By RON PRESTON
CHAPMAN – What a beautiful day for a track meet!
Temperatures nearing 70 degrees and a very gentle breeze greeted the seven teams that competed in the Chapman Invitational track meet Thursday.
For most of the schools attending this meet it was their best weather day all spring.
Abilene High School and host Chapman High School took advantage of the weather and had a lot of student athletes participate in the meet.
“It’s not really a combined varsity and junior varsity meet, it’s a varsity meet that we let each team enter up to five students per event and two relay teams per race,” said Chapman athletic director and meet director Shane Sundahl.
The six teams took advantage of this opportunity and got to look at several student athletes within their program participating in the track meet.
Abilene and Chapman coaches got a glimpse of a couple of North Central Kansas League opponents as a senior- laden Wamego squad and Clay Center were in attendance.
Wamego boys’ and girls’ both placed first, but Abilene and Chapman were next in line in total team points
“This was a good start for us today, now we just got to keep going, practicing and getting better,” said Abilene head Coach Jeff Geist.
“We had some kids that surprised us today and we had some not too happy with where they placed. But it’s the first meet and we have a long way to go this season,” said Geist.
Cowgirl Krista Bacon and Milea Anderson of Chapman finished first and third respectively in the girl’s 100 - meter hurdles. Bacon’s time was 16.94 while Anderson crossed the finish line at 18.00 seconds.
Killian Millner and Jacoby Robinson of Abilene finished second and fourth in the boy’s 110 - meter hurdles. Millner finished with a time of 18.16 Robinson had a time of 18.41.
Chapman’s girls dominated the 100 - meter dash as Carlie Phillips placed first with a time of 13.13 and Lindsey Hurford placed third with a time of 13.64 and teammate Blair Schmidt finished in fourth place with a time of 13.66.
The Irish boys also took first and third place in the boy’s 100-meter dash with Thomas Meuil winning the event with a time of 11.38 and Jerrad Gillen finishing with 11.45.
Amber and Courtney Hahn of Chapman finished first and fifth in the girls 1600 - meter run. Amber’s winning time was 6:01.70 while Courtney crossed the line at 6:28.20.
In the boys 1600 - meter run, Cowboy Marcus Pastran finished fourth with a time of 5:09.81 followed by Kirkland Babin (5:19.79) and Lane Coberly (5:23.74) of Chapman.
Chapman’s girls’ 4x100 meter relay team of Katy Fink, Hurford, Anderson, and Carlie Phillips placed second behind Wamego with a time of 53.01.
The Irish boys’ 4x100 meter relay team also placed second with a time of 46.05. Running for Chapman was JD Bettles, Meuil, Gillen, and Colton Rudolph.
Abilene’s 4x100 meter relay team of Harley Hazlett, Trey Bender, Robinson and Cale Mayden finished fifth place with a time of 49.18.
Chapman’s Blaine Skinner finished sixth in the girl’s 400-meter dash with a time of 1:14.45 which was just .04 seconds better than Rachel Lillich of Abilene.
Cody Fischer of the Irish placed sixth in the boys 400 - meter run at 1:02.67.
Anderson of Chapman beat Bacon of Abilene for first place in the girls 300 - meter hurdles with a time of 49.07. Bacon was second at 50.03 and teammate Hannah Hagedorn finished sixth at 58.40.
Cowboy Robinson placed third in the boys’ 300 - meter hurdles at 46.40.
Cowgirls Taylor Thompson and Carly Wilson finished third and fifth place in the girls 800 meter run. Thompson had a time of 2:40.34 while Wilson finished at 2:47.23.
Andrew Schwarting and Cowboy teammate Brenden Barnes finished fourth and sixth in the boys’ 800 meter run with times of 2:13.99 and 2:15.58.
Chapman’s Carlie Phillips and Meuil placed first in the girls’ and boys’ 200-meter dash with times of 27.43 and 23.67.
