Bulldogs pleased with opening meet
Mike Spielman was happy about the success of his Baldwin High School boys’ track team at its season opening meet last Thursday.
Spielman’s Bulldogs began the season at Liston Stadium with the Baldwin Invitational. They won the 13-team meet with 128 points. Pittsburg finished second with 92.
“It’s nice to win, but it’s also nice to know you have the depth and quality of kids that you can score a lot of points without trying to score a lot,” said the BHS boys’ coach. “This is a nice start for us to see where we are at early in the season.
“We did a great job of competing well,” Spielman said. “We scored in all kinds of events. It was a really good day.”
The Bulldogs enjoyed the home meet and warm weather last week.
“It was fun to have our home meet,” sophomore Dayshawn Berndt said. “I like running at home a lot, because I’m familiar with the track. We competed well and scored in a lot of events.”
Berndt was one of three Bulldogs to win a race Thursday. He sat second after the 200-meter preliminary races, but improved his time by 0.4 to win the finals in a time of 22.92.
“It was very exciting,” Berndt said. “I was second after the prelims and had a great finals race. It was exciting.”
Spielman said Berndt ran a great 200 to bring home gold.
“He ran a great 200,” he said. “He blasted out of the blocks and left no doubt that he was the guy to beat in the field. That’s what you have to do and he did it.”
As a team, Baldwin won three events and medaled (finishing in the top three) in nine others. The other two victories came in distance races.
Starting the day was sophomore Tosh Mihesuah. He won the 2,000-meter steeplechase. His winning time was 7:23.83. Juniors Joey LaBuda and Kyle Garcia placed fifth and sixth in the race.
“Tosh ran a great steeplechase,” Spielman said. “He looked very good going over the barriers. It’s fun to run that race for a couple of meets early in the season.”
The Bulldogs’ other victory came in the 1,600-meter run. Junior Tony Weiss battled De Soto freshman Angel Vasques but edged him out, winning by less than one second. Weiss ran 4:44.24 to win. He also came back and finished runner-up to Vasques in the 3,200-meter run later in the night.
“Tony had a great day,” Spielman said. “He is so much stronger this year. He looked really good in both of his races.”
The Bulldogs placed two runners in the top of the 400-meter run. Junior Josh Hoffman (53.31) finished second, while sophomore Asher Hannon (53.99) placed fourth. The other medalist on the track was junior Carson Barnes. He ran the 300-meter hurdles in 42.29 seconds to place third.
Barnes also took home medals in the long jump and pole vault. He jumped 21-11 3/4 in the long jump to finish runner-up and cleared 10-6 to finish third in pole vault.
Baldwin had a different individual finish second in each of three throwing events. They were junior Jesse Austin (126-7) in the discus, senior Patrick Pinault (161-10) in the javelin and freshman Dayton Valentine (44-0) in the shot put. Sophomore Jake Mindez (43-7) placed fourth in the shot put.
“They did outstanding,” Spielman said. “Our throwers were great Thursday in all three events. We got second in each event, plus we had other guys scoring, too.”
The Bulldogs’ final medal came in the 1,600-meter relay. They ran 3:34.27, which was just behind Bonner Springs’ winning time of 3:33.8. BHS relay members were Barnes, Berndt, Hannon and Hoffman.
“That was a close race and we ran a great time for this early in the season,” Spielman said about the 1,600 relay. “It’s nice to see us run that well after those kids have competed in several events.”
Baldwin will compete at the Pre-State Meet in Wichita this weekend. The meet will feature the best teams and competitors from all classes around the state.
“Now we just have to keep improving and getting better every day,” Spielman said. “This was a good start, but there’s still a long season ahead of us.”