Braves seek and discover stiffer competition
With league, regionals and state quickly approaching, Bonner Springs High School track and field coach Jim Mitchell thought his team needed to face some stiffer competition.
So instead of taking his full squad to the regularly scheduled Wellsville Invitational last Friday afternoon, Mitchell got on the horn and pulled a few strings. The result landed 11 of his top athletes at the prestigious Shawnee Mission North Relays, a 33-team meet that featured some of the top track athletes in the state.
"We thought that we should get some of our kids some tough competition before these next few meet," Mitchell said. "We got to see some of the 5A competition and we're right up there with them."
Top talent from Class 4A, 5A and 6A invaded SM North on Saturday afternoon, and when it was all said and done, Mitchell's team got exactly what it needed.
"I think they realize now what a big meet that was and how important it was for them to be there," Mitchell said. "I thought we competed pretty well."
In all, 11 BSHS athletes competed in 11 events, with senior high jumper Eddie McClain once again stealing the show. McClain cleared 6 feet, 10 inches to win the meet, but did so this time in the face of adversity. McClain's toughest challenger, Kevin Logan of Lawrence High School, cleared 6-8 on his first attempt. McClain followed suit by clearing 6-8 and then putting Logan out with a clean attempt at 6-10. At most meets this season, McClain claimed victory by 6-4 or 6-6. At this one, he was pushed, and Mitchell said that would only bode well for the senior as he storms toward state.
In other field events, BSHS senior Anthony Brown placed ninth in a tough triple jump field. His leap of 42 feet, 7 inches was among his best this season and it earned him a spot among the meet's elite.
Brown also ran a leg of the boys 4x200-meter relay team that placed fifth with a time of 1:31.65. Ian Briggs, LT Lee and Chris Callahan joined Brown in the 4x200.
That same foursome also competed in the 4x100-meter relay, taking 10th with a 44.36 -- the second-fastest time in BSHS history.
Callahan ran the open 100 and finished 13th in 11.34.
Identical relay teams of Josh McConico, Jobie Buehler, James Carter and Dylan Tuckel ran in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays and finished 12th (3:32.40) and 11th (8:45.56), respectively.
McConico and Buehler ran the open 400 and finished 16th and 27th, respectively, while Carter finished 11th in the open 800.
On the girls side, sophomore Amanda Trent ran the open 400 and open 800 and finished 24th and 20th in those events. Senior Christina Delladio was the only other female in attendance and she finished ninth in the high jump with a peak leap of 5-2.
On Wednesday, the team traveled to Santa Fe Trail for this year's Kaw Valley League meet. Results were unavailable at press time, but Mitchell made no mistake about his intentions heading into the meet.
"We'd like to go defend our boys league title," he said.