Lady ‘Cats finish 1st
It had been a long time since a Basehor-Linwood High School track and field team finished in first place at a meet, but the drought ended last Thursday at the Bonner Invitational
If you can't remember the last time the Basehor-Linwood High School track and field team took first place in a competition, it's probably because it hasn't happened in a while.
But with the way this year's Bobcat girls have been running, jumping and throwing, it was no surprise when they finally bested their competition and won the Bonner Springs Invitational last Thursday.
It was a wet, soggy and all around nasty day. But the competition can't use that as an excuse, because the Bobcats had to brave the elements as well, making their 30-point margin of victory all the more sweet.
Just ask freshman Ashley Jeannin, who was struck in the head with a piece of hail on her way to the bus when the competition was halted for 30 minutes.
Unscathed, Jeannin and the rest of her team returned to the track and were brilliant, taking four first places, one second and five thirds to give them a total of 106 points. Ottawa was the closest competitor on the girls side of things, but the Cyclones finished with just 76 points.
Sophomore Tiffany Waxmonski continued to be sunshine even on a day where there wasn't any, as she was a big reason the ladies were able to place so high. Waxmonski took two first place finishes, one in the 100-meter dash, finishing in 12.33, and the other in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.93 seconds.
Freshman Brooke Sanders also took an individual first place medal in the 400, finishing just over a minute with a time of 1:04.03.
"I was really pleased with the way we competed Thursday," BLHS coach Leroy Scharnhorst said. "No one here can remember the last time one of our track teams took first place."
The 4x400 relay team consisting of Jeannin, Sanders, fellow freshman Cassie Lombardino and sophomore Shae Sawalich took the remaining first place finish of the day.
Although it was one of the first times they didn't break their own record, who could blame them with a wet track and the addition of Lombardino, who is the team's triple jump star and not normally a member of the relay team. They still finished ahead of everyone else with a time of 4:29.47.
"This week's relay team consisted of three freshman and a sophomore, and Lombardino also filled in nicely," Scharnhorst said. "Cassie was behind when she got the baton, but by the time she got around the second turn, she had jumped into first. Another coach came up to me and said that was the fastest he's seen someone run the back stretch."
Jeannin received the lone second place finish for the girls in the 800 with a time of 2:34.
Although a third place finish might just seem second best to the second place, on Thursday it was the reason the Bobcats took first overall. Five third place finishes instead of a fifth or sixth meant the difference in the points. The ladies took third in the 800, the triple jump, the 1600, the 3200 and the 4x800 relay.
"These underclassmen are just athletes," Scharnhorst said. "They work really hard, and it's really a team effort."
The Bobcat boys made the trip to Bonner as well and were also off and running. The only problem is they had to run out from the girl's shadows.
But Scharnhorst wanted to make it known that he only brought nine boys with him, and seven of those nine placed.
With only nine athletes, the Bobcats were still able to take seventh place overall in a field of 12 teams, which means many of the athletes competed in multiple events.
Junior Dustin Weimer, who Scharnhorst called his "work horse," was the only medalist for the boys, taking first place in the 800 with a time of 2:08 and took third in the 3200 at 11:07.
Senior Josh Powell landed a fifth-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles, setting his own personal record with a time of 48.37.
Scharnhorst feels this might only be the beginning of a great success story, as both his girls and boys continue to improve week after week.
The Bobcats will be in action again, rain or shine, at the Shawnee Heights Invitational on Friday, May 29 beginning at 3:30 p.m.