Lady Buffs sweep up WAC title; boys take fourth in Dodge
By BRETT MARSHALL
DODGE CITY — There were few surprises for the Garden City High School track and field teams on Thursday at the Western Athletic Conference championship.
The Lady Buffs, with depth that resembles the parting of the Red Sea, won the meet for the third straight year in a cakewalk. The Lady Buffs amassed 183.66 points to easily outdistance runner-up Dodge City, which totaled 104.33 points. Hays (62), Liberal (14) and Great Bend (9) rounded out the scoring.
The boys, managing just one individual first, placed a disappointing fourth with 47.5 points, finishing just ahead of Great Bend's 43 points. Hays won the meet again with 105 points. Liberal was second at 96.5 and Dodge City third with 83.
The winners of individual events were the usual cast of characters, and it was on the girls side where they excelled.
Senior Kayla Doll doubled in the 800 and 1,600 meters, setting a WAC meet record in the 1,600 with a personal best time of 5:09.28, and then not long after, won the 800 in a time of 2:20.76, and was part of the winning 4x400-meter relay team.
Junior Kaylee Kipp was a double winner in the girls shot put and discus, and while her marks fell short of her season bests, it was still good enough to claim WAC crowns in her first year competing as a Lady Buff.
Taryn Tempel and Taylor Linenberger went 1-2 in both the long jump and triple jump events, and then Tempel tacked on her third individual gold with a personal best time of 59.68 in the 400-meter dash. To top it off, she ran the opening leg on the winning 4x400-meter relay team.
Dusty Tempel garnered the lone first-place finish for the Buffs' boys, claiming his specialty in the long jump with a leap of 22-11.25, which eclipsed his previous season best of 22-07.50.
Taryn Tempel said that she and her teammates came motivated to do their absolute best in their final time as high schoolers in the WAC meet.
"We were able to go 1-2, 1-2 and 1-2-3 in a bunch of events, and that's what we wanted to do," Taryn said.
Her winning long jump was 16-10.25, the triple jump at 35-11.25 and her fastest 400 time of the year by .17 of a second.
"I've been hitting the 17's more regularly this year, so just coming up short is a bit disappointing," Tempel said. "I was giving my coach a heart attack, scratching the first two attempts."
She got her winning mark on the final effort, and teammate Linenberger was second in both the jumps at 16-05.75 and 35-02.75.
"My long jump felt pretty good, but my legs were a little tired on the triple jump," Tempel said. "The 400 I just felt relaxed before, and that makes all the difference for me. If I'm freaking out, I'll tighten up. If I relax, I'll always run much better."
For Kipp, who transferred from Manhattan High School when her father joined the administration team at GCHS this school year, the adjustment to a new school and new teammates has been a smooth transition.
Having competed and earned points at the Class 6A state meet a year ago, Kipp has high expectations in her first year as a Lady Buff.
"I've P.R.'d (personal record) in both this season, but I always want to do better," Kipp said. "My distances today (36-06 in shot put and 117-08 in discus) were not what I was hoping for. The (shot) ring today was like ice, I couldn't get my feet set."
Kipp's season bests have been 40-02.5 in the shot and 121-02 in the discus, and she feels she can even improve on those.
"I want to hit 42-0 in the shot and 130-0 in the discus," Kipp said. "Last year, I went up in all my last five meets, so I'm hoping to do that in the next two weeks. I really like coach (Brian) Hill, and the throwers are in the coolest events."
For Kayla Doll, it was a day to celebrate a tough set of events with considerably less recovery time between events due to the fact there were no prelims in many of the short races (dashes, hurdles). Still, she ran her best time by 2.19 seconds to set the WAC record. Her 800 time was just .28 of a second off her season best.
"I'm very excited about the 1,600 time," Doll said. "My goal has been to break 5:10, and I managed that. I wondered if I was ever gonna break it. It's good to get that barrier out of the way before regional and state. It's very reassuring."
Doll said that closing in on the end of her career, along with her senior teammates, has given a sense of urgency to doing their best at the end of this season.
"We've got three (now two) more chances, and now that I've met one goal, I'll set a new one and go after that," Doll said.
For Dusty Tempel, the long jump had a little bittersweet taste despite getting his season best mark. He scratched on a jump that may well have been in the mid 23s to around 24-feet, something that happened earlier in the season, too.
"I'm getting better every week, but the scratch was really frustrating," he said. "They said it was just the tip of my toe. I've had two of them this season, so I've just got to keep after it. I feel like I've got that jump in me. I'm always trying to beat myself, so I'm never satisfied with the distance. My landings have been good, and I'm scooping really well."
Other firsts for the Lady Buffs included Kyra Bellows in the high jump (5-00), Alex Miller in the 3,200 meters (11:39.41) and the 4x400-meter relay team of Tempel, Linenberger, Kayla Doll and Aileen Gurrola, who clocked a 4:08.28.
The Lady Buffs went 1-2-3 in the 3,200 with Chelsea Jackson (11:54.83) and Katy Doll (12:17.71) making the sweep; Gurrola (1:01.78) and Linenberger (1:02.78) took second and third behind Tempel in the 400 meters for another broom job; Miller and Jackson came in behind Doll in the 1,600 for that sweep. Kipp and Breece Dreiling went 1-2 in the discus as Dreiling threw 104-03. Allison Harman had a pair of runner-up finishes in the 100 (13.10) and 200 (27.01). Hannah Schultz was second in the girls pole vault at 8-06.
The boys 4x100-meter relay team of George Ross, Malcolm Howard, Dusty and Greyson Tempel was second in a time of 43.86 seconds. The 4x800-meter relay squad of Connor Schultz, Erik Chaparro, Marcus Tula and Jesus Reyes was second in 8:27.73. Nick Jauche finished second in the pole vault at 13-00.
Next up will be the all-important Class 6A regional meet a week from today in Maize. The top four finishers in each event will advance to the state championships, which are slated for May 30-31 at Wichita State University's Cessna Stadium.
Results in Scoreboard, Page B2.
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