Battling until the end, the Lady ‘Blazer track squad brought back a second-place finish from the 5A state track and field championship in Wichita, May 27-28.
The defending 5A state champs pushed eventual champ Bishop Carroll to the brink before bowing by a 79½ – 67½ margin. Emporia took third with 48½.
“We had a lot of setbacks and it was real pleasing to see us bring back a second place trophy,” Coach Larry Ward said. “From Cassie Wait’s injury to the weather we had a lot to overcome.”
Still, the Blazers battled the entire meet and actually held the top spot with three events left in the meet.
GEHS took control early Saturday morning with sophomore Danie Plank’s gold medal javelin throw of 145′. Fellow teammate Ashlee Bilhimer added second-place points in the event with a 134’10″ effort.
The 400 relay of Taylor Claybon, Brittney Parks, Jalisa Brice and Kyla Martin padded GEHS’ lead with a fourth-place time of 50.05.
Carroll closed the margin to one point after the 400 meter dash when Katherine Dillard finished in third place. Four events remained and GEHS still held a 50.5 to 49-5 lead.
However, Carroll took control with a 1, 4, 6 finish in the 300 meter hurdles. Claybon took third in the event but Carroll claimed a 65½ to 56½ lead.
A second-place finish by Carroll’s Dillard in the 800 meters secured the title for Carroll.
GEHS secured its hold on a second-place trophy with a fifth place 200 meter finish from freshman standout Martin.
Earlier GEHS found gold from Hannah Schneider who tossed the shot put 40’5″. Plank took seventh in the same event with a 35’10″ effort.
Second-place points came from the 1600 relay of Brice, Parks, Claybon and McKenzie Scroggin clocking 4:06.3.
Claybon also captured third in the 300 hurdles with an impressive time of 47.98 and teamed with Parks, Brice and Martin to finish fourth in the 400 relay in 50:05.
The 400 relay unit clocked a school-record time of 49.18 in the preliminaries.
“That group really ran well and got a school-record performance,” Ward added.
Brice had a big day. She hop, skipped and jumped her way to second in the triple jump in 38’3 3/4″ and took fifth in the long jump with a 16’5″ effort.
GEHS’ second-place state finish capped another successful season for the Lady ‘Blazers. The team claimed a regional title and will return a strong case for next season.