Bluejays compete well at Regionals, advance to State
The culmination of all the athlete’s efforts, miles of training, hours of field event drills and practice jumps, vaults and throws came down to the next to last highest competition of the season before the pinnacle, which is State. Regional track participants traveled to Pomona-West Franklin High School on Friday, May 19, with the determination to advance their season another week. The field of athletes included tough competitors from 16 different schools, and the Bluejays would advance six boys and five girls, who placed in the top four spots in their events, to move on for another week.
“Under less than ideal conditions, our kids competed very well and had the mental toughness it took to overcome it,” said Head Coach Dave Remmers. “The meet was very competitive just as we thought it would be, and we actually ended up with a few more athletes qualifying for state than what we originally anticipated.”
Senior Mary Lukert has been a tough customer in the middle and long distances races. M. Lukert finished sixth overall in the 800-meter run and then ran a new personal record time in the 1600-meter run to earn a fourth-place finish and a golden ticket to the State meet. Sophomore Laura Metzger has been a mentally tough runner in cross-country and track in the distance races this season, and she finished in sixth-place overall in the 3200-meter race.
In the 4×800-meter relay, the team of M. Lukert, Metzger, sophomore Lauren Bowles and freshman Abby Whittaker earned a fourth-place finish at Regionals and a chance to compete at the State meet.
Senior Halle Scoby elevated her skill in the throwing events and achieved a new personal record in the shot put to earn fourth-place in the event. Scoby also threw well in the discus and grabbed a third-place finish to qualify her for State in both of these events.
Freshman Charlie Lukert ran a personal best time in the 1600-meter race and finished in fifth place, which was eight seconds out of first and just a little more than one second away from qualifying for the State meet.
In the 4×800-meter relay, the team of C. Lukert, sophomore Brody Deters, freshman Josh Enneking and junior Nate Menold ran a tough race to place fourth overall and earn a trip to the State meet. This team has ran well together this season and with their finishing time at Regionals, they were less than three seconds from tying a school record set more than 30 years ago. That milestone will most likely take a back seat as they focus their efforts on bringing home some hardware from Wichita.
In the shot put event, junior Joshua Grimm earned a third-place finish and sophomore Luke Renyer finished in fifth place. Grimm also qualified for State with a fourth-place finish in the discus.
Senior Abe Wehner threw a personal record in wet and muddy conditions in the javelin event and hurled his way to a fifth-place finish in his final appearance of his high school career.
Senior Nohl Niehues set a new personal record in the triple jump and earned a second-place finish in the event at Regional and a chance to compete at the State meet.
“The runners on our 4×800 relays stepped it up and shaved a lot of time off their season best,” Coach Remmers said. “The boys lowered their season best by 14 seconds and the girls lowered theirs by 16 seconds. We again had several PRs [personal records] in the meet, but unfortunately, some of them still weren’t enough to get them one more week. Great job by all the kids this season and we’re looking forward to more improvement at the state meet.”
The track team will have a week of tune-up time as they continue their workouts to prepare for State, which is held in Wichita on Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27, to test their skills and endurance against Kansas’s track and field elites.