Baldwin High track teams race to regional titles
PIPER — The Baldwin High School track teams took home 4A regional team titles Friday with the boys team doing so in much more thrilling fashion than the girls.
As the public address announcer kept reminding the crowd, the chase for the boy team title was extremely close with host K.C. Piper clinging to a slim lead over Baldwin before the last event, the 4x400-meter relay.
The Bulldogs have won that relay at multiple events this season, but they looked to have competition from Perry-Lecompton, which had the second-, third- and fourth-place finishers in the 400 meters. The team of seniors Joe Pierce, Joel Halford and Darius Johnson and junior Dakota Helm proved up to the challenge as anchor Helm overtook a Kaw runner for gold. With Piper finishing fifth, the result was enough to lift Baldwin to the regional title.
Pierce, who ran with the relay team for the first time this year after battling a hip injury, said he had full confidence in Helm.
“When I saw them side by side with 150 meters left, I knew Dakota would get him,” Pierce said.
The Bulldog girls team of Kyna Smith, Madeline Neufeld, Fayth Peterson, Carlyn Cole also won the 4x400-meter relay, but that race was more an exclamation mark than question mark. The BHS girls cruised to an easy team victory with 127 points, or 57 more than that of second-place Basehor-Linwood.
The girls once again won all three relay events and dominated in the throws. Senior Alexia Stein won the shot put and discus. Jordan Hoffman was first in the javelin with her best-ever throw of 143-03, and was third in the shot and discus. It was the second week in a row, the senior has recorded a javelin throw of more than 140 feet.
“I guess after four years of doing it, I’m finally figuring it out,” she said. “You can tell when it feels good. It’s just a little dot out in the sky.”
Stein said she enjoyed the meet and looked forward to defending her state titles in the shot and discus.
“It’s nice to return to state,” she said. “It’s exciting for my teammates earning trips to state for the first time.”
Among the first-time qualifiers were Sydney Bergan in the pole vault (second), Hollie Hutton in the triple jump (fourth), Abby Ogle in the 400 meters (third) and Madeline Neufeld in the 800 meters (fourth).
Senior Christian Gaylord tuned up for the challenge at state with gold-medal performances in the shot put and discus.
Helm took home three regional gold medals, winning individual gold in the 800 meters and teaming with Pierce, George Letner and Parker Wilson for the title in the 4x800-meter relay.
Earning silver medals for the boys team were Owen Tuckfeld in the javelin and Joel Katzer in the 300-meter hurdles.
The Baldwin boys and girls teams both will compete in 12 of the 18 events at state. The state championships will be Friday and Saturday at Cessna Stadium on the Wichita State University campus.
Team standings: Baldwin, 127; Basehor, 70; Piper, 55; De Soto, 49; Eudora, 39; Tonganoxie, 35; Bishop Miege, 31; Atchison, 31; Sumner, 28; Spring Hill, 26; Perry, 21, Santa Fe Trail, 20; Jeff West, 13; Bishop Ward, 10; Bonner Springs 3
BHS state qualifiers
Shot put: Alexia Stein, first, 43-06; Jordan Hoffman, third, 36-09
Discus: A. Stein, first, 139-11; Kelsey Kehl, second, 118-02; J. Hoffman, third, 115-04
Javelin: J. Hoffman, first, 143-03; Kelsey Kehl, second, 130-11, Kylee Bremer, fifth, 107-07
Triple jump: Hollie Hutton, fourth, 33-09.5
Pole vault, Sydney Bergan, second, 9-06
4x800 meter relay: Baldwin (Addie Dick, Abby Ogle, Fayth Peterson, Madeline Neufeld) first, 9:56.46
100-meter dash: Carlyn Cole, third, 13.06
1600 meters: A. Dick, third, 5:19.80
4x100 meter relay: Baldwin (Kyna Smith, Kylee Bremer, M. Neufeld, Carlyn Cole) first, 50.02
400 meters: A. Ogle, third, 1:01.59
800 meter: M. Neufeld, fourth, 2:27.89
4x400 meter relay: Baldwin (K. Smith, M. Neufeld, F. Peterson, C. Cole) first, 4:03.02
Team standings: Baldwin, 90; Piper, 85; Bishop Miege, 72; Tonganoxie, 44; Perry-Lecompton, 41; De Soto, 39; Bonner Springs, 38; Bishop Ward, 34; Basehor, 33; Eudora, 30; Spring Hill, 27; Atchison, 13; Jeff West, 6; Ottawa, 4; Santa-Fe Trail, 2
Shot put: Christian Gaylord, first, 51-3.5
Discus: C. Gaylord, first, 165-05
Javelin: Owen Tuckfield, second, 154-01
Pole vault: Joel Katzer, fourth, 12-06
4x800 meter relay: Baldwin (Joe Pierce, George Letner, Parker Wilson, Dakota Helm) first, 8:15.82
110-meter hurdles: Jake Katzer, fourth, 17.03
1600 meters: George Letner, fourth, 4:42.82
4x100 meter relay: Baldwin (Noah Watson, Ellis Baughan, Joel Halford, Darius Johnson) fifth, 44.95
300 meter hurdles: Joel Katzer, second, 42.62
800 meters: D. Helm, first, 1:57.92; J. Pierce, fourth, 2:01.47
3200 meters: G. Letner, fourth, 10:29.65
4x400 meter relay: Baldwin (J. Pierce, J. Halford, D. Johnson, D. Helm), first, 3:36.37