Tigers, Meade girls dominate
Ulysses' Ian Rudzik wins shot put, anchors 4X100 gold.
Ulysses' Ian Rudzik wins shot put, anchors 4X100 gold.
By KEVIN THOMPSON
LAKIN — Another perfect day, another standard result.
At the Lakin Invitational Friday, the Ulysses boys and Meade girls ran away from the competition.
The Lady Buffaloes scored 116 points, while Cimarron (83.3) out-dueled Ulysses (80.3) for second.
Lakin girls finished fourth with 72 points.
Ulysses won on the boys side with 127, easily ahead of Hugoton, which outlasted Cimarron for second, 84 points to 80.5.
Wichita County placed fourth with 68 points.
The Tigers picked up just three event wins but scored points elsewhere to score the team title.
Cimarron also picked up three golds as a team, as did Elkhart's Izzy Barco.
The Wildcat runner picked up wins in the 100-meter dash, as well as the 800 and 3,200 meters. He also finished third in the 1,600 meters, the first time all season he has not swept all four races.
Ian Rudzik won the shot put with a season best 50-09.5, then he anchored the winning 4x100 relay team that finished in 44.3 seconds.
"This is the original four we started the season with, and we haven't changed anybody simply because their times have been pretty good," Ulysses coach Kyle Shryock said.
Kyler Barlow, Juan Anguiano and Jacob Irvin are the first three runners on that group.
"Barlow is extremely good out of the blocks. Rudzik is tough to run down as the anchor," he added.
And both middle runners are getting tougher every meet, he said.
Barlow also won the 200 meters, and he is just now getting back to top form after an ankle injury in basketball, Shryock said.
Wichita County's 4x800 meter relay held off Hugoton by running 8:29.23, just .36 seconds ahead of the Eagles.
Josh Mehl, who anchored the race, passed Hugoton in the last 15 meters.
"We knew that we could get down to 8:30 with the times we've seen, but we were excited to try it today against a good Hugoton team," he said.
Mehl said he was patient on the final lap, resisting the urge to take the lead on the back stretch.
He picked it up with 75 meters to go before his final kick.
Teammate Jacob Schumacher picked up a win in the 400 meters (53.61 seconds).
AJ Cooper of Cimarron ran a 16.79 to claim the 110-meter hurdles.
"It's the first hurdle race I've ever won, so I feel good about that," he said following the race.
Brandon Heinitz of Lakin, who finished second, led halfway, and Cooper said he used that as motivation.
"It pushed me harder to keep going, and I caught him in the end," he said.
Ty Clarke joined Cooper with a gold, winning the high jump with a 6 foot, 2 inch leap.
And Isaac Stanley made it a Bluejay trifecta when he won the 1,600 meters in 4:41.92, riding Mehl for three laps before mounting a final charge.
"I've never beaten (Mehl) before so I just tried to pace off him," Stanley said. "I felt like I had more energy and I tried to go for our school record (4:39)."
Greeley County's Elijah Stone took golds in the long jump and triple jump.
Robert Aparicio of Lakin won the pole vault, matching his area-best jump of 13-06.
Hugoton got wins from Brad Hemann in the 300 hurdles and the 4x400 meter relay.
Cristian Dominguez of Stanton County won the javelin.
On the girls' side, one of the best surprises of the day came from a collective group of cross country runners.
Greeley County won the 4x800 relay in a season best time of 10:50.14.
Senior Kelli Holthaus opened and handed off to sister Kashli. Coraima Yanez, coming off an injury-plagued fall, widened the gap on the third leg and freshman Irelyn Elder finished it off.
Three of those girls ran on the squad that recorded an 11:07 earlier in the season, and cutting 17 seconds off Friday gives coach Greg Cook hope of qualifying this group to state.
For Class 1A, he said, a time like that should get them to Wichita later this month.
"We got some really good legs from the Holthaus girls," he said. "Coraina ran the 4x8 last week and showed a good split."
But the most impressive leg, he said, was Elder, who took off nearly eight seconds from her leg just a week ago.
"That's quite significant," Cook understated.
They're thrilled to death. They're energetic," he said. "This is going to be a big confidence builder for them."
Tara Wiens of Meade was the big winner, taking the long jump and the 100- and 200-meter races.
Meade also took first in the triple jump, 100-meter hurdles and the 4x100-meter relay.
Chisolm Branscum of Ulysses took gold in the 800- and 1600-meter runs.
Teammate Jessica Arnold finished first in the 300-meter hurdles (48.06 seconds).
Ulysses finished the night with another win in the 4x400-meter relay, running 4:22.
Kari Blattner of Cimarron won the 400 meters (1:01.94), and Morgan Ediger won the pole vault with an area-best and school record 9-07.
Jenna Black of Stanton County knocked nearly half a minute off her season best time in winning the 3,200 meters in 12:16.70, not her personal best but definitely a huge improvement.
"I just tried to stay with the lead pack instead of waiting," she said. "I felt really good in the mile and felt I could have gone faster, so I was ready for this race."
Black finished second to Branscum in the earlier race by over a second and felt compelled to take more control in the longer distance.
Lakin's Erica Carter won the shot put with a personal best 35-6 (third best in the area), and Kaylee Line won the high jump with an area- and personal-best 5-2.
Lakin weights coach Jena Oldham said the sophomore has had a good season with improvement to have the third best throw in the area.
"Mostly it's her having confidence. She comes out and works hard every day," Oldham said. "She gets good marks in every meet and it pushes her harder every time."