Area tracksters started out the spring track season at the annual Lamar Savage Invitational. This was a large meet with 26 teams from various divisions competing in strong competition. Coach Stephanie Bohlander indicated, “Of course, the weather was not cooperative, as is usual for the Lamar meet; but the meet was smooth, as usual and our kids took advantage of a good facility and very strong competition.”
And Bohlander is right --- the weather has not been cooperative as the area teams have only been able to get outside in the last few days forcing them to train inside in any creative way they could muster. But, based on the results, the experience of the Eads girls and the young hope of the Eads boys aided them in a strong showing at Lamar.
The Eads girls placed a strong 4th in Lamar. The boys came in with an acceptable 12th place.
Colby Stoker threw her personal best in both the shot put and the discus. The sophomore would place well with a 3rd place finish in the shot with a best effort of 34’ 4.5.
Throwing coach Trey Eder stated he was pleased with the throwers and their progress.
The field events were strongly controlled by Eads jumpers Kaylee Wilson and Reagen Johnson. Bohlander was pleased with Wilson’s first outing of her senior campaign, “Wilson jumped well in both triple jump and long jump. She posted her best mark yet in long jump and jumped 2 feet better than last year at Lamar in the triple jump, so she’s off to a strong start.” Wilson placed fifth in the long jump with a 15’ 1” effort. She then placed 2nd in the triple jump strongly giving a 34’ 4.5” performance.
Johnson placed 6th in the high jump with a decent 4’ 4” start.
Kaycee Ellenberger held down the track events for Eads as the junior speedsters put in good opening performances in the 100M and 200M. She finished in fourth place in both behind a strong field of runners. Her 100M time was 13.34 and she would run the 200M in 28.50. Ally Spady also helped in points with a 6th place finish in the 200M at 28.96.
Freshman Rhealie Rittgers gutted out a strong performance in the distance events placing in third in the 3200M in 15:07.82. “Rhealie ran her first 2-mile race ever and surprised only herself at how good she will be at this race; the rest of us already new she’d be good.”
The rest of the scoring for the Eads girls came off their experienced and strong relay teams. The 4x100 team placed third with a 54.75 time. The 4x200M team then grabbed a strong second place with a 1:57.33 coming in behind Ellicott. Finally, the 800M Spring Medley was a little shaky, but gutted out a 2:05.03 fifth-place finish.
“The relays were really fun; they busted them open and proved to each other they could do some cool things on them. Our Medley team (Crystal Watson, Brooklynn Jones, Ally Spady, Reagen Johnson) ran a bit rough--little nerves-- but posted a good time for opening week. The 4x200 and 4x100 teams (Reagen Johnson, Kaycee Ellenberger, Brooklynn Jones, Ally Spady) were slick. Their handoffs were smooth, and splits were good, which meant we ran well. Of course, they aren’t happy unless they win, but we’re pleased with where we are starting compared to the past seasons.”
The Eads boys finished in the middle of the pack at the Savage Invitational, but Coach Bohlander was pleased with their progress as they are quite inexperienced. Only one athlete, Brad Musgrave, was on last year’s team. Musgrave began the season with personal bests in both the shot put and the discus.
Damien Barnes, a sophomore, competed well in the jumping events for the first time out in the pits. He jumped solidly in both the long jump and triple jump placing 5th in the triple with a jump of 39’ 0 and 8th in the long jump hitting an 18’ 9” result. “Damien is only going to get better,” stated Bohlander.
Blake Stoker is back on the track for his senior campaign after being sidelined last year with shoulder surgery. Ty Wilson joined Stoker in the open 800M race. Both competed well with Stoker bringing home 3rd place honors running a 2:16.15 half. “They’ll both use this training for the mile later on. It was nice having Stoker back on the track; he’s a pretty runner.”
The boys 4x800M relay put in an exciting performance despite the fact that two members of the team are freshmen and had never ran this relay at the high school level. That relay consists of Donte Sierra, Hatch Nelson, Wilson, and Stoker. “As we move into our season they will only get better and figure the race out quickly,” stated Bohlander.
Bohlander will take her tracksters to La Junta this week to another challenging meet. “Overall, we were pleased. The kids learned a lot and will turn that into success next week, they competed hard, were honest in their efforts to truly see where we are, and they proved to themselves just how good they potentially can be this year. Obviously, it’s work ethic and sticking to the process of training hard that’ll get it done, but I think they are happy with this week’s results. We have a great group of kids; truly the best around. Taking that and moving forward to La Junta next week will be fun.”
Photo Credit Wilson Photography