Baldwin High qualifies 15 for state meet
Noonan’s four golds pace boys
A week after a tornado tore through downtown Tonganoxie the Baldwin High School boys track team tore up the track on their way to a second-place finish at the Class 4A regional meet last Friday.
The appropriately named Ottawa Cyclones outscored the Bulldog tracksters by 12 points, finishing with 101, ahead of Baldwin's 89. Perry-Lecompton finished behind Baldwin for the first time in four meets with 83.
"We were happy to get eight athletes qualified," said coach Mike Spielman. "While we didn't quite have the depth with fourth- or fifth-place finishes, we were able to win seven events. That kept us in the hunt for the first-place trophy until the mile relay."
First-place finishers for the Bulldogs were, sophomore Matt Noonan in the 800- (2:00.01), 1,600- (4:32.9), and 3,200-meter (10:13.7) runs; sophomores Eric Brown and Eric Black with personal bests in the javelin (188-3) and high jump (6-0), respectively; sophomore Hugh Murphy in the shot-put (45-8); and the 3,200-meter relay consisting of seniors Sam McCall and Cole Gladhart, and sophomores Glen Stansberry and Noonan.
A repeat from league, Noonan won all three of his individual races. The regional meet presented a tougher challenge for the super sophomore because he started the day off anchoring the 3,200 relay. Noonan stepped in the relay for Black, who was experiencing stiffness in his hip after a personal best in the high jump.
"Matt had a huge day," said Spielman. "He thinks about the team first and what is needed to win. He knew running in the relay would make the triple win tougher for him, but he was up to the challenge."
Other top-six finishers for the Bulldogs were: junior Ben Cosman with a second place in the high jump (6-0) and a third in the triple jump" Gladhart fifth in the 3,200 (10:29.50); Murphy fifth in the discus (123-10); and senior Taylor Reed finished sixth in the 400-meter dash (52.70).
"We hope to place in the top three in the state," said Gladhart. "We qualified a lot of guys and the competition at state will carry us to great times."
Noonan will play a big role in the team's success in Wichita at the state meet. His times in the 1,600 and 3,200 are the best in Class 4A and he is close in the 800 as well.
"I want to go in and run personal bests in each race," said Noonan. "Hopefully those times will be good enough to win a couple races."
The BHS boys will continue to do their best to keep tearing up the track at Wichita State's Cesna Stadium on Friday and Saturday at the state championships.
Six BHS girls qualify for state
By David Pressgrove
Signal Staff Writer
This season the five returning state qualifiers have carried the Baldwin High School girl's track team. Friday at Tonganoxie it was more of the same, as all five qualified for state and led the team to a fifth-place finish in the Class 4A regional.
The girls finished behind Gardner-Edgerton (111), Ottawa (83), Santa Fe Trail (76), and Lansing (62) with 46 points.
"This year we didn't have as many quality athletes that we have been lucky to have in the past," said coach Ted Zuzzio. "Everybody gave a great effort and I'm proud of everybody. Our top athletes definitely earned the trip to state."
Six has been a reoccurring number for the team the past two weeks. At league they were defending the championship for the sixth straight year, but were unable to win, finishing sixth. Friday they qualified six for state with forty-six points, three points ahead of sixth.
Junior Megan Noonan was the only Baldwin girl with a first-place finish, winning the 3,200-meter run in a time of 12:09.10. Noonan also placed second in the 1,600 with a time of 5:35.40.
"I was hoping to win the mile but couldn't get it done," said Noonan. "The times weren't what I hoped for, but I look forward to running fast at state."
Sophomore Casey Millstein qualified for state in the triple jump, placing second with a jump of 31-6.25. Millstein earned four more points for the team with a fourth-place finish in the high jump (4-8). The 4x100-meter relay team consisting of seniors Janae Nuspl and Liz Stockdale, junior Melanie Pelot and freshman Erica Johnson, earned a free trip to Wichita with a third-place finish (53.60). Nuspl and Pelot also contributed in their individual events with a fourth place in the long jump and 200-meter dash, respectively.
"We were able to qualify, but didn't run well," said Nuspl about the 4x100. "We look forward to state and running a seasonal best."
"Running a seasonal best will be a new school record," added Stockdale. "We are only a half a second from that time."
To qualify for state an athlete is automatically qualified with a top three finish at the regional, and then the two best fourth-place finishes also earn an invitation to state. Nuspl, Pelot and Millstein all had fourth-place finishes, but they were unable to advance to state.
Millstein and the 4x100 will be competing on Friday at Wichita State's Cesna Stadium. If the 4x100 team qualifies for finals they will join Noonan in the Saturday competition.
"We've had great effort throughout the season," said Zuzzio. "Thanks goes out to the parents and students for their support. We will do our best to perform well for them at state."