Buffaloes’ girls track team second at 6A regional
The roller-coaster spring track and field season has just one day remaining for the Garden City Buffaloes girls and boys’ teams, and that will come on Thursday when they compete at the Class 6A state meet in Wichita.
This year, like so many other high school postseason events this calendar year, will have an adjusted schedule for the state meet. Classes 6A and 5A will compete at Wichita State University’s Cessna Stadium on Thursday, Classes 4A and 3A on Friday and Classes 2A and 1A on Saturday.
So all the eggs are in one basket for one day for the 11 girls and seven boys who made it through regional qualifying on Friday at Buffalo Stadium.
“It’s been such a weird season, and there were a few surprises, but for the most part the kids we thought had good chances to qualify, did,” said Head Coach Brian Hill. “I’m proud of these kids who stuck with it this season after having missed an entire year of competition. Getting back into the regimen of working out, conditioning and then competing has been a big challenge for these young men and women.”
The girls’ qualifiers are more dominated by seniors while the boys’ qualifiers have the majority of underclassmen competing on Thursday.
Seniors McKenna Jagels and Keyhana Turner are the top upperclass girls to head to Wichita. Jagels, whose specialty event is the pole vault, set a personal record while winning the vault, clearing 10-00, eclipsing her season best of 9-06. She also ran on the qualifying 4x100- and 4x400-meter relay teams which placed second and third to punch their ticket to Wichita.
“It was really cool to see her get 10-00, and just an awesome performance,” Hill said of Jagels. “She’s a great competitor and it’s a great opportunity for her to go there and do even better. Considering she did it in 20-30mph wind, that’s a great accomplishment.”
Turner, meanwhile, captured first in her best event – the discus – with a throw of 117-05 and took second in the javelin by throwing the spear 116-08. Her marks have continually improved each week of the spring season, Hill said.
“She’s worked very hard on the throws this spring,” Hill said of Turner. “It’s great to see these seniors stick with it and set an example for the younger kids. Their hard work has really paid off and I couldn’t be happier for her and the others.”
Another senior girl, Kiana Calahan, placed fourth in the 300-meter hurdles (51.98) to nail down the final qualifying spot. Junior Hannah Phipps was third in the 100-meters (12.50) while also anchoring the qualifying 4x100-meter baton squad, which ran a season best 51.35 to take second after being seeded fifth among the seven teams running.”
“We finally found the right combination after experimenting a lot with the four runners early in the season,” Hill said. “It’s the critical relay race with the exchanges being so important and we found the best group to run it, and they did a great job of cutting quite a bit of time off.”
The remaining 4x100 relay squad is comprised of Kendrda Peterson, Brianna Estrada, Phipps and Jagels. The 4x400-relay unit had junior Sara Chapa Solano, Jagels, junior Melissa Fiero and freshman Allie Strandmark race to a season best time of 4:21.33 to take third.
Senior Heidy Aguila threw the discus 96-06 and garnered the fourth qualifying spot to head to state for the first time.
Two underclassmen – junior Kristin Roth and freshman Strandmark – will lead the way in number of events in which they will compete along with Jagels – as Roth earned three event qualifiers in the 100-meter hurdles where she was third in 16.31 seconds, fourth in the long jump at 16-05.25 and second in the triple jump at 34-03.
“Kristin has been recovering from an injury earlier in the season and missed several meets, so it was great to see her back competing,” Hill said. “I thought for the amount of practice time she’s missed, she really competed Friday.”
Strandmark, meanwhile, continued her strong performances in her first year of high school competition. She captured her two specialty middle distance races by running the 1600 meters in 5:26.87 and then easily winning the 800-meters in 2:27.55. Both marks were just behind her season bests, but they also came running in that 20-30mph wind over the last 200-meters of each race.
“Allie has been solid all spring, and we’re excited to see how she performs at state,” Hill said. “There are some other really good middle distances runners who will be there, but I can’t wait to see how she does when she’s pushed to go even faster.”
Those performances enabled the Buffs to take second in the overall team competition with 109 points while Dodge City took the top spot with 126 points. Hutchinson was a distant third with 86 points.
For the boys, senior Trey Nuzum and sophomore Devin Chappel will be the only multiple-event competitors for the Buffs.
