Pickens, Banman lead area teams


Lauren Pickens maintains a blistering pace in the 400-meter preliminaries Friday.


Craig Banman secures the baton following the final exchange during the 4×400 preliminaries Friday.


Goessel?s Weston Hiebert battles Braden Lebeda in the Class 1A 300-meter hurdles. Hiebert finished eighth in the finals with a time of 44.39.

For the second straight year, Peabody-Burns speedster Lauren Pickens swept the 2A girls 100, 200 and 400 meter runs at the state track finals Saturday at Cessna Stadium.

Meanwhile, Goessel?s Craig Banman garnered gold medals anchoring the Bluebirds? 4×400 relay as well as in the 200 and 400 meter runs. Banman also scored silver in the 100 meter dash, boosting Goessel into second place among 1A boys teams.

Peabody-Burns?With a time of 12.38 seconds Pickens edged Ellis sprinter Whitney Taylor by six-hundredths of a second in the 2A girls 100 meter dash.

In the 400, Pickens stopped an automated timer at 56.62, overtaking the 27-year-old state record set by Centralia?s Kris Bourne (57.50).

The new mark also improves on Pickens? school record, set earlier this year when she overtook the time Lucille Carson posted for Peabody in 1981.

For an encore, Pickens edged Taylor by 25-hundredths of a second in the 200 (25.58).

?She is a tremendous sprinter with a great work ethic,? coach Kim Topham said. ?She hates to get beat and seems to always find just a little more to get the win. Her desire to get better with each season is extremely satisfying to coach.?

The girls 4×100 team of Mikayla Winter, Michaela Methvin, Traylee Woodruff and Danielle Savage posted a 15th-place time of 55.08.

On the boys side, the 4×800 (8:32.22) run by Jacob Simmonds, Sheldon Wiebe, Josh Klarmann and Aaron Topham caught an unlucky break when Klarmann?s foot was clipped by a trailing runner, causing a stumble on the home stretch of the third leg.

The Warriors ended up placing eighth by less than a second.

Topham set a personal best and finished eighth in the 3,200 (10:31.32) and Wiebe finished 15th (11:12.78).

Isaac Burnett finished 11th with a personal best throw in the 2A boys discus (126-04).

Goessel?Banman?s big day boosted the Bluebirds into second place (38 points) in the 1A boys team scoring. Goessel trailed only Ness City (53), and edged Ashland (46).

With Ness City out of reach, but with second place very much in doubt, Banman anchored the 4×400 relay victory, stopping the clock at 3:28.62. By holding off Ashland closer Bobby Krahn, who finished less than eight tenths of a second behind him in the day?s final event, Banman secured gold for the relay, silver for the team, and a thin slice of revenge for Krahn?s 0.03-second win in the 100 meter dash.

Banman?s 11.31 in the 100 was good for second in the 100, and Krahn could not catch him afterward.

But Ashland maintained a lead in the team scoring until Cameron Stultz, Jonathan Berkholz, Weston Hiebert and Travis Fensky came out one-hundredth of a second ahead of the pack in the 4×100 relay. The top three teams came to the line separated by barely two-tenths of a second, and Fensky?s lean struck a gold medal time of 44.78 seconds.

Banman won the 400 (48.29) by nearly one full second and won the 200 (22.37) by 34-hundredths.

Then came the 4×400?Berk?holz, Austin Unruh, Hiebert and Banman?with Goessel?s win bumping Ashland into third place.

After placing second in the 300 meter hurdles preliminary (41.32), Hiebert finished eighth in the 300 hurdles final (44.39). He finished ninth in the 110 hurdles (16.44).

Laird Goertzen ran the boys 3,200 in 10:59.46 and, along with Jared Reimer, Derek Kruger and Unruh, helped lift the 4×800 relay to a time of 8:46.58.

Evan Hiebert surpassed 5-10 in the high jump.

The Goessel girls team did not score. Aspen Frey finished 12th in the 1,600 (5:50.33), Karina Harvey finished 14th in the 800 (2:37.01), and the Bluebirds fielded two relays:

The 4×400 posted a preliminary time of 4:20.71 on the strength of effort by Frey, Harvey, Isabel Tomaj and Kendra Flaming. Tomaj, Harvey, Flaming and Frey posted a 10:10.98 in the 4×800.

Centre?Josie Peterson posted a distance of 29 feet, 51⁄2 inches in the 1A girls shot put.

Canton-Galva?Angel Little posted a distance of 33 feet, 101⁄2 inches in the 2A girls shot put.

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