Third Time’s a Charm for House
In her third try, El Dorado senior Jaimie House finally got the championship she’s been looking for.
As the three-time defending state champ, House has won several other crowns, of course; she’s also the fifth best all-time pole- vaulter in Kansas state high school history.
But winning the Kansas Relays is her favorite championship. House edged second-place finisher Emily Brigham; both cleared the bar at 11-11.65, but House had fewer misses to capture the crown.
“It’s nice getting to compete against all the other athletes,” House said. “I think it was harder (to win the KU Relays) than state, especially for 4A. The last two years it was hard to get first. I was hoping for a PR (personal record), but it was hard with the rain. The weather caused some problems. It was hard to get over. I just worked through it. The rain meant it was important to keep the grip dry. It was tougher under those weather conditions.”
This was House’s third trip to the Kansas Relays, but it won’t be her last time competing at Kivisto Field as she will be attending KU next fall.
“I know the coach and I really like the way his camp is run,” House explained.
House also competes for El Dorado in volleyball and basketball, but enjoys pole vaulting the most.
“It’s a rush,” House said. “It’s hard to explain but it’s so much fun being high up in the air.”
Nightingale Twins Have Strong Showing in High Jump
Jarell Nightingale took third while his brother Gale placed ninth in the high jump event.
Jarell cleared the bar at 6-6, but just missed on his last attempt at 6-8. Sophomore Maverick Scott of Central and senior Jer’rell Moore of Omaha Benson both cleared the bar at 6-8. Gail managed a 6-2 jump.
The Centralia senior twins were competing in their first Kansas Relays and really enjoyed the higher level of competition.
The competition at the Relays “was very tough,” Jarell said. “There are a lot of great jumpers here. Kids like these are excellent athletes.”
Normally the twins only have competition from each other.
“I push him and he pushes me,” Gale said. “There’s not really any other competition.”
Each was hoping for a personal best at the Relays, but conceded that the cold, rainy conditions impaired their performances.
“It was hard with the cold and the sprinkles don’t help,” Gale said. “When it’s cold it’s harder to stay warm and stay loose. I like it better when it’s hot.”
“That was very close,” Jarell said of his final miss at 6-8. “I should have had that. My goal was to get a PR at 6-10. I’ll try to get that when state comes around. That should be what I need to do. With a better day I think we’d be there.”
The pair plans to attend Cloud County Junior College next year
where they will compete in high jump and also play basketball.
“I know there’s a 6-11 jumper there,” Gale said. “I think I can reach 7-0. That’s my goal. I hope I can do 6-10 at state.”
Like his brother, Jarell also enjoys hoops.
“I love playing basketball, but I’m also good at track,” Jarell said. “The plan is to go to K-State after graduating Cloud County and try to walk on as basketball players.”
Landes’ Personal Best Lands a Silver
Mulvane senior Evan Landes ran his race almost to perfection and took home second place in the 3200-meter run with a time of 9:14.51.
Caleb Hoover of College Heights won the event at 9:11.98.
“It was great,” Landes said. “I did exactly what I wanted to do. Having a lot of good runners helped me go out and relax. It was a really fast time. I had a little bit left that last 200 meters. My goal was to be under 9:20, so I’m really happy. ”
Landes’ time beat his previous personal best by almost 18 seconds, a mark set last year at the Kansas Relays.
“It’s the quality of the competition,” Landes said. “When we’re running back home we’re trying to compete but at the last meet it was just a couple of us out front on our own. Having a lot more people helps to spread the pressure around. We share the work.”
Landes plans to attend KU next year. He particularly enjoys “the atmosphere around Lawrence” and says there are “multiple things” which make KU the best choice. When he’s not running, Landes stays busy with school work; he has a heavy workload which includes three AP courses.
Milbourn Captures Bronze in 3200-Meter
El Dorado senior Molly Milbourn ran 10:59.38 to finish a close third behind Nerinx Hall senior Colleen Quigley (10:44.66) and Neosho senior Courtney Wood (10:58.81)
While she’s disappointed that she didn’t win the race, she was pleased with her overall performance.
“It was faster than last year’s pace,” Milbourn said. “Quigley took the lead and my goal was to try to stay with her. I did that but towards the end she stretched it out, increasing her lead.”
Her time was slightly worse than last year when she ran the 3200 meters in 10:52.
“I wanted to get in the 10:40s,” Milbourn said, but she didn’t lay any blame on the cool, damp conditions. “I actually prefer running in this kind of weather.”
Milbourn will have plenty of opportunity to reach her goals; she will be attending KU next year to run track for the Jayhawks.
“The coaches here are awesome,” Milbourn said. “Plus the town of Lawrence is awesome.”
When not competing or training, Milbourn keeps a full schedule.
“My mom keeps me busy,” Milbourn said. “I like cooking and reading, and I do some community service work with Big Brothers/Big Sisters.”
Gardinier and Cantrell Place Well in Javelin
Circle senior Alex Gardinier took third in the javelin throw while Campus senior Garrett Cantrell placed fourth.
Mill Valley senior Macauly Garton won the event with a 212-11 throw and Louisburg junior Garrett Griffin was second at 189-03. Gardinier’s toss went 188-11 while Cantrell threw 187-03.
Cantrell entered the Kansas Relays fresh off his own personal best, accomplished in a meet at home the day before where his 194-11 throw also set a school record. When he’s not throwing or training Cantrell finds time to relax.
“I like to fish a lot,” said Cantrell, who will be going to Pittsburg State in the fall. “It’s peaceful.”
Gardinier will be headed to Butler Community College to throw the javelin and also play football. Gardinier likes to compete in other decathlon events like the long jump and triple jump.
“I like to try different events,” Gardinier said. “There’s more variety; it’s more fun.”
Gardinier doesn’t worry about having to focus on any particular discipline to succeed.
“I just go out and do it,” Gardinier said.
Local athletes highlight Kansas Relays
Jaime House of El Dorado goes up for a gold-winning vault (Photo by Marc Bowman)
Third Time’s a Charm for House