Golden Saturday lifts Baldwin girls to 2nd-straight 4A track title
Two days after the Baldwin High girls defended their 4A state track and field championship in Wichita, coach Ted Zuzzio was still in awe of what his team accomplished.
State track results
Girls - Team results (Top 10)
Baldwin, 71 points; Andale, 57; Paola, Coffeyville, 42; Smith Community, Independence, 30; Topeka-Hayden, Chanute, 26; KC-Piper, 25; Fort Scott, Ulysses, 24
Discus – Alexia Stein, first, ; 139-04; Kelsey Kehl, fourth, 121-02; Jordan Hoffman, sixth, 119-06
100-meter hurdles – Maddy Ogle, 12th in preliminaries, 17.09
300-meter hurdles – Ogle, 9th in prelims, 48.88
Javelin – Kehl, first, 147-10, Hoffman, fourth, 129-10, Kylee Bremer, 13th, 108-06
Shot put – Stein, first, 44-03.75
4x800-meter relay – Baldwin (Hannah Hutton, Addie Dick, Fayth Peterson, Morgan Lober), 1st, 9:42.38
100-meter dash – Carlyn Cole, 11th in preliminaries, 13.28
400-meter run – Lober, first, 56.82
4x400-meter relay – Baldwin (Kyna Smith, Cole, Peterson, Lober), first, 4:04:18
“We won six events,” he said Monday. “That’s unheard of at this level. Eight of the 12 girls we took to Wichita won gold medals. Baldwin’s quality won the championship.
“They had a goal and they did the hard work neededd to accomplish that goal. They did Baldwin, the school, their parents and their coaches proud in Wichita.”
The Bulldog girls won the state title, the school’s fourth in five years, with 71 team points. That was 14 more than runner-up Andale. Baldwin defended its state crown with five gold-medal performances Saturday.
Alexia Stein got the Bulldogs off to a solid start Friday, the meet’s first day, with a first-place finish in the discus in the first of her state throwing showdowns with Paola’s silver-medalist Kelsey Slawson. The event was good for 18 team points for the Bulldogs as sophomore Kelsey Kehl finished fourth and junior Jordan Hoffman sixth.
Kehl and Hoffman started the Bulldogs’ second day excellence with impressive performances in the javelin. Kehl broke her school record five times at state, winning with a throw of 147 feet, 10 inches. Zuzzio said it was a clutch effort on Kehl’s final throw, which bettered that of Chanute’s Haley Taylor by a foot. Hoffman took sixth in the event with a personal best throw of 129 feet, 10 inches.
“Jordan would have been good for second last year,” Zuzzio said. “That just shows you how good the throwers were this year.”
About two hours later, the Bulldog 4x800-meter relay team of senior Hannah Hutton, sophomore Addie Dick, sophomore Fayth Peterson and senior Morgan Lober won the state title with a time of 9:42.38. Lober outsprinted Paola’s Lauren Frederick in a side-by-side dual to capture gold for the Bulldogs.
The spotlight then returned to the Stein, who once again faced off against Slawson in the shot put. The result was the same as the discus, with Stein winning gold (44 feet, 3.75 inches) and Slawson silver.
With her state championships in the discus and shot, Stein duplicated the feat that her friend — and now Oklahoma State University thrower — Katie Kehl achieved for the Bulldogs last year.
There was a surprise in store for Morgan Lober in her defense of her state 400-meter title. Lober and Winfield’s Courtney Griffiths had traded the best time in the state this season and they were one-two in Friday’s preliminaries when Lober clocked in at 57.33 an Griffiths at 57.51. But it was junior Kelly Wycoff of Scott Community who pressed Lober for the gold in the finals. Lober won with a time of 56.82, just .26 of a second shy the meet record set in 1999. Wycoff was second with a time of 56.98.
“We didn’t know much about her,” Zuzzio said. “Scott Community moved up from 3A this year. She went undefeated and won the 3A title last year and hadn’t lost a race this year heading into the finals.”
After Lober’s winning effort, the Bulldogs had 61 team points and a 20-point team lead over Paola, but it was Andale that would make a late run to come within striking distance of Baldwin with wins in the triple jump and 300-meter hurdles. At the start of the meet’s last event, Baldwin had a 61-54 team lead over Andale.
As always, the last event was the 4x400-meter relay. That was good news for Baldwin, which posted the best time in the preliminaries of 4:00.18 and had the best time in the state regardless of class through much of the year.
The team of sophomores Kyna Smith, Peterson, Carlyn Cole and Lober, running her third race of the day, took care of the baton to win with a time of 4:04.18.
“We’ve now won the 4x400 five straight years,” Zuzzio said. “But anything can happen in a relay.”