By KEVIN THOMPSON
HOLCOMB — Line up all the gold medal winners from the Holcomb Invitational track meet Thursday and you'd have to switch to panorama mode on your camera.
The boys had only one individual double winner and the girls five in what turned out to be a day of variety.
Colby won the girls side with 131 points over Holcomb's 84.5, while Liberal won the boys side with 144 points over Ulysses' 105.
The meet featured 11 teams from western Kansas.
The Lady Eagles won six events, including double-winner Emilea Finley in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs.
Other double winners for the girls were Nicole Kinser of Hugoton in the 200-meter run and the triple jump, Liberal's Caitlin Bauer in the javelin and discus, and Lakin's Allie Jones in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.
Jones edged out Holcomb's Kyshia Prieto in both events, once again feeling comfortable with her three-step technique and long strides.
A good thing in the 100 since she admits she didn't really know Prieto was that close. Prieto got a fast start out of the blocks, but Jones made up the difference about halfway through the hurdles.
"I think it was the push at the end. I honestly didn't know she was there, neck-and-neck," Jones said.
Kinser's 200-meter run was a photo finish against Hope Cochran of Goodland by .01 seconds. Her win in the triple jump was not as close, clearing second by over three feet.
In the girls 4x100 relay, Holcomb nipped Lakin down the stretch 53.76-53.83, using a final smooth handoff and tough kick from Prieto for the win.
Holcomb also claimed silver in the meet's final race, the 4x400 relay.
On the boys side, Tate Annis of Ulysses was the only double winner, claiming gold in the 200 meters by just .08 seconds over Isaac Gallegos of Liberal and the long jump by 8.25 inches over Holcomb's Tyler LaSalle.
The rest of the boys meet was a matter of spreading the wealth and sharing the gold.
Hugoton's 4x800 relay put on quite the show, turning a tight race into an easy win in 8:28.57, just eight seconds off the school record.
Skylar McLain, normally a 400-meter runner, ran a 2:05 first leg to keep the Eagles tied with Ness City. Koy Watkins did more of the same with his second leg. Then senior Heber Jimenez used a solid half to open up a six-second lead over Liberal and left it up to sophomore Patrick Weaver, who played baseball last year, to bring it home.
"It felt good going into that last leg. That helped a lot," Weaver said about Jimenez's third-leg advantage.
"I wanted to stay with the pack then start my kick at about the 150 mark," McLain said, which is his 400 specialty.
"This is really the first year they've run together," Hugoton coach Nick Rodriguez said. "We're only eight seconds off the school record, and eventually I think we can get under 8:10 when we get some more speed work in."
Jimenez came back later in the evening to capture the 3,200-meter run. He was part of a foursome that led that race for the first five laps.
Then he and Ulysses' Israel Mendoza finished lap six as a twosome. Then Jimenez used another strong half mile to run away with the race in 10:17.41, 16 seconds ahead of Liberal's Angel Viveros, who passed Mendoza down the stretch.
Mendoza, though, had passed Viveros and his teammate on the backstretch of the 1,600 run to win that race in 4:50.09.
The two Redskins had formed a mini-wall ahead of him heading to the back stretch, Mendoza said.
"I was going to kick it in right there, but I remembered that was where the air had been hitting me," Mendoza said. "But both of them kicked it in, so I let them block the wind for me."
Tiger teammate Josh Jarnagin continued to show his strength in the 110 hurdles, winning the finals in 15.18, a quarter second over two Liberal runners.
"That felt great. That's probably the best 110 hurdles I've run ever," Jarnagin said. "My steps were good. My form was good. My start was really good."
Jarnagin said the battle was at the first five hurdles, then he lost sight of them.
"I don't know what happened to them, but they started falling behind me and I just kept going," he said. "It felt amazing. It felt really fast."
Earlier in the day, Lakin teammates Jayce Stabel and Colby Hamel scored gold.
Stabel won his third meet of the season in the pole vault by clearing 12 feet, the only vaulter to hit that height.
He out-jumped Kalen Savoy of Holcomb and Carlos Arreola by half a foot.
Not bad for someone wearing a knee brace from a preseason football ACL tear.
"I try not to think about it too much," said Stabel, who jumped 12-6 earlier this season. "It helps to have people cheering for you, telling you that you can do it. It's not easy to rehabilitate."
Hamel kept his season perfect in the shot put with a throw of 49-07.5, over two feet better than runner-up Justin McPhail of Liberal. That makes Hamel 5-0 in the event this year.
"This is the first time anyone's thrown within four feet of me, so it's nice to have competition," Hamel said. "I hope to be throwing 55 by the end of the year and win the 3A state title."
See results in Scoreboard, Page B2.