Peters, Smoky Valley show dominance at CKL meet

Smoky Valley senior Belle Peters won four golds at Thursday's Central Kansas League...
Smoky Valley senior Belle Peters won four golds at Thursday's Central Kansas League Championships. She set new meet records in the pole vault and 200m dash.((photo by Mike Courson))
Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 1:32 PM CDT
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HALSTEAD, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Smoky Valley senior Belle Peters was held to four gold medals at Thursday’s Central Kansas League Championships in Halstead. Not by ability but by the rule limiting competitors to four events. Peters broke two of the many meet records that fell, and the Lady Vikings cruised to the team championship.

Behind Belle and sisters Breanne and Noelle, along with Gracie Lambert in the mid-distance races, Smoky Valley piled up 125 points. Hesston finished second with 78 points, and Hoisington finished a close third with 73 points.

Belle recently climbed to No. 2 on the state’s all-time pole vault list at 13-3. Thursday, immediately after qualifying for the 100m hurdle and 200m dash finals, the Pitt State-bound Peters cleared 13-0 to break her own meet record by 19 inches. She failed at a new PR of 13-4. Breanne Peters picked up the silver at 10-0, and Noelle Peters finished fourth at 9-6.

“Just competing against myself is all I can do,” Belle said. “I try to bring as much speed as I can and improve my take off and form as much as I can.”

Even with all field events completed except for Peters’ final attempts, a growing crowd clapped to build momentum for her near miss at 13-4.

“It’s really awesome to have all this support,” she said. “I watched people walking in lines to come watch me vault. That was really cool to see.”

Peters is one of the top sprinters in Class 3A but elected for the 200m dash over the 100. She broke an 8-year old meet record by just 0.03 seconds for the gold in 26.35. Pratt senior Sian Helfrich picked up the silver in 27.02, just ahead of Hoisington’s Macy Hanzlick (27.06) and Suzanna Schneider (27.58).

Peters entered Thursday’s meet with the 10th-fastest 100m hurdle time in Kansas this spring at 15.39. She won the gold there in 15.38, missing the record of 14.86 set by Lady Shocker and former Sterling standout Sydney Wilson in 2016. Hoisington senior Samantha Colson bagged the silver in 15.97, and Smoky Valley’s Clara McElroy finished third in 17.17.

Finally, the Peters girls again tallied points in the long jump. Belle won the event at 16-2.75, followed by Haven’s Reese Roper at 15-11 for the silver. Breanne Peters placed third at 15-4.5 for the bronze.

The Lady Vikings set two more meet records on the track. Gracie Lambert entered the 800m run field with the second-fastest time in Kansas this spring. She ran just off that time but still smashed a 9-year-old meet record by two seconds for the win in 2:17.33. Halstead’s Kaleigh O’Brien finished second in 2:27.41.

Lambert ran the final leg of Smoky Valley’s 4x800 race in another record effort. With McKinley Johnson, Keira Mullen, and Abby Rose, the Lady Vikes beat the previous meet record by 10 seconds in 9:50.86. Halstead picked up the silver in 10:01.36.

Lambert, Rose, and Mullen joined Kajsa Peterson for a new record in the 4x400m relay. Winning in 4:06.65, Smoky cut nearly three seconds off its record time in 2016. Halstead again won the silver in 4:15.44.

The Lady Vikes were not the only record setters on the day. Pratt’s versatile senior Sian Helfrich entered Thursday’s meet with the seventh-fastest 300m hurdle time in the state this spring. She ran potentially the state’s fastest time of the season, setting a new meet record in 45.32. Hoisington’s Colson, switching from the long jump, won the silver in 48.91.

Finally on the track, Hoisington’s 4x100 team of Colson, Schneider, Hanzlick, and freshman Sheena Gocela posted the eighth-fastest time in Kansas this spring at the Beloit Relays. Thursday the girls went even faster for the gold in 49.91 to break an 8-year-old meet record by 0.3 seconds. Larned finished second in 51.38.

Back in the  field, the CKL featured one more state leader this spring in Larned sophomore Jayme Hagerman, whose 37-11 triple jump tops Kansas. She added a foot to the meet record, set by Sterling’s Wilson, to take the gold at 36-10.25. Hesston’s Emily Friesen grabbed the silver at 35-10.25.

Hagerman also made a strong debut in the 100m dash with the win in 13.03, again followed by Friesen for the silver in 13.05.

“I would like to get better every time but I know that’s not really realistic to come out and PR every time,” said Hagerman, who has one other jump of 37-plus feet late in the season. “I think I’m going to do pretty well (at regionals). I’m planning on qualifying for state in the triple jump, which I think I can definitely do.”

One other multi-event winner was Nickerson sophomore Ava Jones. The basketball standout won the high jump by half a foot at 5-2, and her javelin throw of 108-10 beat Pratt’s Sterling Rector by 10 inches.

Hillsboro’s Jessica Saunders won the shot put by nearly five feet at 38-1. Her discus toss of 113-4 beat the field by nearly five feet as well.

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