Basehor-Linwood shows progress at Bonner meet
BLHS boys tie for 5th, girls take 8th, as times for both teams continue to improve
The Basehor-Linwood boys track team seemed to enjoy the new surface and accommodations at Bonner Springs, earning their best finish of the year at a meet there last Thursday. With the springy new track underfoot and weather conditions better than they had been most of the season, the boys ran, jumped and threw their way to a fifth place finish in the 12-team meet.
Headlining for the boys, as usual, was runner Dustin Weimer, but the Bobcats also got plenty of points from other sources.
"I was very pleased with our boys team finishing tied for fifth," BLHS coach Steve Hopkins said. "We scored in nine different events and we were able to get points in areas we don't always do so."
Ethan Douglas led the Bobcats in the field events with a strong performance in the discus. The sophomore took second with a throw of 116 feet that was a personal best. Stephen Dyer also medaled for the Bobcats with a third place finish in the 300-meter hurdles that Hopkins called "an excellent performance against tough competition."
Weimer had gotten pretty used to winning his signature event, the 200-meters, fairly easily, but found himself challenged Thursday night. James Carter of Bonner Springs, perhaps riding some adrenaline from performing on his new home track, narrowly beat out Weimer for first place. Weimer had to settle for second despite recording his fastest time this year, a 2:03 finish that tied his personal record. The senior is creeping closer and closer to the school record of 1:58, a goal he set for himself at the beginning of the year.
"His best time of the year (was Thursday) and we are trying to wear him out in his workouts this week," Hopkins said.
Weimer also ran the top leg of a revamped 4X400 relay team for the Bobcats. He, Dyer and Will Peterson were joined by track newcomer Austin Knipp and the quartet finished third in their heat and fifth overall.
Peterson took the first leg and ran it in 56.7 seconds. Weimer took over next and moved the Bobcats from fifth place in the heat up to second with a lap of 54.6 seconds. Knipp took the baton next and started strong. The junior faltered a bit at the end, but maintained second place and finished his lap in 55.5 seconds. Dyer anchored the race for BLHS and had a solid 55.4 second leg, but couldn't hold off Bonner's Anthony Brown, who passed him late in the race.
Still, for their first time running with Knipp, the relay team's 3:42 finish was solid. The junior also competed in the high jump and triple jump.
The girls team for BLHS finished eighth out of the 12 teams, with the 4X800 team providing the highlights. The team, made up of Megan Tush, Amanda Vitt, Caren Chellgren and Emily Lackner, finished with a time that wasn't its best, but was still good for third place.
"It was not a great time, but still a good race," Hopkins said.
Hopkins also noted the improvement of the throwers on the girls side, who had plenty of strong performances. Kristy Kozar took fifth in the shot put with a personal record of 29 feet, 7 inches and Breanna Beebe finished just behind her by throwing the shot 29 feet, 4 inches. Laura Downing returned from injury to score her first varsity points of the season, throwing the discus 82 feet and placing fourth.
Basehor-Linwood will face a challenging field this Friday at its next meet at Shawnee Heights.