Broncbuster indoor track heads to regionals in Lawrence
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
The Garden City Community College indoor track and field team will compete with a full program in the Region VI Regionals today for the first time since 2007.
The college reinstated a full track team prior to the 2013-14 academic year after six years out of the sport. In the Busters' final year of competition, the men finished eighth at regionals, and the women 10th.
Heading into today's meet at the University of Kansas, head coach Ryan Turner is more concerned with the future of the program than the past.
"I don't really know where we fit as far as competing for a region championship," Turner said of the 28-man team and 11-woman team he is taking to Lawrence. "But I'm really excited about laying down the foundation this year for the years to come."
The Busters already have eight athletes qualified for the NJCAA National Indoor Track Championships at Monroe (New York) College on March 7-8, but Turner is hoping for more to qualify today.
"We're hoping we can punch the ticket for four or five more kids," the first-year coach said. "We're pretty open, and it is widely known we're pretty young as a first-year program with a team of mostly freshmen. We're trying to teach the kids on how to compete at the college level."
The Busters may have qualified a couple of more for nationals in multi-event competition at Johnson County Community College on Thursday.
In the men's heptathlon, which began on Wednesday with four events — 60-meter sprint, shot put, long jump and high jump — then continued on Thursday with the final three events — 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000-meter run.
At the end of the two-day competition, Aaron Vazquez ranked 10th nationally and Dominique Sauls was just behind in 11th.
The top 16 ranked athletes qualify for nationals. However, other regions' results had not been reported at time of press, leaving Vazquez' and Sauls' qualifying status unknown.
On Wednesday, the women competed in the pentathlon — 60-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800-meter dash — at Johnson County.
Kiera Walton finished in fifth after the five events, and Ebony Brown was eighth.
Today's meet begins at 9:15 a.m. with the women's shot put and long jump, and the 5,000-meter run for both men and women.
Already qualified for nationals for the Busters are Edward Simmons (60, 200); Jermaine Arthorlee (60); Qhyle Elijah (200, 400, 600); Blake McKinzie (600); Alfredo Lebron (600, 800, 1,000, 3,000); Odion Agbi (triple jump); Walton (high jump); and Kadijah Brown (high jump).