Area athletes win three golds in weekend of stiff wind, competition

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Three of the five other area schools could claim a state champion at this year’s state track meet in Wichita.

MARION: Leading the way was Jeremy Vondenkamp, who claimed the Class 3A 300-meter hurdle title on Saturday in a time of 40.31 seconds, edging Teryn Grafel of Oberlin-Decatur by 0.01 seconds.

The Warrior senior added four more points to Marion’s fifth-place team total of 51 by placing fourth in the 110-meter hurdles in 14.97.

Gavin Moore missed gold by less than 15 seconds in the 3,200 meters, finishing second in 10:21.15.

Emmanuel Jackson placed fourth in the long jump on Saturday with a leap of 20-101⁄4, while Shawn Britton placed fifth in shot put on Friday with a personal-best throw of 48-10.

Russell Ploutz finished seventh in triple jump at 42-1/2 while the Warriors’ 4×800 team of Gavin Moore, Ploutz, Justin Heidebrecht and Jason Hett placed seventh in 8:28.09.

All of the Marion boys who qualified for state scored at least one point.

The Marion girls scored 8.5 points to place 22nd in Class 3A.

Erin Richmond turned in the best finish by tying for fourth with three other pole vaulters when she cleared 9 feet.

Danielle Cope contributed three points with a fifth-place finish in the 3,200 meters in 12:19.10.

Erin Carr scored three points for Marion in the 200 meters by placing fifth in 26.29 seconds.

Carr competed in two other events but did not score. She made the finals of the 100-meter dash by placing fourth in the preliminaries in 12.98 seconds, then improved to 12.77 in the finals, but placed eighth. Carr also jumped 32-5 in the triple jump, just missing a spot in the finals.

Camille Christensen barely missed scoring points in the 1,600 meters when she placed eighth in 5:44.85. Toni Gordon placed ninth in the discus with a throw of 111-03.

PEABODY-BURNS: Andrew Topham won Class 2A state title in the 3,200 meters Saturday in 9:58.67 to account for all 10 points the Warriors scored on the way to a 19th-place finish.

Later in the day, Topham struggled in the 1,600, placing 10th among 15 runners in 4:57.80.

In Saturday’s finals, the 4×800 team placed 10th in 8:53.44.

Two Warrior entries did not make it out of the preliminaries. Derrick Simmonds placed sixth in his 400-meter heat in 54.41 and the 4×400 team was eighth in its heat in 3:43.63.

CANTON-GALVA: Steven Jowers, the Eagles’ only state entry, had the unique opportunity to win Class 2A 300-meter hurdles title twice.

Several minutes after he won the original race, officials ruled a runner further back in the pack had interfered with other competitors. Eventually, they ran the race again and Jowers prevailed again, this time in the official winning time of 40.49-more than 1.5 seconds better than his nearest rival.

GOESSEL: Fueled by a strong showing in the javelin on Friday, the Bluebird boys placed 16th as a team. Garrett Hiebert placed second in the event with a throw of 176-6 while teammate Brian Meeks placed fifth with a throw of 164-0.

On Saturday, Goessel picked up two points when Justin Fensky placed sixth in the triple jump at 43-6 and set a school record in the process. Hiebert, who finished eighth, first broke the record with a day’s best leap of 42-9. Fensky then reset the record twice.

Craig Banman picked up one-half point in the pole vault by tying for seventh place at 11-6. Brett Goerzen placed 11th by clearing the same height but with more misses.

The 4×100 team of Goerzen, Banman, Fensky and Daniel Funke placed seventh in a time of 45.14.

Fensky also placed eighth in the long jump at 20-21⁄2 and finished eighth in his heat in the 100-meter prelims in 12.33.

Tyler Schroeder placed ninth in shot put with a throw of 48-1 and 10th in the discus at 134-6.

Tricia Fensky, the only Bluebird girl to qualify for state, placed 15th in pole vault by clearing 7-0.

CENTRE: Dustin Burnett scored four of the Cougar boys’ five points by placing fourth in the 800 meters in 2:05.19.

The other point came from Seth Jirak, who placed seventh in discus with a throw of 143-6. Jirak finished 13th in shot put with a throw of 43-81⁄4.

For the Cougar girls, Jackie Klenda and Alisha Barney finished 11th and 12th, respectively, in the pole vault by clearing 7-6.

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