By KEVIN THOMPSON
LAKIN — In their third track meet in five days, the Ulysses boys managed to find the energy to win the Kearny County Invitational.
The Tigers won just three events but finished with 115 points, just 12 ahead of runner-up Meade, which won four events.
Stanton County finished third with 71 points.
Ulysses coach Kyle Shyrock was pleased with the results, but he doesn't want to cram that much competition into one week again.
"Our team's coming around right now. A lot of kids are hitting their strides," he said. "Some of the times weren't quite on, but the wear and tear of the meets were starting to show. But all of them did their best."
Levi Degallado didn't make this meet and Tregg Rodriguez was banged up, he added, but things worked out in this meet.
Ulysses' Tate Annis continued his dominance in the area long jump, leaping a school-record 22-10.5.
That's a half inch farther than he jumped in meet one, one year ago.
It's also the third straight title in that event this week for the senior Tiger.
"I've been working on form and getting more of a technique and explosion off the board," he said. "It feels good getting back in the high 22s again. That's the big difference between this year and last year."
Annis has been using a nine-step approach this season, but Lakin's runway is a little short for that, so he cut one step off, an easy adjustment, he said
As for three meets in one week, he said it feels good to be able to get outdoors, especially after coming off sickness earlier this season.
He did, however, finish second in the 100-meter dash in 11.16 seconds, behind Trevin Wiens of Meade, who ran 10.86.
Wiens also beat out Annis in the 200 meter dash, 22.36 to 22.63.
The Tigers' Ian Rudzik won the shot put by nearly 5 feet.
The Hugoton boys, though finishing just fourth, picked up the bulk of their points in distance events.
Hugoton's 4x800 relay team ran an 8:34.70 to easily out-distance Sublette.
The Eagles' Jacob Martin got the team a 7-second lead after the first leg, Isaac Castro extended it to 15 seconds on the next, and Patrick Weaver ran a 2:01 final leg to put away the event.
In the final event of the meet, Weaver overtook Sublette on the back stretch on the final leg of the 4x400 relay as the Eagles took that event in 3:37.61.
In the 3,200-meter run, Weaver and Martin ran 1-2 the first seven laps. At the gun, Martin sprinted ahead as both runners lapped slower runners.
Martin opened up a 10-meter lead on his teammate on the back stretch, but in the final 100 meters, Weaver kicked. Martin looked back once and watched as Weaver nipped him at the finish line by .06 seconds, finishing in 9:58.73.
"It's just like practice," Martin said. "When we do speed work, he always gets me at the end. Always. Just like that."
Weaver said he didn't save energy for the end; he found it.
"I haven't run that race since this meet last year," Weaver said. "It's a totally different event.
Quinn Kendrick of Stanton County continued his dominance in the pole vault, clearing 14-0 on his second attempt and electing to stop there.
"I felt pretty strong," the senior said. "I feel I'm where I should be right now. I'm starting to finish at the top."
He has changed his approach, too, accelerating towards the end of his approach. It worked, as he beat out Kyle Dupree of Syracuse and Robert Aparicio of Lakin, who both jumped 13-6.
Dupree won the triple jump in 41-07 over Jake Gesling of Sublette.
Marques Logan of Stanton County took the 110-meter hurdles in 15.63 seconds. He finished fourth in the 300 hurdles, in which the top four runners all ran under 42 seconds.
Josh Mehl found conditions perfect for his 1,600-meter race. After setting the school record a week ago, he bettered that by nearly two seconds, running 4:32.83.
"I'm out there running as fast as I can. Now that I got the school record once, I can just go out and have fun," he said.
Mehl held the lead the entire race, widening the gap with lap, finishing 14 seconds ahead of second place.
Mehl runs with quarter splits in mind. Having competition behind him doesn't seem to matter.
Mehl later ran 2:05.22 to win the 800 meters, just ahead of Chase Hittle of Hugoton.
Ulysses got a win in the 4x100 relay, taking it in 44.23. Meade was runner-up in 45.40.
Carlos Chavarria of Sublette won the high jump with 6-03.
Cimarron's Alex Neuschafer won the javelin with a throw of 174 feet, to beat Colby Overturf of Stanton County.