Bruin track athletes experience top-notch competition at Kansas Relays

Bruin track athletes experience top-notch competition at Kansas Relays

Emily Wright

Junior Carl Baldwin sends a shot flying during throws practice. Photo by Asa Lory

The varsity Bruin track athletes had the opportunity to compete against the best of the best from around the country in Lawrence, Kan. Friday and Saturday at the Kansas Relays. The prestigious meet offered a higher level of competition than even the class four MSHSAA state championships, giving them practice for the post season.
“If you make it to the Kansas Relays, you are pretty good,” junior sprinter Hailey King said. “It means a lot. Not everyone gets to go here.”
On the track at Memorial Stadium, many Bruins set personal records and made it to the finals in their events. On the girls team, the four by one mile relay team of senior Sam Garrett, freshman Kayla Funkenbush, junior Megan Schulte and senior Mackenzie Schimpf took fourth with a time of 22:06.92. Fifth-ranked 100 meter hurdler in the state of Missouri, junior Mallory Short, placed third in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 15.25 and sophomore Madison Wipfler placed fourth in the triple jump with a jump of 36 feet, 6.25 inches.
Though pleased with their athleticism, they know that they will continue to improve over the next few weeks leading up to districts.
“We will build off of our performances,” King said. “For the 4×100 we are going to work on handoffs. We could drop maybe a second off of that. We could get the school record, which would be pretty cool.”
On the boys’ side, the four by one mile relay team of senior Jordan Cook, junior Nathan Keown, sophomore Zach Cook and senior Caleb Wilfong came in second with a time of 18:19.17. The four by 880 yard relay of Jordan Cook, Zach Cook, Wilfong and senior Nick Dale took sixth with a time of 8:08.77, and senior Nate Egharevba placed eighth in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 15.77.
The Bruins hope to build off this weekend’s performances next Saturday at the Dale Collier Invitational in Kirkwood, Mo. There, they will have a rematch with many of the top Missouri schools they competed against in Kansas. Coach Neal Blackburn believes this weekend was the perfect preparation for upcoming meets.
“I think [the Kansas Relays] is a little bit of the best of both worlds,” Blackburn said. “It kind of gets us focused because we know we have a lot of work to do, but at the same time we know it’s not the end all, tell all. We still have a lot ahead of us.”
By Emily Wright