could have expected it to occur.
Stanton County's Quinn Kendrick, using a borrowed pole for the first time all season, soared 15-0 in the boys pole vault, establishing a personal best mark in conditions that left him nearly speechless in explaining his mark.
"I had to slow my approach down, and slowed it down so much it felt like I was jogging," said Kendrick of the wind that was at his back. "It felt amazing when I realized that I had cleared it."
Kendrick cleared the bar on his second attempt after having brushed it with his stomach on the first try.
He had waited to begin his vaults at 13-6 with Syracuse's Kyle Dupree the only other vaulter remaining at the height. Kendrick cleared that height on his first vault and the bar was raised to 14-0. Dupree missed on his three attempts while Kendrick made his first one. Already the winner, he had the bar raised to 15-0.
"I just thought there was no reason to try 14-6, I've already done that," Kendrick said. "I'd had the pole from the start of the season, but hadn't even practiced with it. It wasn't until I was laying on the mat looking back up that I realized I had made it. It is just an amazing feeling. I would not have expected this considering the conditions."
On a day where the marks didn't stand out with the excpetion of Kendrick, Stanton County's Marques Logan claimed the high jump at 6-0, winning on fewer misses, as Sublette's Carlos Chavarria and Kyler Telford of Rolla also cleared the height. Logan later finished second in the 100-meter high hurdles in 15.91, coming in behind Meade's Hayden Borth (15.30).
Another Stanton County standout — senior Mauri Steimel — grabbed a pair of wins in her specialty events, the throws. But her marks were far from normal expectations.
Steimel, the 2012 Class 2A shot put champion and discus runner-up, took firsts with throws of 36-2 and 105-11, well below her season best tosses of 39-6 and 121-8.50. Still, she took the day in stride and chalked it up to bad karma, but more than likely just the miserable weather conditions.
"I got off the bus and saw how windy it was and just thought, 'Well, this might not be the best day for me,'" Steimel said. "And it wasn't. Kind of disappointing, but there will be better days ahead — I hope. The discus is really hard to throw in this kind of wind but I just didn't have a good day."
Steimel said she still has goals in mind as the track season moves into its final month. A pair of gold medals this time at the state meet are at the top of the list, but she also wants to throw 130 feet in the discus and get her shot put mark into the 42- to 43-foot range.
"I threw good at home and it was a decent day with the weather," Steimel said. "I'm getting my footwork down, my form is good and I'm a lot stronger. Give me a good day with the weather and I'll see what I can do."
Other performances of note Monday came in the girls' high jump where Emma Stalker of Satanta and Delaney Pollart of Syracuse tied for second at 5-0, finishing behind Katie Murray of Rolla, who cleared 5-4. In the 100-meter hurdles, Kara Simmons of Lakin and Kaitlyn Dobie of Moscow lowered their season best times to 16.40 and 16.82, finishing second and third behind Meade's Jayden Rudzik (15.83). Riley Matteson of Sublette (13.10), Simmons (13.20) of Lakin and Morgan Pepper (13.29) of Lakin went 1-2-3 in the 100-meter dash.
Syracuse's Dupree finished second in the boys' triple jump in a tight competition with Chris Hardaway of Meade. Hardaway won with a leap of 41-1.50 to Dupree's 41-0. Stanton County's Colby Overturf won the boys' javelin with a throw of 157-2.50.
Results in Scoreboard, Page B2.