Sarah Bieker of the Irish placed fourth and Cowgirls Malorie Unruh and Madison Wildman finished fifth and sixth in the girls’ 3200 - meter run. Bieker’s time was 14:13.50 and Unruh ran 14:16.34 while Wildman finished at 15:02.23.
Alex Henely of Abilene placed fifth in the boys’ 3200-meter run at 12:22.09.
Kellsi and Krista Bacon along with Hagedorn and Rachel Lillich of Abilene placed fifth in the girls’ 4x400 - meter relay with a time of 4:51.77.
Cowboys running in the 4x400 - meter relay (Cody Lokken, Hazlett, Eli Lahr and Cale Mayden) finished fifth with a time of 3:58.47.
The Lady Irish 4x400 - meter relay team of Sarah Bieker, Amber and Courtney Hahn and Miranda Rodney finished second place at 11:19.30.
The Cowgirl 4x400 - meter relay team of Thompson, Wilson, Audrey Berkland and Maggie Brooks placed sixth with a time of 11:48.80.
The Cowboy 4x800 - meter relay team of Barnes, Schwarting, Pastran and Lahr finished second place with a time of 9:04.30.
Kirkland Babin, Lane Coberly, Keenan Crane and Cody Fischer, running for the Irish in the 4x800 relay, finished fifth place at 9:34.00.
“I didn’t get to see all of the running events because I was with the throwers and I can say that Dustin Engle walked away with a third place in the shot put and Savannah Roth did well in the javelin and she also earned a first place medal in the pole vault,” said Abilene coach Geist.
Kellsi Bacon of Abilene placed fifth in the girls’ long jump with a leap of 13-11.50.
Chapman’s Gillen and Meuli placed first and second in the boys’ long jump at 19-06.50 and 18-04.50.
The Cowgirls dominated the pole vault with Roth taking first place at 8-6, Emily Johns finishing second at 7-0 with Macy Heinrich placing fourth at 7-0 and Hanna Warren finishing fifth with a vault of 7-0.
Quade Baugh of Abilene placed second for the Cowboys in pole vault with a vault of 10-0.
Cowgirl Macey Dinkel finished second in the discus throw with a toss of 93-2.
Logan Lexow of the Irish placed fourth in the discus with a throw of 113-05.
Roth and teammate Courtney Geist finished second and sixth place for the Cowgirls in the javelin with throws of 101-06 and 90-09.
Cowboy Marcus Gonzales picked up one of his first place medals in the javelin with a throw of 142-3. Chapman’s Robert Steck placed third at 136-3 and Abilene’s Lahr finished fourth at 135-2.
Chapman’s Milea Anderson won the girls’ high jump with a jump of 4-10. Abilene’s Hannah Hagedorn finished in fourth at 4-2 and Mikaela Anderes placed sixth at 4-9.
Gonzales won the high jump for Abilene at 6-0 and teammate Ty Holt tied for sixth place at 5-08.
Blair Schmidt finished fourth in the girls’ triple jump for the Irish with a leap of 29-7.
Gonzales placed second place in the boys’ triple jump at 36-2 and Cowboy teammate Dylan Carroll finished sixth at 35-1.5.
Lindsey Hurford placed third for the Lady Irish in the shot put with a toss of 32-6. Abilene’s Macey Dinkel finished in sixth place with a toss of 28-5.
Cowboy Dustin Engle took third place in the shot with a toss of 40-01. and teammate Andy Tope placed sixth at 38-9.
“We’re excited for our kids today. We as coaches know that some are disappointed but they’re competitors, they’ll just have to keep working at it and get better,” concluded Cowboy coach Geist.
Girls team scores: Wamego 172, Chapman 99, Abilene 93.5, St. Mary’s 67, Clay Center 64, Wakefield 48 and Council Grove 37.50.
Boys team scores: Wamego 217, Abilene 93.50, Chapman 74, Clay Center 64.50, St. Mary’s 62, Wakefield 27.50 and Council Grove 15.50.