Boys take first-place at Baldwin Invitational
Some teams choose to ease into a season progressively improving until they eventually peak as the year draws to a close.
Others would just as soon rather prove they are the best from day one.
Such was the strategy for Brian Dinkel’s track team Friday at Baldwin, as it took home a first-place finish on the boys’ side and saw several girls snag high marks to open the season.
“When we came out, I knew we’d be strong,” Dinkel said. “But I didn’t think we’d be this strong. We had a few kids score in places I didn’t expect.”
Perhaps the best surprise came from Dinkel’s throwers. Junior Daniel Davis shined in the shot put competition, throwing 13.25 meters, which was good enough for second-place.
“Daniel had a personal record,” Dinkel said. “We didn’t know he would be that good this early in the season. Second-place was huge for us there.”
Clinton Davis also impressed his coaches, taking fifth after hurling the javelin 133 feet.
“We were thrilled with Clinton Davis,” Dinkel said. “Although he is a senior, last week was his first high school track meet. I was really happy for him.”
The Wildcats were strong in almost every event. Jamel Townsend jumped like the all-conference basketball player he was, taking first in the triple jump with a leap of 43-04 and second in the long jump.
On the track, Colin Jokisch snagged first-place in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:33, and sophomore Jordan Riffel won the 400-meter dash by more than a full second.
“We thought Colin and Jordan would do well,” Dinkel said. “But we didn’t know Trey Lind was going to perform as well as he did. He really took off at the beginning of the 3200-meter run. I remember the distance coach saying he wished he wouldn’t have gone out that fast. But then on the last lap, he was right there with the front of the pack. It was pretty cool to see that out of Trey. He works so hard he deserves it.”
Lind finished the race in fourth. While the boys pulled in most of the points for De Soto, the highlight of the meet certainly came on the girls’ side.
Lacey Erickson, a sophomore, set a school record in the 3200-meter run with a lightning-quick 11:33:65.
“She ran the entire race by herself, she finished so far ahead,” Dinkel said. “All the kids on the team realized she was on pace for the record, so 40 kids lined the track and ran up and down the sideline encouraging her. It was a really cool moment.
“She’s such a great kid. She works really hard and trained well over the winter. The coaches all said it was probably the most fun track meet they have ever coached.”
De Soto’s meet at Mill Valley was moved to Wednesday because of weather concerns. Results were unavailable at press time. De Soto will compete in the K.T. Woodland meet Friday in Wichita.
“It’s kind of a pre-state tournament meet,” Dinkel said. “We’re going to send our better kids down to compete. It will give us a good gauge of how we stack up.”