Strong track team heads to state
For Roxanne Grizzle, Friday's regional track meet in Tonganoxie wasn't a do-or-die situation. But it was close.
The meet was a lifeline of sorts for area 4A athletes. Either compete and finish in the top four and move on to the state meet in Wichita this weekend. Or go through the motions and stay home.
Grizzle was one of the few athletes who performed well enough to extend her season and move on to the of Kansas high school track and field finals.
"I'm looking forward to going to state as a freshman," Grizzle said following her second-place showing in the javelin. "There hasn't been a lot of (De Soto) girls do something in track."
After Friday's performance, Grizzle appears to be at the top of her game heading to state. The freshman took an early lead when she flung the javelin a school-record 130 feet, 3 inches in the preliminaries. Her mark held up until Tonganoxie's Ali Pistora unloaded a toss of 145-1 in the finals.
Grizzle said she felt confident the day she established a new personal record.
"This is just awesome," she said. "There is nothing better than PR-ing at this meet."
Grizzle ranks 13th in the state, regardless of class, according to HovpenSports.com. She ranks third in 4A by the same chart.
Her qualifying mark at regionals is the third-best effort from Friday's four 4A regionals.
Pistora's effort ranks second to the 150-6 effort achieved by Arkansas City's Laura Hewitt.
Grizzle, who also placed sixth in the shot put with a season-best effort of 34-7, said that she would try to win her specialty at the state meet but would be satisfied with another good showing.
"It'd be neat to get another PR," she said. "I'm going to shoot for at least 135 feet."
Jackie Goleman was the most decorated female Wildcat at the meet. The sophomore qualified for the state meet in the high jump with a second-place effort of 5 -2. Goleman also placed second in the 100 hurdles (15.60 seconds) and fourth in the 300 hurdles (48.40).
Morgan Frehe heads to Wichita after placing third in the 3,200 with a time of 12 minutes, 2 seconds. Melissa Roberts continues her season after finishing third in the 1,600 with a clocking of 5:26.00.
Lauren Karnitz added to De Soto's state meet troupe by placing fourth in the 800 in a time of 2:32.50. De Soto's 3,200 relay consisting of Karnitz, Katie James, Carrie Wilbert and Frehe, placed third in a clocking of 10:08.90. Roberts will also be ready if called upon to run in the relay in Wichita.
Sarah Lambert didn't qualify for the state meet but did place fifth in the javelin with a throw of 107-6. James finished sixth in the 800 with her clocking of 2:38.10.
Casey Johnson led the way for the boys by earning a rare sweep of the 400 (50.60), 800 (2:01.60), 1,600 (4:29.80) and 3,200 (9:50.40). The senior didn't set out to break any records. He ran just fast enough to win each event.
Donnie Gardner closes out his high school career by joining Johnson in the 3,200. His time of 10:02.10 was good enough for fourth place. Luke Krehbiel was fast enough to place third in the 110 hurdles (15.40).
Leif Goleman qualified for the state meet in the 200 with a fourth-place clocking of 23.40 seconds.
The boys 3,200 relay also qualified for one more race after finishing fourth at regionals with a time of 8:29.50. Gardner, Adam Justice, Adam Wilcox and Lucas Slater are expected to compete in the race in Wichita.
Wilcox missed out on a trip to state in the 1,600. But he did place sixth with a time of 4:58.90. Goleman fell short of being a double qualifier when he placed sixth in the 400 with a time of 52.70.
The Wildcats leave at 9 a.m. Friday morning for Cessna Stadium in Wichita.