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Oberlin dominates 2A regional at Smith Center

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

SMITH CENTER -- Earlier this year, Oberlin-Decatur Community High School girls' track and field coach Jeff Jones was asked about the Red Devils' greatest strength. Jones said the team's strong suits came in the jumps, throws, relays, sprints, mid-distance and distance.

"All of our girls are our strength," Jones said.

That continued Friday at the Class 2A regional at Hubbard Stadium. Oberlin, paced by junior Miki Dorshorst and multiple talented freshmen, scored high in virtually every event and won with 85.5 points, well ahead of runner-up Bennington's 65.

The 20.5-point gap was nearly as big as the difference from second to eighth. Oberlin has won every meet this spring and captured the first regional crown in Jones' four years.

"As a coach, it just doesn't come around like this very often and it has this year for us," Jones said.

The 5-foot-5 Dorshorst qualified in four events for the second straight year when she won the long jump (16 feet, 3.5 inches), finished fourth in the 100-meter dash (13.05), third in the 200-meter dash (27.53) and helped the 1,600-meter relay team take third (4:12.59).

"They come in all shapes and sizes and some are tall and some are short," Jones said. "She is on the shorter side, but her legs go 100 miles an hour. She has got a lot of determination."

Many athletes had trouble with the triple jump and long jump because of massive winds, but Dorshorst beat her personal best by a quarter of an inch.

"I am so low to the ground, it doesn't matter," she said with a laugh.

As well, Oberlin collected regional titles with Kiah Blau, the team's lone senior, in the shot put (37-9), the 3,200-meter relay (10:16.68) and junior Cassidy Shields in the 300 hurdles (48.99).

"I don't feel like we have peaked yet," Jones said. "We'll peak next week and that's how we train. That's what we did last year and we just keep getting stronger each year. It's been a great year for us, and we just want to ride this momentum into the state meet. Girls are running very well. We got some surprises today."

The 3,200 relay featured three freshmen, including Winter Polivka, who also qualified on the 1,600 relay and in the 400-meter dash.

"A big, strong freshman class that has come in and stepped up this season," Dorshorst said.

Chvatal wins javelin, qualifies for first time

Atwood-Rawlins County senior Hillary Chvatal is one of Kansas' best basketball players. A first team Class 2A selection, Chvatal nearly broke the state record for career rebounds and has signed with NCAA Division I Missouri State University.

She went out for track as a freshman, but didn't reach state. The last two years, Chvatal spent the spring traveling on the AAU basketball circuit and didn't compete in track.

"I didn't have time," she said.

Since she had already signed, Chvatal came back out to the track and has been one of the 2A's top javelin throwers after rarely throwing the event as a freshman. She broke the school record earlier this year with a mark of 128 feet.

"I didn't think I was going to do that good coming into my senior year," she said.

On Friday, she won a difficult regional with a toss of 125-8. Five throwers cleared 117-9 with the strong wind.

"Kind of nerve-racking, but it was good, because it was coming at me, so that helps a lot," Chvatal said. "It's better than coming from the side, because that really messes with me sometimes."

Armbruster sees big jump in discus

At Hubbard Stadium, the boys' discus ring is at the northeast part of the complex. The girls' discus ring is at the southeast part. For the boys, the wind helped the right-handed throwers. For the girls, the wind assisted the left-handers.

Plainville junior Cheyenne Armbruster had the top throw entering the competition at 113 feet, 7 inches, but multiple throwers were within several feet.

However, Armbruster was the only lefty among the top competitors, took advantage of the wind and easily won the event with a personal best 126-3. Armbruster finished more than 16 feet ahead of the field. The throw is less than two feet off 2A's best mark this spring, according to track historian Carol Swenson.

"The wind really helped, but it would have been a good throw either way," Armbruster said of the winning toss, which came on her first attempt. "Really paid off - all the work. It means a lot (to reach state), because last year, I came so close."

Armbruster, who qualified for state for the first time in her career, improved with offseason work that included attending a UCLA camp during winter break. Armbruster's dad, a state qualifier in high school, helped, too.

"My biggest problem was not going fast through the ring and not following through on my throw and having T.J. Staab as a coach really helped out," she said.

When Armbruster released the winning throw, she thought it would be around 110 feet. When they announced the mark, she was surprised.

"All the butterflies are gone," she said.

Other top performers

WaKeeney-Trego senior Lexi Riedel had another dominating meet when she won the 100 (12.48), 200 (26.56) and 400 (1:00.48) and ran the anchor on the 1,600 relay that took fourth in the 4:16.65.

Trego junior Jerris Reeder won the triple jump (33-7.25), ran on the 1,600 relay and the 400 relay that was fourth in 53.51. ... For the second straight season, Ellis junior Megan Honas didn't throw her best in javelin and didn't qualify, but then came back to qualify in discus. Honas finished third in discus at 108-2.