GCHS teams win, Tigers' Annis sets long jump record
By KEVIN THOMPSON
ULYSSES — Perfect conditions. For the first track meet of the season, Ulysses couldn't have ordered anything better.
Tate Annis won three individual golds in front of his home crowd.
And Garden City High School walked away with both team titles.
For Garden City, it was a great way to see what the Buffaloes had for teams.
Coach Mike Smith liked what he saw, as both the boys and the girls won their team titles, and both captured a number of individual and relay titles.
The girls won nine eventsâïincluding all three relays, as they cruised to a 203.5-99.5 win over rival Dodge City and Ulysses (87).
Chelsea Jackson won both the 1600- and 3200-meter runs, and four other girls won individual titles to go along with the relay sweep to pace the Lady Buffaloes.
On the boys side, the Buffaloes won the final race of the night, the 4x400 relay, to overtake Dodge City by half a point, 139.5-139.
The Buffalo boys won just five events, but they placed second or third nine times.
Jonathan Duvall won both hurdle events, Jeremy Enz won the high jump, and Garden City won two relays for their claims to gold.
Smith was all smiles after the meet, especially after hearing the margins of victory over Dodge City.
"We feel that we have a lot of depth with our girls' side. They scored in a lot of events," he said. "It would be hard to single anybody out."
The only events Garden City did not score in the top three were the two hurdle races. Other than that, the Buffs' depth took charge.
Taryn Tempel of Garden City was second in 31-05.
Garden City's Audrey Gerber got the Lady Buffaloes' a win in the field with a pole vault of 8-0.
The Lady Buffaloes' Kristen Heiman won the long jump with a leap of 15-05.5, beating out teammate Alex Telfair.
Garden City got an early track win in the 4x800 meter relay, winning by almost half a minute in 10:15.96, just a second off the meet record.
Three sophomores and a freshman ran a very dominating race. Alex Miller led off with a half-mile split of 2:31.
"I'm proud of how we compete," Miller said after hearing her team's time. "Every day, even in practice, we push each other and we're so blessed with good coaches surrounding us."
Kala Doll anchored that relay team, then she turned around and won the open 800, just ahead of Miller.
"For starting out, (my time) was a lot faster than I would have though, so I was happy with it," Doll said. "That second lap, that's when I start dying, so you just have to let your heart carry you. That was my effort for this meet."
The girls' distance dominance continued in the 1600 meters as Chelsea Jackson won the event in 5:50.23, with teammates Katy Doll and Jessica Bernasky finishing second and fourth.
Jackson also won the 3200 meters.
Nine golds and nine silvers showed a consistent effort for the Lady Buffaloes.
"It was a good start on the girls' side," Smith said.
On the boys' side, he said, they didn't know as much about depth coming in as they did afterwards.
"We had a lot of inexperience, but we started off with a win (Enz) in the high jump," Smith said. "I think that set the tone for day."
Duvall picked up Garden City's first boys track gold in the 110-meter hurdles.
His 15.4 was just .3 seconds behind his best race last year.
"I think I'll be able to improve later on in the season, but for now, that was pretty good," Duvall said.
He followed up that win with a gold in the 200 meter hurdles, winning in 40.39.
Duvall injured a hip in the regional meet last year, which hampered him, but he said that injury is behind him now.
Now his athletes know what their times and distances are, Smith said, and his team gained a lot of confidence in this first meet.
"But we know we've got to get better," he said.
The first record of the day went to Ulysses' Annis as he jumped a 14-year-old meet-record and an 8-year-old school-record 22-10 in the long jump, breaking his cousin Cody Annis' record.
"Coming into high school
"Coming into high school, I always knew I'd get that record because it was my cousin's and I have to kind of be competitive with him," Annis said.
He set the meet record on his first jump (22-5), and went five inches better on his next leap to best the school's top mark..
"Once I jumped 22-5, I knew I had more in me and I wanted the school record," he added.
Annis also won the 100 meters by just 0.02 seconds over Dalton Smith of Scott City. He won the 200 by 0.6 seconds over teammate Armando Sandoval.
"Unbelievable," is how Ulysses coach Eric Flaton described Annis' overall performance. "For him to do that the first meet I asked him what's next?"
Not only was his jump incredible, but so was his performance over the likes of Scott City, Dodge City and Garden City, Flaton said.
"He just came out great out of the blocks and was great finishing," he said.
Ulysses' Kaylea Britton had a good start to her senior season, winning the discus and setting a meet record in winning the shot put.
"It was a good start to the season," Britton said of her discus throw of 119-1.5, or 14 feet better than her first meet a year ago and only about eight feet from her season best in 2011.
"On days like this when it's warm, you can relax and enjoy and not worry about that wind," she said.
"I'm hoping I can get in the 130's, may a 140 by the time state comes around," Britton added.
Shelby Heatwole of Garden City placed second with a throw of 89-08.5.
Britton's record shot put throw of 40-77.5 also felt good
"I'm moving across the arena better this year and getting the shot up a little bit more," she said. "Last year my best throw was 41-something, so start out at 40 is a good start."
Flaton said he challenged Britton to go for the meet record in the shot, and she did.
"She continues to do everything we ask, no matter what the sport," he said.
Scott City got two golds from Kelly Wycoff in the 100 and 400 meters and a silver in the 200, losing to Chinasa Ekweariri of Garden City.
The 100-meter race inadvertently started at the 110-meter line, so times were recorded slower than they should have been. Still, Wycoff felt good about her race.
"I got out the blocks better than I usually do," she said, "so it was one of my better 100 races."
Her best 100, though, happens at the end of the 400 meter races, and Friday's race was no different.
Nicole Kinser of Hugoton broke a meet record set in 2005 with a triple jump of 36-08.5. She also placed second in the 110 hurdles behind Jessi Arnold of Ulysses.
Maris Griffith was Scott City's other gold-medal athlete on the day, winning the javelin throw.
The Hugoton boys got a win from the 4x800 relay team and Jacob Martin in the 3,200 meters, while Dodge City picked up wins in four events.
See Results in Scoreboard, Page D2.
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