By KEVIN THOMPSON
HOLCOMB - What better way to warm up at a chilly, windy track meet than to take home a few gold medals.
Scott City's boys won nine gold medals to claim the boys' title over Ulysses, 147-114. The Colby girls team captured five golds, enough to beat out Holcomb, 146-115, and win its first-ever Great West Activities Conference titles.
Scott City struck the mother lode in gold medals, winning 13 as a squad. Kelly Wycoff won four golds on the girls' side while Dalton Smith won three on the boys' side to turn the SCHS bus into a valuable commodity.
Scott City had multiple individual double winners on its way to the title. Colburn Couchman won the 300 hurdles and triple jump, Smith won the 100 and 200 races, Joey Meyer won yet another 800 title, and the Beavers claimed the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
Smith took the 100-meters in 10.92 seconds and the 200 in 23.90.
Smith let out a yell and a fist in the air after clinching his best 100-meter time by .17 seconds.
"That felt pretty good," Smith said. "Every practice I've got these two (Dalton Buehler and AJ Kough) to compete with. I had a better start than I usually do. I finally broke 11; that's been my goal for a while."
Those three teamed with Couchman to win the 4x100 relay in 44.18, just .01 off their best time, and .16 seconds ahead of Ulysses, who bettered their previous best by nearly one second.
Ulysses, meanwhile, took home three gold medals on the boys' side, led by Josh Jarnagin's 14.99 seconds in the 110 hurdles.
Jarnagin was in second, coming over the eighth hurdle when he used a little luck and a burst of speed to cross in first place. The Goodland runner hit the hurdle while Jarnagin jumped it cleanly and sprinted for the win.
"Over the last half of the race I pick up speed," Jarnagin said. "It's the first part of the race I have to work on. Once I get that going, I'll probably run faster than I did today."
Teammates Tate Annis won gold in the long jump and Derek Bohl won the discus.
Bohl's winning throw of 135-2 with the wind was almost nine feet short of his season best throw.
"I was hoping to get it tilted right," Bohl said. "I've been throwing around mid-140s and 150's in practice. But I'm pretty excited. I'm hoping to get there in regionals."
Hugoton's Heber Jiminez claimed two distance titles in the 1600 and 3200-meter runs after battling illness the past two weeks.
In the 1600-meters, Jiminez ran with the lead runners until the gun lap. Then he took off at a sprint and left the field behind, winning in 4:46.03, almost 10 seconds ahead of Israel Mendoza of Ulysses.
Jiminez took the 3200-meters in 10:46.31, five seconds ahead of Mendoza.
Hugoton's other gold came in the 4x800 relay. Chase Hittle, who replaced Jiminez last week in the third leg, caught and passed the lead runners with 130 meters to go and Patrick Weaver ran a 2:06 final leg to claim the title over Mendoza by nine seconds.
Goodland took first in the pole vault and high jump, while Colby took the final gold medal in the shot put.
On the girls' side, it was Scott City's Wycoff sweeping all three short distances and running on the winning 4x400 relay team.
Her golds started in the 100 meters, where she edged out Nicole Kinser of Hugoton with a burst of speed at the end.
Wycoff tallied a 12.67 with the wind for her season best. In the 200 she once again edged out Kinser with a 28.38. In the 400 she won with a 1:05.34 in a strong and chilling wind.
"I felt pretty good," she said after the 100. But she added that she is considering dropping that race at regionals to concentrate on qualifying in the other three.
Kyshia Prieto led Holcomb to second place by taking both hurdle events. She won the 100 by a step and a lean, and in the 300, she was the only girl to break 50 seconds, winning in 48.96.
"It's not one of my best," she said of her 100 hurdles. "My time was good for the weather."
Teammate Heidi Boyles was also a double winner, capturing the javelin and the pole vault. She won the latter by a foot, but she threw the spear just an inch past Colby's Morgan Mengel.
"I'm feeling pretty strong going into regionals," Boyles said. "My goal is to get to state and hopefully get 10-6."
Ulysses' two titles came from thrower Kaylea Britton. She won the shot put 40-07.5, nearly nine feet better than second place.
She shattered her own season best by nearly 12 feet in the discus with a throw of 127-9.
"It felt pretty good," she said. "Coach (Teresa Johnson) kept saying 'thumb down, keep it flat, and let the wind do the work.'"
That throw is over six feet better than her best last year, and that, she said, has her feeling confident going into next week's regionals.
Colby captured the team title thanks in part to winning performances in all three distance events.
Emilea Finely won the 1600 in 5:23, 22 seconds ahead of teammate Katrina Kaus. She won the 800-meters by four seconds over Zoe Roth of Holcomb.
Kaus won the 3200-meters by 46 seconds over Scott City's Brenda Peregrino.