Relay times benefit from weather
WELLSVILLE -- Warm temperatures and calm conditions helped the Baldwin High School boys' track team improve its times here Friday night.
Baldwin tied for fifth place out of 19 schools at the Red Bud Classic. Baldwin tied Jayhawk-Linn for fifth. Both teams scored 42 points, as Paola won the meet with 98 team points.
"We were right in there," coach Mike Spielman said. "Some of those schools have a little bit more depth than we have right now. The kids we brought competed well and did a nice job."
Despite the team placing, Spielman was happy with how his squad competed and improved its times Friday. He was most proud of the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays.
"I thought we competed well," Spielman said. "It was the first time we've had really nice weather and great competition. It lent itself to some fast times. We made some big drops in some of our races, especially the relays."
The 1,600 relay finished runner-up to Paola as it ran 3:31.9. The relay members were senior Chris Elniff, senior Caj Kueffer, junior Kyle Smith and sophomore Connor Wright.
The 3,200 relay also placed second, but lost to Kansas City Christian by less than one second. Baldwin ran 8:26.6, while KC Christian crossed the line in a time of 8:25.8. Running the relay were Elniff, Kueffer, Wright and junior Aaron Karlin.
"The big ones were our two relays," Spielman said of good performances. "They both dropped a lot of time. It was nice to see the 4x800 (3,200 relay) go from 8:40 to 8:26. The mile (1,600) relay was right in the hunt at the end."
Baldwin did score in a few other events Friday. The highest scoring event of the day for BHS was the 800-meter run. Kueffer won the race in 2:01, just edging out Don Haines of Paola by 0.01. Elniff placed fourth in the race with a time of 2:03.5.
Smith finished third in the 400-meter dash at 52.9. Senior Blake Wieden finished fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 41-feet, 3-inches. Senior Brandon Reed placed sixth in shot put with a throw of 45-5. Sophomore Logan Schiller tied for fifth in the pole vault as he cleared 10-6.
Spielman said he is happy to see some scoring in some track and field events, but knows his team is still searching for its identity.
"We are still trying to find our niche in some of the events," Spielman said. "But we're getting there."
The Bulldogs will be competing in the Frontier League meet today in Ottawa. The meet will begin at 3:30 p.m.
Spielman isn't sure where his team will finish, but guesses somewhere in the middle.
"Right now, I think Gardner and Paola are out there," Spielman said. "Then, there are a bunch of us out there that are fighting for the third or fourth spot. We are going to try to get in there in the top three. That will be a really good day for us if we can do that."