Nuzum took second in the discus with a throw of 143-07, well below the 167-06 he threw two weeks ago, and then took third in the shot put with a heave of 46-03.50. Chappel, meanwhile, who had suffered an arm injury the second day of spring preseason workouts, won the 3,200-meter run in a time of 10:37.81 and then placed second in the 1,600-meters with a mark of 4:53.06.
“For all the obstacles he’s had to overcome, with rehabbing and missing conditioning time, I thought Devin’s performance just showed a lot of guts,” Hill said. “He really dug deep to run two quality races and I’m so thrilled he has a chance to run both at state. We haven’t seen the best of him yet.”
Meanwhile, junior Terrell Elliott continued his shot put exploits by throwing a personal best 53-04.50 to win the event. Junior Zane Burns also had a big day with a personal best javelin throw of 158-08 to win that event.
Another junior, Brandon Springston, clocked a 15.64 second mark in the 110-meter high hurdles to place fourth in one of the most competitive races of the day. The winning time was 15.06 while fifth-place was 15.72, with Springston getting that final state qualifying spot by a mere .08 of a second, but missing second by only .31 of a second.
The final qualifiers for the boys came from another pair of juniors – Tertullian Nyamakope and Keelyn Beasley – who took third in the triple jump with a leap of 41-03 and third in the high jump at 5-08.
The Buffs scored 70 points to place fourth while Wichita East took team honors with 107.5 points. Hutchinson was second at 104.5 and Liberal third with 87.
Thursday’s state meet schedule will have field events beginning at 8 a.m., with girls and boys events staggered in two-hour increments. The 3,200-meter finals will be run at at 11 a.m. (girls) and 11:30 a.m. boys (with 5A running first).
Running event preliminaries will start at 11:56 a.m. in the girls 100-meters and continue through to 1:20 p.m. with the boys 100-meters, girls 100 meter hurdles, boys 110-meter hurdles and the girls and boys 200-meter dashes. There will be two heats of 8 in those events, with the top 2 finishers in each heat and the next four fastest times advancing to the finals. All other races – relays and distance runs – will be timed finals.
Finals will begin at 1:40 p.m. with the 4x800-meter relay. The final event of the meet will be the 4x400-meter relay, scheduled for a 7:22 p.m. start.
1. Dodge City, 126; 2. Garden City, 109; 3. Hutchinson, 86; 4. Wichita East, 63; 5. Liberal, 58; 6. Haysville-Campus, 52; 8. Wichita South, 16; 9. Wichita West, 12.
Garden City Results
(Top 4 Qualify for State Meet)
100m dash—3. Hannah Phipps, 12.50.
800m run—1. Allie Strandmark, 2:27.55.
1600m run—1. Allie Strandmark, 5:26.87.
100m hurdles—3. Kristin Roth, 16.31.
4x100m relay—2. (McKenna Jagels, Kendra Peterson, Brianna Estrada, Hannah Phipps), 51.35.
4x400m relay—3. Sara Chapa Solano, McKenna Jagels, Melissa Fiero, Allie Strandmark), 4:21.33.
300m hurdles—4. Kiana Calahan, 51.98.
Discus—1. Keyhana Turner, 117-05; 4. Heidy Aguilar, 96-06.
Long jump—4. Kristin Roth, 16-05.25.
Javelin—2. Keyhana Turner, 116-08.
Triple jump—2. Kristin Roth, 34-03.
Pole vault—1. McKenna Jagels, 10-00.
1. Wichita East, 107.50; 2. Hutchinson, 104.50; 3. Liberal, 87; 4. Garden City, 70; 5. Dodge City,69; 6. Haysville-Campus, 58; 7. Wichita South, 33; 8. Wichita West, 17; 9. Wichita North, 12.
Garden City Results
(Top 4 Qualify for State Meet)
1600m run—2. Devin Chappel, 4:53.06.
3200m run—1. Devin Chappel, 10:37.81.
110m hurdles—4. Brandon Springston, 15.64.
Shot put—1. Terrell Elliott, 53-04.50; 3. Trey Nuzum, 46-03.50.
Discus—2. Trey Nuzum, 143-07.
High jump—3. Keelyn Beasley, 5-08.
Javelin—1. Zane Burns, 158-08.
Triple jump—3. Tertullian Nyamakope, 41-03.