Archive for Thursday, May 18, 2006

Column: Track teams worth watching

May 18, 2006

In case you haven't kept up on Baldwin High School sports this spring, the BHS track teams are once again making lots of noise.

As the spring sports seasons wind to a close in the next nine days, I would suggest that BHS fans take the time to travel and watch the track teams, if they haven't already.

Both track teams will be competing at regionals in Tonganoxie Friday night, trying to qualify for state the following the weekend. This may be the best chance to watch the Bulldogs, unless you want to travel to Wichita next weekend.

There are four simple reasons to go watch the track teams Friday. The first and most obvious reason is because both teams are very talented.

Last week at the Frontier League meet, the boys won easily and the girls placed third, only eight points out of second. Both teams have won several meets this year and look to compete for the Class 4A regional championships.

The boys' team should keep doing what it has all season and that is score and score often. The Bulldogs scored many points in every race at the league meet and have the talent to do the same at regionals.

The girls' team may have to settle for competing for second place, as the Eudora team looks too strong to beat. Sophomore Heather Garcia will, of course, lead the Bulldogs.

Garcia is the No. 2 reason to come watch the track teams Friday. She is just one of the many great distance runners that have come through BHS in the last decade.

But she may give 2002 BHS graduate Matt Noonan a run for his money as the best BHS distance runner by the time her career is finished. She looks to add at least two more gold medals to her collection at state this year in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races.

I understand that anything can happen during a race or even before. But with the times that Garcia is running as of late, I don't know of anyone in Class 4A that can beat her.

She has broken her school records in the 1,600 and 3,200 several times this season. I look for her to break 5:00 in the 1,600 and 11:00 in the 3,200 at regional or state this year. If you want to be part of something magical and historic, come watch Garcia in only her sophomore season.

The final reason to come watch the track teams this season is that it will be the final time that the numerous seniors will compete for BHS.

Both teams have several seniors running and competing at regionals. Amy Craig, Kelsey Heckathorne and Katie Beall will be competing for the girls' team for the last time in the next meet or two.

The boys' team has many seniors that led to the success of the team. For fear of forgetting someone, I will not mention names. But the senior boys help in almost every event and especially the relays.

All three relay teams are full of seniors who are hungry for a victory in the postseason. Some of those boys have fuel added to the fire, whether it is last year's second place in the 1,600 relay or a shortened postseason in football and basketball.

I know all of the track team members are hungry for success and want to achieve that this spring, especially the seniors.

I hope Baldwin fans come in herds to Tonganoxie Friday to cheer on the Bulldogs. It will be a good chance to watch this great senior class one last time, while seeing many other Bulldog athletes.

I know I will be there cheering on my alma mater.

Go Bulldogs!

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