The Wichita Collegiate boys track team may not be heavy in numbers, but they proved they were heavy with talent winning the boys Division 1 team title at the Vernon Ferguson Invitational track meet Friday evening in Cheney. The Spartans scored 111 points to outperform second-place and host school Cheney.
It’s a return to success for the Spartans that they have not enjoyed, possibly since they finished third at state ten years ago.
“We’ve won three of our last four track meets and got runner-up in the other. We haven’t had success like that in at least a decade,” said Collegiate head track coach Don Funke. “The kids are working hard. We don’t have big numbers; we’ve only got 17 boys and 7 girls. We’re getting quality points out of them.”
Jake Barrett was a double winner for the Spartans taking the 110-meter hurdles in 15.34 and the 400-meter dash in 51.77. Kyler Elam was also a double winner, taking the discus with a throw of 146-11 and the shot put with a heave of 49-10.5.
Also claiming gold medals for the Spartan boys were Devin Clark, who won the 200 meter dash in 22.95, and Jacob Newlin, who cleared 6-0 to take the high jump. The Collegiate 4X100 meter relay also finished first, collectively rounding the lap in 44.58.
For the girls, Hutchinson Trinity took the Division 1 title, narrowly defeating Garden Plain by a 129-124.5 margin. The two teams have been tightly contested all season long, according to Celtic head coach Jan Frieb.
“We go back and forth with points with Garden Plain and it’s great competition for us,” said Frieb. “Winning the meet was a highlight. There’s a lot of good things that the kids are doing. It’s been a great season.”
Celia Biel pulled a distance double for Trinity, winning the 1600 meters in 5:46.12 and the 3200 meters in 12:48.85. Mariah Hammersmith also scored an individual gold for the Celtics in the triple jump and in the process broke her own school record in the triple jump with a distance of 35-3.5. Rhiannon Vieyra finished second in the 100-meter hurdles to Collegiate’s Jewell Bolden, and although Vieyra settled for a silver medal, she, too broke a Trinity School record with a time of 15.11. Bolden was clocked at 14.76.
Deep across the board, Trinity scored points in all events but the pole vault, shot put and 200 meter dash to secure the team win.
All athletes at the meet, regardless of school size, competed against each other individually. However, team standings were split into two divisions based off of enrollment. Team standings for the smaller schools were tallied for Division 2, with the Pretty Prairie boys and Udall girls taking Division 2 titles.
Kiefer George was the only individual winner for the Bulldogs, winning the triple jump with a distance of 39-11.75, more than a three-foot advantage over No. 2 Walter Stuhsatz, Garden Plain.
“Our guys rose to the occasion and had some great performances and times,” said Bulldog head coach Jon Johnson. “We had personal bests in so many places. Our kids rose to the occasion and competed well.”
While Udall had no individual firsts, the Lady Eagles were paced by distance runners Tavia Hart and Sarah Patteson. Hart was second in the 3200 meters with a 14.06 clocking, while Patteson was second in the 1600 meters with a time of 6:01.89.
“There’s a lot of times when we come to this meet and don’t get a point, so we’re pretty pleased,” said Udall head track coach Wyatt Williams.