Relay paces HHS boys
By AUSTIN COLBERT
WICHITA -- Alex Delton wasn't happy with his 100-meter dash performance on Saturday at the 2014 State Track and Field Meet at Cessna Stadium. So it was important for the Hays High School junior to make up for it in the Class 5A boys' 400-meter relay.
"5A, it was packed this year, but that's no excuse. I didn't get out the best, and I leaned too early. But it is what it is," Delton said. "Over in the 100, I didn't have my best performance. But I kind of redeemed myself with this race now ... I'm really happy we got this 4x1 win."
Hays High, the favorite entering the relay with a season-best time of 42.55 seconds to lead 5A, lived up to the hype with a first-place time of 42.69 on Saturday. And it was Delton, who had the final leg of the relay, who brought the Indians from the middle of the pack to passing Raashid Arnold of Wichita-Heights in the final 10 feet to earn the state title.
Heights took second with a time of 42.73.
That gold-medal effort helped HHS win a state trophy for a fifth straight year.
After four state team titles, the Indians placed third Saturday with 54 points, eight behind runner-up Topeka-Seaman. Wichita-Bishop Carroll ran away with the 2014 team title with 85 points.
"It was so exciting. We worked all year for this," said senior Jordan Windholz, leadoff runner for the 400 relay. "We were ranked No. 1 coming in and had a little bit of pressure. But it was just exciting seeing them snag those guys. It was awesome. Good team effort."
Windholz and Delton were joined by seniors Shawn Herrman and Clayton Riedel on the 400-meter relay team. Delton also took third place in the 200-meter dash in 22.27 seconds, while Herrman took seventh in the 200 with a time of 23.32.
Riedel was fourth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 50.28 seconds, and senior Landon Munsch seventh in the 800-meter run in 2:00.94.
The 400-meter relay team was the only first-place finish for Hays High, boys or girls.
"It was tough. I could tell the red team (Heights) was above us and all I was thinking was, 'Everything I got. It's the last 4x1 of the year,' " Delton said. "Just to finally pass that finish line and know we won, that's a huge honor. These guys are my brothers, and we've worked this year for it."
The boys' 1,600-meter relay team did not finish after a runner fell during the race.
Windholz third in triple jump
Windholz missed his junior track season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee playing basketball. He had been to state track as a freshman and sophomore, but never placed.
This year, as a senior, Windholz had a lot to accomplish in his final try at a state medal. And he made the most of it by taking third in the triple jump on Saturday and seventh in the long jump Friday, to go along with helping the 400-meter relay team to its first-place finish.
"I'm excited. I know we are low in numbers and the title may seem just a little bit out of reach," Windholz said, "but these guys, we are putting in heart and I'm just so excited coming back. I just couldn't be happier."
Windholz's mark of 45 feet, 6.25 inches in the triple jump was among his best this season. He entered state with the fourth best mark in 5A at 45-8.75 and was fifth in the regional seeding with a mark of 43-7.75 in Salina last week.
His long jump distance of 20-11.25 was an improvement over his regional mark of 20-6.5, but short of his season-best mark of 21-10.25, which was ranked fourth in 5A entering the state meet.
"Those guys, they jump pretty far," said Windholz, a Barton County Community College basketball signee. "I feel like, coming back, I'm pretty happy with myself. To take third (in triple jump), I'm not mad about that at all."
Winning the boys' 5A long jump was Thomas Pyle of St. Thomas Aquinas with a mark of 22-3.75. Winning the triple jump was Jared Belardo of Leavenworth, last year's runner-up, with a distance of 47-6.75.
Kreutzer runner-up in pole vault
HHS junior Hayden Kreutzer entered the state meet deceptively seeded 13th in the pole vault. His regional mark of 11-6 was nowhere near his season best, and the only reason he had to settle for it was because of bad weather in Salina the day of the meet.
So to some, his runner-up finish on Saturday in the pole vault was kind of surprising. But considering he took fourth last year at state, it shouldn't have been.
"We were definitely going for first place this meet, like every other kid at this competition," Kreutzer said. "But eight points for your team is never a bad day."
Kreutzer reached 13-6 on Saturday, falling short of the 14-0 mark hit by Topeka-Seaman senior Luke Shaw. Kreutzer cleared 14-0 last year at state.
This season he had been experimenting with a new pole. Hays High pole vault coach Rick Keltner has been slowly moving him from a 14 to a 15-foot pole.
"He's kind of a quick up guy and he's not alone in that club," Keltner said. "He's had trouble getting onto the 15-foot pole, so we used a 14-foot pole. Then he was getting on the 14-foot-7 really good at the end here, but hadn't had a chance to use it enough."
With another year to develop, Keltner believes Kreutzer has a lot of untapped potential should he be able to adjust to the bigger pole.
"It's always a hard transition. I'm kind of like one of the bigger kids here so it's easier for me to get on a bigger pole," Kreutzer said. "I think there were only like two kids up there that were juniors, and the other one was like (fifth). So we are sitting pretty good for next year."
Schlaefli second in javelin
A three-time state qualifier in the hurdles, HHS junior Mattison Schlaefli was expected to do well in the event. The same wasn't to be said for the javelin.
Schlaefli took second in the javelin on Friday, the first year she has qualified for the event, with a distance of 128-11. She had only hit 114-11 at regionals last week, seeding her seventh in 5A, but Friday's mark still didn't reach her season best mark of 130-9.
Schlaefli's second-place mark came on her final throw, moving her up about four spots in the standings.
"I was excited a lot. I was happy for the girl in first, though, because she had a PR by like nine feet," Schlaefli said. "But I came back with my last throw and threw the 128 and went from sixth to second. So I was pretty happy with jav."
Taking first was Lenexa-St. James' Allie Webb with a mark of 134-6. She entered the state meet with a season best throw of 127-6. Kelsey Tenbrink of Shawnee Heights, the 5A pre-state leader with a season-best throw of 138-4, took fourth with a mark of 124-3.
Schlaefli also medaled in the 100-meter hurdles, taking fifth with a time of 16:57. Pittsburg's Taylor Muff won the race in 14.84. Schlaefli also qualified for state in the 300-meter hurdles and 1,600-meter relay team, but didn't make it out of prelims in either.
HHS junior Kali Pitcock finished ninth in the 100-meter hurdle prelims, while Schlaefli took eighth to qualify for finals. Junior Ashlyn Parrish took 11th in the 100 hurdles prelim. Schlaefli took 10th and Pitcock 11th in the 300 hurdles prelims.
The girls' 1,600-meter relay team was 10th in prelims.
"I had a really bad race in (100-meter hurdles) prelim and I'm happy I came back and bounced back to get fifth," Schlaefli said. "Kali was so close. She got ninth. I really wanted them to get in there. But we have next year and there will be some seniors gone. So next year will hopefully be good."
The girls' 3,200-meter relay team of freshman Marie Reveles, junior Summer Smith, senior Wendy Zimmerman and sophomore Annie Gonzales took fourth in the finals on Saturday, finishing with a time of 9:59.08. It shattered their season-best time of 10:06.16.