TMP track and field shining in field events
RUSSELL — Field events have been the strength of the Thomas More Prep-Marian track and field team all season, and Friday's outing in the Russell Relays was no exception.
TMP captured five wins in field events to highlight the day for the Monarchs, who placed second as a team in both the boys and girls standings.
Abby Rueschhoff (triple jump), McKenzie Linenberger (discus), Kassidi Yost (high jump), Ian Chiu (long jump) and Jeff Heimann (pole vault) all notched wins.
"We don't really have a track to practice on at TMP, so we put a lot of effort and energy into our field events," TMP coach James Harris said. "Our girls high jumpers and long jumpers, all of them had excellent days. Jeff Heimann PR'd, went 14-2 in the pole vault. We saw some nice things in the field, and our sprinters have done an excellent job so far."
Rueschhoff's leap of 34-7 in the triple jump was a personal best, edging Russell's Renee' Nichol's mark of 34-06.25. Nichol won the long jump with a 17-1/2, while Rueschhoff was second with a 16-5 1/2.
"She's been struggling a little bit, but today she was pretty consistent and hit her mark," Harris said of Rueschhoff. "She's a dual-sport athlete, plays soccer and runs track. I think she's seen some fatigue, but today she relaxed and came out and jumped well."
Nichol, a 2019 state champion in the long jump, and Rueschhoff have competed against each other at several meets throughout their careers. They will be in the same 3A regional.
"They've kind of gone back and forth since their freshman year," Harris said. "They're both going to college to jump and their both very talented individuals."
Harris said the biggest surprise of the day was Linenberger's toss of 90-6 in the discus, a mark that eclipsed her personal record by 12 feet.
"It kind of came out of nowhere," Harris said. "At this time of the year, those are the kind of things we need, as we head into regionals. She threw really great today, and Sasha threw really great in the shot put. If we can continue to move up the ladder and take a step forward, we'll put ourselves in a good position to be successful at regionals and hopefully qualify quite a few and be competitive at the state level."
Another highlight was TMP's 1-2 showing in the girls high jump. Yost cleared 5 feet while Makinsey Schlautman took second after going 4-10.
"Another great showing," Harris said. "Those girls have really worked hard. They always compete together in practice. Kassidi, she's still struggling with an ankle injury she had in basketball, so this is her second week back on a full approach jumping. I thought she looked really good."
The Monarchs also went 1-2 in the boys long jump with Chiu (20-6 1/2) and Kade Harris (19-11 3/4).
Heimann's 14-2 effort easily won the pole vault, with the next best mark a 12-6.
Hoisington swept the team titles with 170 points on the girls side and 160 for the boys. The TMP girls recorded 112 points and the TMP boys 95.
Harris said he was encouraged by TMP's boys and girls 400 relay teams, which both took second. Emma Basgall, Jadyn Gottschalk, Yost clocked and Rueschhoff clocked a 52.58. Harris, Chiu, Carlos Tinoco and Lance Lang ran a 44.28
"We've made great strides the last couple weeks and I'm excited to see what they can do if we can get some things cleaned up on our handoffs," Harris said.
Other second-place showings included Wasinger in the girls shot put (35-4.25), Lance Lang in the boys 200 (23.59) and Tinoco in the 100 (11.34).
Up next for the Monarchs is Thursday's Mid-Continent League meet in Hill City.
"Everybody's really good in the MCL, so it will be a good measuring stick for us as we move forward into regionals," Harris said.