Finally: Many teams happy just to compete at Holcomb invite
By KEVIN THOMPSON
By KEVIN THOMPSON
For the teams at the Holcomb Invitational on Friday, the biggest victory was just being able to compete.
After an opening three weeks of cancelations and postponements, many of the 12 teams were eager to compete, and for many area runners, throwers and jumpers, it was worth it.
Ulysses won the boys title with 123 points, well ahead of runner-up Stanton County (85) and Hugoton (72).
The Ulysses girls finished second with 63 points, one ahead of Hugoton. Colby won the title with 94 points.
A number of area athletes saw success on this day.
Scott City's Kelly Wycoff won all three sprints and anchored the winning 4x400 team, a successful, but routine, day for the Lady Beaver junior.
Wycoff took the 100 meters in 13.34 seconds, the 200 in 26.19 and the 400 in 1:00.89.
In the 4x400 relay, she took the baton just behind Colby, ran with the Lady Eagle around the first curve, opened it up on the back stretch and took it home on the final curve.
The relay challenge was actually fun, she said.
"The last couple meets we've been behind in the fourth leg, but I like that because I run better when I'm chasing someone," she said. "It works out."
Stanton County's Quinn Kendrick and Marques Logan were both triple winners on the boys' side.
Kendrick anchored the 4x100 relay and won both the 100 meter dash and pole vault. His vault of 14-0 was just six inches short of his personal best.
Logan won both hurdle events, as well as the high jump.
He ran 16.55 in the 110 hurdles and 42.15 in the 300.
Logan said he was just looking to compete Friday, but the wins were pretty sweet, especially in the 300 hurdles.
"I ran it at the first meet and didn't do that good. I was just expecting to come out and do my best," he said.
The whole race felt pretty good for him, though.
"I got into the last 100 and was still able to push through. All my steps came up, so I was able to lead with my perfect leg that I like to lead with," he said. "Everything just worked out perfectly tonight."
The Trojans seem to be gelling as a team, Logan added.
"Today we're pretty on with where we want to be," he said. "We've been working hard in practice, so I think we're right where we need to be."
Ulysses' Tate Annis won gold in the 200 meters and long jump, and he anchored the winning 4x100 team.
The Tiger senior has committed to running track at Wichita State University next year.
Paige Wells of Wichita county was a double winner in the 800 and 1600 meters. She, too, has committed to WSU next season.
"I felt really good," she said after winning the 1600 in 5:27. "The past two weeks I've been in ice buckets all week with leg problems again. But today, I don't know. Something about this track just makes me feel like I'm ready to run."
The lack of consistency in getting meets is playing mind games with her, Wells said. She's one who likes to plan for each meet. Friday, she set her pace on her watch and was able to run slightly faster, a good sign.
"My finishing lap felt strong, which is where I need it to be," she said.
Wells won the 800 meters by five seconds over Ulysses' Chisolm Branscum.
Hugoton's Patrick Weaver won both 800 and 1600, as well. He missed the opening meet of the season with a wrestling commitment, but he said he felt good, especially in the longer race.
"I was only four seconds off my personal record today (he ran a 4:34.27)," he said. "It felt pretty good."
Weaver said they've been grinding out practices even in the cold, and that's seemed to make them tougher. Did it help?
"I hope so," he laughed. "I like to think so. We'll see later on."
Weaver won the 800 meters by four seconds over Josh Mehl of Wichita County.
Holcomb's Tyler LaSalle won the 400 meters with a personal best 50.60, nearly three seconds ahead of second and .30 seconds ahead of last week's time.
And it could have faster, he thinks.
"I was hoping that Weaver of Hugoton would be running. He's been running the open four and I was hoping he'd run it today so I could have somebody to run with."
LaSalle also led off the winning 4x400 team. He had a lead for Kalen Savoy and Michael Banderas opened that up to nine seconds. Aaron Hernandez held off a challenge from Scott City's Joey Meyer as the Longhorns won in 3:34, three seconds ahead of the Beavers.
The quartet has been interchanging runners all season, LaSalle said. And when Heath Tucker returns (an injury has sidelined him thus far), that should help.
"We just keep practicing and keep working hard," he said, adding he'd like to get into the 3:20s
Lakin's Kara Simmons won the 100-meter hurdles in 17.07 and finished second in the 300s.
"That's pretty good for only two meets," she said. "The end, like always because I'm a slow starter, is where I got the win."
She said at the fifth hurdle she got some good acceleration, and that propelled her to the win.
Lack of practice outside has left her wanting the competition, she said.
"Setting up the hurdles in the hallways was hard. Everything is off," Simmons said.
See results in Scoreboard, Page D2.