Basehor-Linwood boys, girls place fifth at 10-team event
Four Bobcats took home first-place medals and both Basehor-Linwood track teams placed fifth at the Bonner Springs Invitational Track Meet, Thursday, April 18.
As has been the case all season long, BLHS's top finishes were dominated by its throwers. Seniors Dan Rundus and Justin Ishmael placed first in the shot put and discuss, respectively, and sophomore Katie Dukes won the shot put on the girls side of things to give the Bobcats 30 points on their way to the top five finishes.
For Dukes, the victory marked the third time this season she has won the event. Her throw of 32 feet 9 inches was more than a foot better than the second-place finisher.
Rundus and Ishmael also won by comfortable margins. Rundus threw the shot put 5 inches farther than the second-place finisher and Ishmael's season-best throw of 148 feet 3 inches was 11 feet farther than the runner up.
BLHS coach Paul Brown said at the beginning of the season that track is a progressive sport. Each week, he said, the athletes try to improve their own marks while on the trail to peaking at the end of the season.
Ishmael said he's on the right path.
"I think I've gotten better every week and that's really all I try to do," Ishmael said. "Last year, during one of our meets, I just decided that I wasn't going to care as much and it really helped me throw better. I mean, I still care a lot, but I'm trying not to make it a crippling thing."
The one thing that is crippling Ishmael is his desire to break the school's discuss record. The record is a shade above 154 feet and Ishmael's career-best throw is 148-11. His throw at the Bonner Springs Invitational was the second longest of his career, so that has him optimistic about his chances of breaking the record.
"I really want to get that record," Ishmael said. "I think if I keep progressing the way I have, I will get there."
Another Bobcat looking to set a school record is senior Wendy Percifield. Her records are more lofty, because she wants to set them so they last. Percifield placed second in the long jump and the pole vault at Bonner Springs and those are the two events she hopes to set the school records.
"I just want to go out there and do the best I possibly can every time out," Percifield said. "I always try to beat my previous marks and I hope I can set some school records high enough so they stay for a while."
Percifield said her goal is to jump past 15 feet in the long jump and past 6 feet in the pole vault every time out. Thursday, she missed both of those, jumping 14-6 and 5-6, but still managed to finish second.
She said running her four events in a row took a lot out of her and that might have contributed to her low marks. But she's still confident she can reach her ultimate goals of 17 feet in the long jump and 8 feet in the pole vault.
In other action at the Bonner Springs Invitational:
Brian Fish and Nick Verbenec finished first and second in the boys pole vault for the fourth time this season.
Corey Jones finished third in the shot put and Ishmael finished sixth.
Ryan Robinson finished fourth in the 110-meter high hurdles.
Travis Miles finished sixth in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
Justin Killingsworth finished sixth in the triple jump with a jump of 38-9.
Alex Jeannin finished second in the girls 100-meter hurdles and fifth in the 300-meter low hurdles.
Morgan Kenney finished third in the high jump.
Kindle Rose finished fourth in the pole vault and sixth in the 100-meter dash.
Five BLHS relay teams placed in the top six in various relay events, as well.