BHS boys runs season-best times at Kansas Relays
Baldwin High School’s boys’ track team continued to improves its times at the Kansas Relays over the weekend.
While placings might not indicate great results for the Bulldogs, coach Mike Spielman and the rest of the team would disagree. The Bulldogs ran their best times of the season in all five races they were entered.
“We had a great weekend,” Spielman said. “All of the guys PR’d and the relays ran their fastest times of the year. It was a great weekend for us.”
The Kansas Relays attract many of the state’s best teams, along with top teams from Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma each spring. In most races, qualifying times are required so that only the best teams or runners are entered.
Baldwin was entered in the 400-meter relay, 1,600-meter relay, 3,520-yard relay, 7,040-yard relay and the 800-meter run.
“I thought it was an excellent for the team,” senior Connor Wright said. “We all came out and ran PRs, some big ones actually. It’s too bad we didn’t get any medals, but it’s a tough meet.”
Wright was the only individual competitor for the BHS boys’ team. He ran the 800 run and finished ninth in a time of 1:57.85.
“That was a four-second PR,” Wright said. “I made my move on the back stretch of the second lap and people actually went with me. I knew I was on pace for a good time after the first lap.”
Wright finished third in his heat. He was also the fourth-best Kansas runner in the race Friday. Spielman said his time is around one second from the BHS record, which is held by 2002 graduate Eric Black.
“He’s getting close to the school record,” Spielman said. “He ran a great race. He ran it just how he needed to in order to run a good time.”
All of Baldwin’s other events were relays. The highest placing relay was in the 3,520-yard, which is normally the 3,200-meter relay. However, the University of Kansas’ track is officially measured in yards.
The Bulldogs placed 11th in the race out of 39 teams. Their time was 8:20.53, which converted into meters is around 8:17. That would be the Bulldogs’ best time of the season.
“Carson (Barnes) and Tony (Weiss) ran great,” Wright said. “We will start getting our time down there. We are sitting pretty respectable in the state right now.”
Freshman Brian Wright started the race for BHS. The other two runners were sophomores Barnes and Weiss.
“That was a great time for us,” Spielman said. “There were 21 teams in our heat so there was a lot of jostling around. Carson ran a 2:05 split, which was great. Tony ran his PR with a 2:07. Connor and Brian each ran 2:02.”
Baldwin’s 6,400-meter or 7,040-yard relay finished 12th in a field of 21. A pair of Class 4A teams were ahead of the Bulldogs. They ran 19:12.61. The team consisted of freshman Tosh Mihesuah, B. Wright, Barnes and Weiss.
“Brian led us off with a 4:31,” Spielman said. “That was a great lead off leg. Tony had a great leg at 4:41. Then Carson ran 4:57 and Tosh ran 4:55, which was the first time he has broken five minutes.”
Another relay that continued to chip time off of its season best is the 1,600-meter team. Baldwin placed 24th out of 49 teams as it ran 3:31.34.
“We cut a couple more seconds off there,” Spielman said. “We just missed the Sunflower Finals by less than a second. We ran well and we just keep dropping our time.”
Baldwin missed qualifying for the Sunflower Finals on Saturday by 0.30 seconds. The Bulldogs on the team were senior Ryan Kennedy, sophomore Josh Hoffman, freshman Shawn Berndt and C. Wright.
“We are really young,” Spielman said. “This experience is going to help us when we go to state.”
The Bulldogs’ final relay was the 400-meter. They finished 45th out of 60 teams in the event. The BHS team of Kennedy, senior Andy Thurlow, Hoffman and Berndt ran 45.29 in the race.
“We ran our fastest time in that race with a low 45,” Spielman said. “We had good handoffs. It’s good for that team to get the experience of running in that race with some good competition.”
The lone BHS girl competing over the weekend was sophomore Allison Howard. She placed 21st in the discus as she threw 113-feet-4 or 34.54 meters. All three of her throws were at 34 meters.
Baldwin will be competing in the Cardinal Relays Friday in Eudora. The meet will begin at 4:30 p.m.
“Usually it’s the same weekend as KU, so it will be nice to have everybody there this year,” Spielman said. “We are going to do a few things differently.”