Personal records set at Girard
Plenty of personal bests were recorded as many medals were handed out Friday night in Girard.
The Baldwin High School track teams competed at the Girard Invitational and came away with positive results. Many runners ran their best times of the year as several more collected medals from the meet in southeast Kansas.
"It was a really good meet for us," BHS boys' coach Mike Spielman said. "I was really happy with the way they competed. We had some really good PRs. A lot of kids are starting to drop their times."
Along with all of the positive individual times, the BHS girls' team managed to win the meet by 30 points. Baldwin scored 124.5 points while Girard totaled 94 for second place.
"It's big for us," senior Amanda Vander Tuig said of the win. "We had some good field events and running events. It was a good team effort.
"As the season winds down, it's about the team pulling together to get that plaque," Vander Tuig said.
BHS girls' coach Ted Zuzzio was very pleased with his team's performances and effort Friday night.
"I couldn't have been prouder of our effort on Friday. We competed," Zuzzio said. "We just competed. It was a wonderful experience to be a coach and watch our kids compete down south."
The boys' team wasn't as successful, but still managed to take fourth place as a team. Baldwin scored 73.5 points but Joplin (Mo.) won the boys' standings with 124 points.
"We had a lot of good performances from many people," senior Caj Kueffer said. "I think everybody tried really hard. We were missing a couple of guys and we still placed fourth at the meet."
One of the personal best times at the meet came from Kueffer in the 800-meter run. He won the race at 2:01.44, beating second place by four seconds.
"It felt really nice," Kueffer said. "I had a negative split in the 4x800 (3,200-meter) relay and coach told me I didn't get out very fast in the relay. So I got out a lot faster and it worked out really well."
Spielman was happy Kueffer was able to run that time. He was also thrilled with performances from seniors Blake Wieden and Nick Jackson.
Wieden leaped 41 feet in the triple jump to place third at a place Spielman said, "isn't very good for jumping." Jackson tossed the javelin 147 feet, 7 inches to place fifth.
The BHS boys won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays Friday. The Bulldogs scored in the 3,200-meter run, 400-meter dash, high jump, long jump and shot put.
"I was really happy that we scored in almost all of the events we entered people in," Spielman said. "Right now we are just short on a few sprinters, but we are in there battling in the other events."
The Baldwin girls also scored in the field events and on the track. Vander Tuig placed second in the high jump (4-8) as sophomore Olivia Catloth tied for fourth in the event at the same height.
Sophomore Corinna Papps (50.62 seconds) won the 300-meter hurdles as Catloth (18.59) finished third in the 100-meter hurdles.
Heather Garcia swept the 800- and 1,600-meter runs. She won the 800 in a time of 2:23 and the 1,600 in 5:32. Right behind her in the 800 was senior Kelsey Verhaeghe (2:26).
BHS juniors Courtney Harris (98-10) and Colby Heckathorne (90-0) placed third and seventh, respectively, in the javelin.
Freshmen Krista Seaman (7-0) and Connor Twombly (6-6) finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in the pole vault.
Harris also finished runner-up in the 400-meter dash at 1:03. Twombly placed fifth in the 1,600 (5:52) and fourth in the 3,200-meter run (12:54). Freshman Julie Hill (13:05) finished fifth in the 3,200.
"There were 13 schools there and it was a happy day handing out 31 medals on the way home," Zuzzio said. "It turned out to be a nice evening."
The BHS girls were also successful in the relays. The 1,600-meter relay team of Harris, Papps, Verhaeghe and Garcia won the meet in a time of 4:10.
The 400-meter relay team (52.55) fell 0.02 of winning its race. Those team members were sophomore Madison Pippert, Garcia, Verhaeghe and Harris.
The 3,200 relay also placed second as it ran 10:23. Papps, sophomore Calleigh Durr, Vander Tuig and Verhaeghe ran the relay.
"We had a lot of personal bests," Zuzzio said. "Our 4x100 ran their best time of the year. Our mile relay ran their best time of the year, also.
"Kelsey Verhaeghe passed three different people in the two mile relay to secure second in that race," Zuzzio said. "Those things just jump out at you, but we had a lot of kids run their best times on the track."
Both track teams will head to Wellsville Friday for the Red Bud Classic. The field events will begin at 3:30 p.m. with the 3,200 relays starting at 4:30 p.m. The preliminary races will begin at 5 p.m. and the finals are set to start around 6 p.m.
"It should be a great meet," Zuzzio said. "There are going to be 19 schools there and it's going to be some great competition."