Times continue dropping for Bulldogs
Baldwin High School’s track and field teams continued to improve their times last weekend at the prestigious Kansas Relays.
Medals and top finishes are hard to come by at the meet, in which many of the best high school and collegiate athletes from Kansas and surrounding states participate. BHS left Lawrence with six medals, all in girls’ events, and several season-best times.
“The quality of competition was better than what we’ll see at the state tournament,” girls’ coach Ted Zuzzio said. “That’s the highest-quality meet we will compete in all year. You know that because some of the high school kids were beating the college kids’ times.”
Leading the way for the Bulldogs was the girls’ 2,000-meter steeplechase. Senior Connor Twombly earned the highest finish of the team when she placed fifth in the race. She ran her best time of the season, 8:09.22, but it was the last time she will run the race in high school, since it’s only run at select meets early in the season.
“I was so excited,” Twombly said. “I ran a lot better than I expected to run. It was a good race for me. That was my first time running at KU. I wasn’t as nervous as I was expecting to be. I was just more excited to be there more than anything. I thought top six got medals, but it ended up being top eight. I was really excited to get a medal at KU and to knock my time down by about 30 seconds.”
Twombly’s teammate, sophomore Abi Hartzell, also placed in the race. Hartzell finished seventh in a time of 8:30.33.
Baldwin’s other medal-winning event was the girls’ 1,600-meter relay. The Bulldogs placed 10th in the preliminary round, which was two places short of the finals, but good enough to qualify them for the Sunflower Showdown on Saturday evening.
BHS finished third on Saturday in a time of 4:08.42. The race featured the eight fastest Kansas teams that didn’t finish in the top eight of the prelims. The Bulldogs on the relay were sophomore Elizabeth Sigvaldson, junior Lyndsey Lober, freshman Kaitlyn Barnes and senior JaBryanna Wellington.
“We competed fairly well in most of our events,” Zuzzio said. “The 4x400 ran 4:08, which is their best time of the year and got third in the Sunflower Showdown. Our two steeplechase girls ran well, too. Both of those girls got medals, which is gratifying for them.”
The BHS boys’ 1,600 relay also made the Sunflower Showdown. The Bulldogs’ ran 3:31 and placed 14th in the prelims, but they improved their time Saturday. In the Sunflower Showdown, they finished fourth, running 3:30.36. The relay members were sophomore Asher Hannon, junior Carson Barnes, junior Josh Hoffman and sophomore Dayshawn Berndt.
“We made the Sunflower Classic and did really well,” coach Mike Spielman said. “What I was really happy with was it was the end of the second day and they had already run some races and we still ran our fastest time of the year. I was very happy with that.”
Baldwin’s other top performances came in a pair of individual events. Lober ran her season-best time of 15.87 in the 100-meter hurdles, but finished ninth, one spot from making the finals. K. Barnes also placed ninth in her race. She ran 2:22.96 in the 800-meter run.
“Kaitlyn Barnes had a very good meet, as far as running at a high level,” Zuzzio said. “I wish Kaitlyn and Lyndsey could have gotten a medal for the effort they put in at the meet.”
The Bulldogs will be back in action as full squads this week. They will compete Friday at Eudora. The meet starts at 4 p.m.