Good start for Ellis track team


ELLIS -- Senior thrower Megan Honas is easily Ellis High School's most experienced track and field athlete. She has reached the state meet the past two springs in the discus and also has been one of the area's top throwers in the javelin. Honas recently signed with Fort Hays State University to throw next year.

Freshman sensation Alexcia Deutscher has a terrific track career in the younger ranks and had strong years for Railroader volleyball and basketball this season. On Tuesday, Honas, the team's lone senior, and Deutscher posted solid marks on a cold day at the season-opening Ellis Invitational as the Railers won the boys' and girls' titles.

On the girls' side, Ellis finished with 126.7 points, while Plainville took second at 113. For the boys, the Railers collected 152 points, 26 more than Plainville.

"We have a lot of young talent there," head coach Jack Wolf said.

Deutscher won the 100-meter dash (12.99 seconds), 200-meter dash (26.76), high jump (5-0) and long jump (16-10). The long jump mark set the school and meet record.

"She is a good athlete, she really is," Wolf said. "The talent is there, and to tap into that talent and make her better."

Deutscher's 200 time was close to the school mark set by Brenda Beecher, one of Kansas' all-time great track athletes. Wolf believes Deutscher can set the record on a warmer day. Before the season started, Wolf thought perhaps Deutscher would play softball.

"I am really glad that she went out for track and bought into it and she will have a lot of success in track if she sticks out all four years," Wolf said. "Just kept encouraging her (before the year started). I am not a big recruiter.

"If their heart is not in it, I am not going to try to beg you and that's just the way I have always been," he added. "If your heart is not into it, you are not going to put that effort into it. I think some of these girls that are out now, I think they will buy into it now when they see we won the meet and the boys won the meet."

Honas threw 118 feet to win the discus and 117-2 to earn the javelin title by just over few feet against her good friend, Hill City senior Shannon Toll. Honas was just seven inches off her all-time best in the discus and close to her personal best of 119-10 in the javelin. As well, Ellis sophomore Stephanie Greenway collected the triple jump title in 31-7.5.

"I know that this is probably the best worst day we could have for a track meet," Honas said of conditions that featured no wind. "Because it was supposed to be really rainy. It wasn't even supposed to happen, so all I did was hope for the best. I know I tried to keep myself calm throughout it, and I know that my mom made me keep my sweatpants and sweatshirt on the whole time so I was warm, but overall, I think it was good. I don't think the weather affected me at all."

Honas started to think about going to Fort Hays about halfway through the school year and decided to sign with the Tigers around two weeks ago.

"It's closer to home," Honas said of FHSU. "I know a lot of people go away from home and they end up coming back, and also, Fort Hays fits my career that I want to go into. They had a really good program. I just felt really good about the whole ordeal. We went there, we had our meetings and I just felt good, I don't have a doubt."

Ellis throwing coach Steve Erbert said Tiger throwing coach Andreas Maheras is "really good" about keeping in touch with a Railer program that is traditionally among the best in Class 2A. Erbert sent Maheras an email and he contacted Honas right away.

"She definitely works hard," Erbert said. "She will be a good fit for him and them. It was an awesome start (Tuesday). She has been throwing the disc really well. The past two years, it hasn't picked up until right before regionals and this year she is throwing good right out of the chute."

On the boys' side, Ellis won the 400 relay (46.78), 3,200 relay (9:48). In the throws, the Railers went 2-3 in shot put with senior Luke Lohrmeyer and junior Brody Douglas. In the discus, Lohrmeyer won with a throw of 118 feet, while the Railers went 2-3 in the javelin. As well, sophomore Jared Pfeifer finished second in the long jump behind Plainville senior Dalton Werner, the defending Class 2A champion. Pfeifer jumped 19-4.5 and Werner won with 21-3.5.

"I have got good upper classmen obviously and a lot of freshmen," Erbert said. "It's a good fit. We have got a lot of leadership. No selfishness. They help each other."