Turner topples record twice in one week
A tiny bit of distance made a huge difference to Lansing High track senior Tiffany Turner on Friday at the Gardner-Edgerton Invitational.
She wasn't particularly stoked that she broke her own school record in the shot put by only three inches when she unleashed a throw of 37-2 3/4, but she was pumped about the fact that she surpassed a foot barrier.
Her old record of 36-11 3/4 was set last year. Since then she has threatened the 37-foot plateau on multiple occasions - including a heave of 36-11 at the Louisburg Invitational on April 21 - but never surpassed it.
"That pretty much made me angry," Turner said of the close call at Louisburg. "I was like, 'Oh, come on!"
The greatest challenges in track come with surpassing foot, second and minute barriers. Those elusive marks can create nightmares and ruin an athlete's season if they're not mentally tough enough.
Turner stayed focused and persevered. On her second throw at Gardner she launched her record heave.
"I think it was huge," she said of the throw, adding that she'd been in the 37s on numerous occasions in practice. "I knew I could do it because I've been doing really good pat practice lately, but I wondered why I couldn't do it at a meet."
After tossing her first throw over 37 feet, Turner did it again Tuesday at the Tonganoxie Invitational. The result was another school-record mark of 37-9.
Turner now is turning her focus to preparing for the state meet. She made it to state last year in Class 4A, but the Lions are a 5A school this year so she will face an entirely new group of opponents at regionals and, if she qualifies, state.
"I'm kind of worried about that actually," she said of the 5A experience. "I really want to get my hands on what their throws were like last year at the 5A level and see what's going on there."
Turner's latest record throw would stack up quite well in comparison to the Class 5A state field last year. In fact, it would have been good enough for a fourth-place state medal.
While that may come as good news to Turner, she has higher expectations. She wants to not only break her record again, but she wants to surpass another foot barrier.
"I'm just hoping I can throw 38," she said. "If I can throw 38 at state I'll be happy."
A few other Lions are beginning to take on championship form as the season nears the home stretch. Freshman Takeisha Jenkins has continued to dominate the 110- and 300-meter hurdles as she swept both events at Gardner and Tongie. Freshman Mike Griffin placed second in the 100-meter dash at Gardner and third at THS. Senior Neal Watson won the javelin at Tongie with a throw of 151-11. Junior Jeff Slater also had a big day at the Tonganoxie Invitational as he swept the 100, 200 and 400 and contributed to a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter relay. Senior Sara Eustice also cleared nine feet in the pole vault for the first time this season.
Part of the LHS track team will head to the Piper Invitational at 3:30 p.m. today at Piper High School. Others will compete at 3 p.m. Friday at the Shawnee Mission North Relays. After that will be the Kaw Valley League meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Mill Valley.