Personal records broken as BHS sweeps home meet
Morgan Lober and Brian Wright helped the Baldwin High School track and field teams close out Friday night’s home meet in style.
The BHS freshman and junior anchored the 1,600-meter relay teams to victory in the final races of the night. The Bulldogs’ relay victories capped off two Baldwin Invitational team titles for the home squads.
“The 4x400 is the best race,” Wright said. “It was the last race of our home meet, so we can’t disappoint our home fans.”
BHS boys’ coach Mike Spielman agreed with Wright about the last event of the meet.
“The mile relay always gets the fans excited, and the students are running from side to side on the infield,” he said. “It’s always a good feeling when you end the meet on a win. It was a good finish.”
Baldwin High scored 200 points to win the girls’ side of the season-opening meet. Lansing finished runner-up with 89 points.
“We left track last May on a high note, and this group is hungry to take right up where they left off,” coach Ted Zuzzio said of his defending Class 4A state champions. “Some of them ran times and improved their distances from last year. It’s pretty exciting.”
The Baldwin boys scored 127.5 points to win. Olathe Northwest finished second with 113 points.
“It just shows the depth of our team to win the team title,” Spielman said. “We didn’t run everybody in a lot of events, but we did some events. It’s great to be able to get the team title without being able to max everybody out.”
Both Baldwin High teams had plenty of top-three finishes and personal-best performances on the track and in the field events. The Bulldogs won 14 events and set one meet record.
Senior Allison Howard broke her own discus meet record. She threw her first toss 120-feet, 11 inches, breaking the previous record by nine inches. Howard also finished runner-up in the shot put with a throw of 34-0.5.
“She has the meet record,” Zuzzio said. “She also had a nice throw in the shot put. She had a big day. Her sister did also. She scored in every event and brought home three individual medals. The Howard sisters competed well.”
Sophomore Monica Howard finished first, second, third and fifth in her four events. She scored 28 team points by herself.
“I’m really excited,” Howard said. “It’s been a really good day.”
M. Howard won the javelin with her best-ever throw of 115-7. She followed that up with a runner-up finish in the high jump. She cleared 5-0, which was the winning height, but she lost on number of misses at that height.
“Javelin was probably my best event, because I got a PR and I got first,” Howard said. “I threw about four feet further than I ever have thrown. That throw came randomly, but I threw it high and let the wind push it out today.”
Her day continued with a third-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles. She lost to two teammates, seniors Myranda Behrens and Ramie Burkhart, but she ran her fastest time. Howard finished fifth in the 200-meter dash.
“Placing first, second and third was big for the team,” Howard said. “It was my first time running under 50, so that was exciting.”
One Bulldog who had a marvelous debut was Lober. Before helping the 1,600 relay win, she won the 400-meter dash and ran her first-ever 800-meter run during a relay. Also running on the 1,600 relay were sophomore Kaitlyn Barnes, junior Elizabeth Sigvaldson and senior Lyndsey Lober. Barnes, Sigvaldson and junior Carol Whaley teamed up with M. Lober on the 3,200 relay team.
Lober won the 400 in a time of 1:00.32, which beat second place by more than one second. She also helped the 3,200-meter relay easily win by running a 2:30 split in her first attempt at an 800.
“Morgan had a huge day,” Zuzzio said. “Morgan set a freshman record in the 400, and I think she will be looking to obtain the school record in the 400 before the season is over.”
Also winning events on the girls’ team were Barnes in the 800-meter run, junior Abi Hartzell in the 2,000-meter steeplechase and Behrens in the 300 hurdles.
The BHS boys’ team won four races on the track, but it was the throwers who turned heads Friday. Senior Jesse Austin won the shot put with a personal-best throw of 49-4.5. Sophomore Dayton Valentine won the discus with a best-ever toss of 148-10.
Although junior Jake Mindez didn’t win any event, he had the coaches talking. He finished third in the javelin (161-10), third in the discus (142-7) and seventh in the shot put (43-5.5).
“Our throwers had a huge day,” Spielman said. “Jesse won the shot with a big PR. Dayton won the discus with a big PR, and Jake got 3rd with a huge PR. Then Jake had a huge PR in the javelin. Jake had two big throws.”
In individual events, senior Carson Barnes won the 300 hurdles. He ran his best-ever time, 41.23, as he cruised to victory. Junior Tosh Mihesuah won the steeplechase in a time of 6:53.67, which was two seconds from the meet record.
Mihesuah also anchored the 3,200 relay to a narrow victory. Also on the relay team were junior Chip Kueffer, senior Kyle Garcia and freshman Ethan Hartzell. They’re winning time was 8:47.25.
The boys 1,600 relay team members were junior Asher Hannon, freshman Chad Berg, Barnes and Wright. They ran 3:31.77 to win the relay.
“We ran really great times in the distance races,” Spielman said. “We had some really good performances all over the meet, but they weren’t all winning performances, because it was a quality meet. I was really happy with our performances.”
Baldwin will next compete at the Baker University Relays Tuesday at Liston Stadium. Then it’s off April 14 to the KT Woodman Invitational in Wichita.
“We’ve got a week to get in better shape,” Zuzzio said. “Then we will be back at home Tuesday for the Baker Relays.”