Buffalo track teams finish third at WAC

GCHS Athletics
Garden City High School's Hannah Phipps, right, battles Dodge City's Kya Edwards and Ulyssses' Halle Nagel in the girls 100-meter  May 4 during the GCHS Mike Smith Invitational at Buffalo Stadium. Phipps won both the 100-meters and 200-meters on Thursday at the WAC meet at Liberal.

LIBERAL - Going into the 2021 Western Athletic Conference Track and Field Championship, Garden City Coach Brian Hill knew his team’s chances of winning either girls or boys would be a major challenge considering that the Hays boys and Great Bend girls are loaded with outstanding competitors this year.

Instead, he focused his teams on continuing to improve their performances from the previous week, looking for depth to provide necessary points in the five-team league meet which was held at Liberal’s Redskin Field this year while Dodge City is renovating much of its Memorial Stadium.

The Buffs responded with an outright third-place finish in the girls, scoring 76 points and just missing by one point of tying Dodge City for second. Great Bend did win easily, scoring 127 points. On the boys side, the Buffs tied rival Dodge City for third, getting 61 points while favored Hays also breezed to the team title with 120 points while Liberal was second with 79 points.

“Overall, it was about what we expected,” Hill said. “We saw some kids move up in regional standings that give them a chance to make it to state with another good performance.”

Staying close to the Dodge City girls in the standings and tying the Demons in the boys proved critical in the final WAC Champions Cup standings in which the Buffaloes won for the 10th consecutive time with 170 points to Dodge City’s 165 points. The Cup is a competition among the five WAC schools in 21 varsity sports throughout the entire school year (see related story).

Headlining the girls’ performances was junior Hannah Phipps, who won double gold medals in the sprints, capturing the 100-meters in 12.61 seconds and the 200-meters in 27.35 seconds. Freshman Allie Strandmark continued her strong season by winning the 800-meters in 2:29.57 and the 1,600-meters in 5:31.75.

“Hannah ran a couple of really good races and her points were important for us,” Hill said of Phipps, who also anchored the 4x100-meter relay team. “It was nice to get Kristin (Roth) back. Her points were big that we didn’t have the last couple of weeks.”

Senior McKenna Jagels captured the other gold medal for the Buffs, winning the pole vault with a leap of 9-06. Roth, a junior, returned after missing several meets due to an injury and contributed greatly to the Buffs’ finish by placing second in the long jump (16-06) and triple jump (34-04.75) and taking fourth in the 100-meter hurdles (16.62).

Another senior, Keyhana Turner, took second in the discus (117-08), third in the javelin (110-11) and fifth in the shot put (32-05.75).

Sophomore Brandon Springston took the spotlight for the boys, winning the 110-meter hurdles with a personal and season best time of 15.63 seconds, the first time he’s gone under 16 seconds this season. He was runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 43.72 seconds.

“Brandon ran his best race of the season and it’s good to see him get his time down with the win,” Hill said of the 110-meter hurdle race.

There were three other runner-up silver medals for the boys, with Jace Korf going 10-00 in the pole vault, junior Terrell Elliott with a personal best shot put of 55-00, eclipsing his previous best by more than two and a half feet while senior Trey Nuzum had his second best discus throw of the year at 158-02. He had thrown 167-06 a week earlier at the Derby Invitational.

Alan Chairez garnered thirds in the 100-meters (11.26) and the 200-meters (23.53) and Devin Chappel captured a third in the 1,600-meters (4:52.95).

GIRLS

Team Scores

1. Great Bend, 127; 2. Dodge City, 77; 3. Garden City, 76; 4. Hays, 60; 5. Liberal, 35.

Garden City Individual Results

100m—1. Hannah Phipps, 12.61; 4. Kendra Peterson, 13.40.

200m—1. Hannah Phipps, 27.35.

800m—1. Allie Strandmark, 2:29.57.

1600m—1. Allie Strandmark, 5:31.75.

4x100m relay—3. (Melissa Fiero, Brianna Estrada, McKenna Jagels, Hannah Phipps), 52.35.

4x400m relay—5. (Quinlynn Harms, McKenna Jagels, Melissa Fiero, Allie Strandmark), 4:28.16.

100m hurdles—4. Kristin Roth, 16.62.

High jump—5. Julie Calzonetti, 4-10.

Pole vault—1. McKenna Jagels, 9-06.

Long jump—2. Kristin Roth, 16-06.

Triple jump—2. Kristin Roth, 34-04.75.

Discus throw—2. Keyhana Turner, 117-08.

Javelin throw—3. Keyhana Turner, 110-11.

Shot put—5. Keyhana Turner, 32-05.25.

BOYS

Team Scores

1. Hays, 120; 2. Liberal, 79; 3T. Garden City/Dodge City, 61; 5. Great Bend, 54.

Garden City Individual Results

100m—3. Alan Chairez, 11.26.

200m—3. Alan Chairez, 23.53.

1600m—3. Devin Chappel, 4:52.95.

3200m—4. Evan Gurrola, 11:10.13; 5. Kenji Craig, 11:15.49.

110m hurdles—1. Brandon Springston, 15.63.

300m hurdles—2. Brandon Springston, 43.72.

4x100m relay—4. (Michael Varela, Tertullian Nyamakope, Joel Bellows, Alan Chairez), 45.35.

4x400m relay—3. (Devin Chappel, Brody Burns, Joel Contreras, Erick Dominguez), 3:34.48.

4x800m relay—3. (Evan Gurrola, Kailyn Munoz, Jace Kohlhorst, Ivan Rivas), 9:12.21.

High jump—4. Keelyn Beasley, 5-10.

Pole vault—2. Jace Korf, 10-00.

Discus throw—2. Trey Nuzum, 158-02.

Javelin throw—4. Brody Burns, 143-02.

Shot put—2. Terrell Elliott, 55-00.