Successful day for track leads into big multi-state event


Sam Mitchell

Senior West Wilson, then a junior, rests at the starting block, preparing for an event in the RBHS Invitational track meet last year. Photo by Asa Lory
Yesterday morning, April 20, the varsity and JV boys and girls track and field teams boarded buses bright and early to travel to Kirkwood and Mexico respectively for the varsity team to compete in the Dale Collier Invitational and the JV team to compete in the Ron Whittaker Relays.  Racing against teams from all around the state, both RBHS track teams had very nice performances in preparation for next week’s meet in Louisville, Ky.
“Yesterday was more than successful,” senior runner Robert Benad said. “It was just an all-around great performance for everyone involved. We had a bunch [of] personal bests, high finishes and qualifications for the Louisville meet.”
The varsity girls team finished first overall, while the boys placed third in a crowded field.  The high team finishes were great, but the most important outcome of the meet was the personal bests and qualifying times which let more members of the team compete next week in Louisville.  Louisville is consistently one of the biggest meets of the season for the track team and takes place all-day Saturday and Sunday next weekend, April 27-28, so earning more qualifiers for the event was a huge accomplishment.
A couple of particularly impressive performances include senior Mallory Short’s and sophomore Clayton Baumgartner’s. Short set a personal record in the 100 meter hurdles, and Baumgartner set a personal best with a long jump of 19″9′.
With the district competition only a few weeks away, every event and performance becomes more and more significant, as there are fewer chances to qualify for the big competition. The RBHS track and field team has won Districts the past two seasons and will attempt to repeat the feat again this season with a largely reshaped team. Yesterday’s successful meet was yet another step towards that goal in a season that has flown by.
“This season is going by unbelievably fast, too fast really,” Benad said. “We only have three varsity meets left until districts, so everyone is trying to do their absolute best and leave everything out on the track to make sure we do the best we can over these last few weeks.”
By Sam Mitchell