Bulldog track teams make statement
Baldwin High School track teams proved in the last week they can compete at any level with impressive showings Friday and Saturday at the Pre-State Classic at Wichita State University and Tuesday at the Baker Relays.
Both meets attracted larger schools and quality 4A teams from the state and, in the case of the Baker Relays, two-state area. The Wichita event offered two tiers of competition for the Bulldogs, one against other athletes entered into “elite” events and another against 4A, 5A and 6A competitors.
Baldwin girls finished first at the Baker Relays with 106 points, or 31 more than second-place Blue Valley West. The boys finished fourth with 80 points.
Excelling at Wichita against elite competition and again Tuesday at the Baker Relays were Baldwin throwers. Alexia Stein, the headliner of a Bulldog girls throwing contingent of quality and depth, earned gold in the elite discus (132 feet, 8 inches) and shot put (44-0.5) at Wichita and followed up with first-place finishes in the event Tuesday.
Kelsey Kehl was sixth in the elite javelin at Wichita (121-05) and first at the Baker Relays (121-04). The sophomore won the 4A-6A discus at Wichita (116-04) and was second to Stein at Baker (119-06). She finished second in the 4A-6A shot put in Wichita (33-07.5) and was fourth in the event Tuesday (32-11.5).
In her first competition of the year Tuesday, Jordan Hoffman was third in the shot put (33-8.5), while earning a silver medal in the javelin (115-08), and a bronze in the discus (118-01).
Senior Quinn Twombly earned javelin gold at Baker (153-06), was third in the shot put (46-03) and discus (145-04). He finished fourth in the 4A-6A shot put at Wichita, 46-5.5, and third in the discus (136-03)
Senior Morgan Lober highlighted the girls elite-level individual Wichita performances on the track, with a second-place finish in the 400 meters (58.42). The girls team of sophomore Kyna Smith, senior Hannah Hutton, Lober and sophomore Carlyn Cole was first in the elite 4x400-meter relay and the 4x800-meter team of Hutton, sophomore Addie Dick, freshman Daelyn Anderson and Lober were third in the elite event. Both teams followed up with the same finishes at the Baker Relays.
The boys also enjoyed success in the relays at Wichita. The 4x800-meter relay team of sophomore Joe Pierce, senior Ethan Hartzell, sophomore George Letner and sophomore Dakota Helm won that elite event in Wichita with the second-fastest time recorded thus far in the state this year () and followed up with a gold-medal performance Tuesday. The 4x400 relay team of Helm, junor Joel Halford, senior Chad Berg and Pierce were second in the elite running of that event at Wichita and again at Baker. The boys 4x100 team of Halford, senior Tim Craig, Berg and junior Darius Johnson was first in the 4A-6A 4x100 meter relay at Wichita. Pierce was also second in the 4A-6A 1,600 meter race.
Baldwin teams will be off until the April 24 Eudora meet. The top athletes will participate April 18 and 19 in the Kansas University Relays.