BJHS track teams win three league crowns
Baldwin Junior High School nearly swept the Frontier League track and field meet Saturday at Eudora.
The Bulldogs won three of the four team championships. The seventh-grade girls, seventh-grade boys and eighth-grade girls teams won the league track and field titles.
“It was very exciting,” eighth-grader Jordan Hoffman said. “I think the other teams were very surprised at how well we competed. Even though we had 11 girls, we still did our best in everything we did. It was definitely our best meet. We came focused and hungry to win.”
The BJHS coaches were excited for their track athletes.
“It was huge,” BJHS girls’ coach Angie Spielman said. “The seventh-grade girls were really deep this year and they had quality athletes in all of the events. With numbers, that helps at league. Our eighth-grade girls did phenomenal. We had only 11 girls competing and only eight scored. They were doing event after event and it was incredible that they could win.”
On the boys’ side, coach Bench Currie was happy for his teams.
“We had a good day,” Currie said. “The seventh-grade boys had a big day and won the team title. The eighth-graders got fourth. We wanted to do better, but we’ll take that.”
The seventh-grade girls’ steam scored the most points of any BJHS team. They scored 145.5 team points to beat Paola, who finished runner-up with 131. The BJHS seventh-grade boys tallied 113 points to win, which was enough to hold off Spring Hill (101).
“After our meet at Eudora last Monday, I thought they had a chance to compete for the league title,” Currie said about his seventh-grade boys. “We have some really good athletes in that group. In junior high track, if you have two or three really good kids in your events, you have a chance at the team title.”
The BJHS eighth-grade girls’ team won its title with 107 points. Louisburg finished runner-up with 100 points. The eighth-grade boys placed fourth with 81 points. Ottawa won the meet as it scored 119 team points.
“The league is competitive in the eighth-grade boys,” Currie said. “We were five points out of third. The guys competed well. I’m happy.”
Baldwin’s girls’ team broke three school records and two league records on Saturday. Hoffman set her second record of the season. She already set the eighth-grade shot put record, but on Saturday she set the discus record, too.
Hoffman threw 104 feet, 9 inches. That improved her best mark by four feet.
“It’s nice to be on the record board twice,” Hoffman said. “It’s exciting.”
The BJHS seventh-grade girls team set two relay records that broke BJHS and league marks. The 400-meter relay team of Carlyn Cole, Taylor Maxwell, Emily Weiss and Kyna Smith ran 55.52 to win the race. That time broke the 1977 school record and the league meet record by 0.56 seconds.
The other record was the seventh-grade 1,600-meter relay. The Bulldogs ran 4:31.4 to shatter the league record by nine seconds that was set in 1991. The relay members were Fayth Peterson, Hollie Hutton, Addie Dick and Kelsey Kehl.
“We set three school records and two meet records,” Spielman said. “The seventh-grade 4x100 and 4x400 were school and meet records. I wasn’t expecting the 4x400 to be a school record, but they all ran their fastest times by two or three seconds.”
The BJHS teams combined to win 16 events on the track and three in the field. Besides Hoffman’s discus, Christian Gaylord and Kehl were the other field event winners. Gaylord won the eighth-grade boys shot put, while Kehl won the seventh-grade girls discus.
On the track, the Bulldogs won individual races and relays. Sierra Hall won the eighth-grade girls 100-meter dash. BJHS won three of the 1,600-meter runs. The winners were Kehl (seventh-grade girls), Garrett Burkhart (seventh-grade boys) and Justin Hadl (eighth-grade boys).
The seventh-grade girls and boys and eighth-grade girls won the 400 relays. Kyna Smith won the seventh-grade girls 400-meter dash. Both BJHS girls teams won the 800-meter relays.
Fayth Peterson and Burkhart swept the seventh-grade 800-meter runs. Joel Halford brought home gold in the eighth-grade boys 200-meter dash. In the final race, 1,600 relay, the seventh-grade girls were the only victorious team.
“We had girls step up everywhere,” Spielman said. “It was exciting.”