GCHS' Strandmark wins 1,600 meters

GCHS Athletics

While the weather continues to play a major storyline in the spring 2021 track and field season, one Garden City High School track performer isn’t letting it bother her.

Freshman Allie Strandmark made a big splash on the state scene Thursday evening and also Friday during the K.T. Woodman Pre-State Challenge at Cessna Stadium on the campus of Wichita State University by placing second in the Class 4-5-6A 1,600-meter run (Thursday) in an impressive time of 5:20.13 and then followed it up with a gold medal victory on Friday in the 800-meters

Her 1,600-meter time was just .31 of a second behind winner Hayley Trotter of Clearwater (5:19.82) and was 4.33 seconds faster than third-place finisher Julia Berends of Wichita-Kapaun Mt. Carmel.

In Friday’s Class 4-5-6A 800-meter run, Strandmark outdueled Eudora’s Sydney Owens, winning with her season best time of 2:30.89 to Owens’ 2:32.38.

“She just had some great performances,” GCHS Head Coach Brian Hill said of Strandmark. “She just runs like a machine and am really proud of what she’s accomplished so far. We’re trying to bring her along at a good pace so by the end of the season, she’ll be running her best times.”

Strandmark also ran the second leg of the girls’ 4x400-meter relay team, clocking a 66.0 split, the fastest of the four times as that group placed sixth with a time of 4:35.84. Also running on that relay unit were junior Melissa Fiero, and seniors Selah Hageman and McKenna Jagels.

GCHS distance coach Krista Linenberger said that Strandmark’s early-season performances are a reflection of her competitive spirit and natural talent.

“She’s just a great competitor and combined with a lot of talent, she’s got that innate ability to be in the moment and wants to win,” Linenberger said of Strandmark. “She runs both events well, but right now seems a bit more confident in the 1,600 because of the outcomes.”

Having missed her eighth grade track season due to the COVID-19 cancellation, Linenberger said Strandmark is still in the learning curve of how to run the two races.

“It’s the little things like when to pass, when to sit back, when to run on the inside,” Linenberger said. “She’s soaking up all the little tweaks we are working on for her race strategy. She’s all business when she steps on the track and that’s what is so fun about seeing her progression.”

There were a number of top five finishes for the girls and boys during the Thursday evening/Friday all-day meet, giving the teams an up-front look at the site of the 2021 Class 6A state track meet which will be a one-day meet this year on Thursday, May 27.

Jagels cleared 9-05.75 in the pole vault to place third in the 4-5-6A event as the only other on the girls squad to finish in the top 5.

On the boys side, Tertullian Nyamakope went 19-04.25 to place fourth in the 4-5-6A long jump; Trey Nuzum tossed the discus 136-05 to finish fourth in the elite division; Terrell Elliott was fifth in the Elite shot put with a throw of 48-04; Brandon Springston took fourth in the 4-6A 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.62 seconds.

The 4x800-meter relay team of Kenji Craig, Joel Contreras, Evan Gurrola and Devin Chappel placed third in the 4-6A event with a time of 8:54.89. The Buffs’ 4x100-meter relay team of Jimmy Lieu, Alan Chairez, Emmanuel Charite and Jerry Arteaga was fifth in 46.63 seconds.

“Overall, the times were off mainly due to the weather,” Hill said. “We’re still early in the season but we’ve seen times come down 20 to 30 seconds in our distance runners from the first meet just two weeks before.”

With a mostly underclassmen group of girls and boys, Hill said going to Wichita and competing in a big meet allowed them to work with the team on many things, both on and off the track.

“What seems like little things really aren’t,” Hill said. “A lot of our kids are just learning things like where to check in for an event; when to warm up. Are they doing it too early or doing too much or not enough? This was a great learning opportunity for them and it will help us out when we go back to the state.”

Running against top-quality competition also will benefit the Buffs down the road this season, Hill said.

“We got to see some of the top kids in the state, and that provides us with a measuring stick of where we are now and where we want to be in six weeks,” Hill said. “The kids continue to work hard and it’s a great group to work with.”

The girls competed without one of their top athletes in junior Kristin Roth. Roth has been nursing a minor injury and Hill opted to rest her. She would have competed in the 100- and 300-hurdles, the long and triple jump events.

“If it had been WAC or regionals, she definitely could have competed,” Hill said. “With the colder weather, we just felt like it wasn’t worth any risks. The rest will do her good for what we have coming up.”

Garden City Results


4-6A Division

High jump-6. Julie Calzonetti, 4-07.

4x100-meter relay-7. McKenna Jagels, Kendra Peterson, Brianna Estrada, Hannah Phipps, 54.94.

400-meters-13. Selah Hageman, 1:08.00; 24. Melissa Fiero, 1:10.10.

800-meters-1.Allie Strandmark, 2:30.89.

1600-meters-2. Allie Strandmark, 5:20.13.

Triple jump-8. Julie Calzonetti, 30-07.

Pole Vault-3. McKenna Jagels, 9-05.75.

200-meters-13. Brianna Estrada, 28.38; 21. McKenna Jagels, 29.91.

4x400-meter relay—6. 4:35.84 (Melisa Fiero, Allie Strandmark, Selah Hageman, McKenna Jagels).

Elite Division

Discus-7. Keyhana Turner, 100-03.

Javelin-7. Keyhana Turner, 110-02.

100-meters-13. Hannah Phipps, 13.49.


4-5-6A Division

Javelin-9. Zane Burns, 136-02.

1600-meters-10. Devin Chappel, 4:52.83; 16. Evan Gurrola, 4:57.72; 23. Isaiah Casados, 5:02.55.

3200-meters-10. Kenji Craig, 10:35.81; 22. Isaiah Casados, 11:27.28.

Long jump-4. Tertullian Nyamakope, 19-04.25; 17. Joel Bellows, 17-06.

Triple jump-12. Tertullian Nyamakope, 36-04; 14. Joel Bellows, 35-08.

4x800-meter relay—3. 8:54.89 (Kenji Craig, Joel Contreras, Evan Gurrola, Devin Chappel).

110-meter hurdles-4. Brandon Springston, 16.62.

100-meters-9. Jerry Arteaga, 11.36.

4x100-meter relay-5. 46.63 (Jimmy Lieu, Alan Chairez, Emmanuel Charite, Jerry Arteaga).

400-meters-10. Cooper Ramsey, 56.43; 17. Adrian Rocha, 59.32.

300-meter hurdles-8. Brandon Springston, 46.05; 11. Jimmy Lieu, 47.78.

800-meters-17. Joel Contreras, 2:11.29; 19. Kenji Craig, 2:11.47; 31. Evan Gurrola, 2:19.34.

200-meters-9. Jerry Arteaga, 23.70; 13. Alan Chairez, 23.93.

4x400-meter relay-7. 3:53.31 (Joel Contreras, Jimmy Lieu, Adrian Rocha, Cooper Ramsey).

Elite Division

Discus-4. Trey Nuzum, 136-05.

Shot put-5. Terrell Elliott, 48-04; 9. Trey Nuzum, 41-04.50.

Next up for the Buffaloes will be on Friday at the Holcomb Invitational which will begin with field events at 3 p.m. at the HHS Stadium.