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MHS girls first, boys second at Salina

By Joel Jellison

The Manhattan High boys’ and girls’ track and field teams hit Salina on Friday for the Salina Central Invitational.

The girls’ team had the most success, scoring 167.5 points to run away with the title. Salina Central was second with 89 and Hays scored 80.5 for third. Hays won the boys’ event with 179 points, while MHS was second with 73. Buhler was third.

On the girls’ side, ReJoyce Bryant was third in the 200-meter dash, while Rachel Beach was third in the 400. Emilie Liebe was second in the 800 with Caitlin Heldt in fourth and Blake Fingalsen sixth.

Ayssa Smith and Amanda Frakes went 3-4 in the 1,600-meter run, and Alaina Schroeder, Jessica Smith and Emily Van Natta went 1-2-3 in the 3,200. Bryant finished seventh in the 100 hurdles and third in the 300 hurdles, with Bri Walker in sixth.

The 4x100 relay of Bryant, Hannah Miller, Danielle Edwards and Tarian Reeves finished third. The 4x400 of Heldt, Liebe, Frakes and Beach took fourth. Schroeder, Heldy, Beach and Liebe teamed to win the 4x800 with a time of 9:52.91.

Sarah Tatarko took third in the high jump with Matty Mahan in fifth. Taylor Smith was third in the pole vault and Alex Stenberg was fifth. Reeves grabbed second in the long jump and freshman Tia Cooke was third. Cooke also took third in the triple jump.

Mari Jo Massanet won the shot put with a distance of 41-0.5, while freshman Kaylee Kipp finished second. Massanet was first in discus at 125-9, while Stephanie Shanower was third. Kassidy Scroggs was third in javelin and Jesse Kujuwa was seventh.

MHS coach Jesse Woodard said the performance from the girls’ team is a tribute to its depth.

“I think it all comes down to the depth,” he said. “We took 1-2 in the shot and Mari Jo and Kaylee Kipp and took 1-3 in the discus. And in the 800, we took 2-4-6, so we’ve good a lot of good depth, and that gives us the capability of scoring some points.”

Woodard also said that depth will be important in the weeks to come with the next three meets being this week’s Centennial League meet, the regional meet and then state.

“My goal is to get the girls back on the podium,” he said. “With Gary’s (Schwandt) first year as coach we got third, but it’s been awhile since we’ve gotten up there. But first things first, we have to go after league as the defending champions.”

On the boys’ side, Chris Martin was third in the 400, while Terrence Jenkins took sixth. Evan Williams was seventh in the 800, while Michael Melgares was sixth and Isaiah Koppes was seventh in the 1,600. Chris Melgares was third, with James Leblow in seventh in the 3,200.

Ben Bolton finished second in the 110 hurdles, while Colt Skidmore was seventh. Skidmore came back to take second in the 300 hurdles.

The 4x100 relay of Tony Daniels, Henry Bieber, Logan Mahan and Deante Burton finished fourth. Chris Melgares, Leblow, Martin and Williams finished second in the 4x800 relay.

Kyle Parker was fourth in the pole vault with Matt Wille in sixth. Mahan was first in the long jump at 22-3, and Ben Tredway was seventh. Mahan was third in the triple jump and Samuel Livsey was seventh.

Terrale Johnson and Ben Stegeman went 4-5 in the shot put. Jacob Holloway finished second in the javelin.

Woodard said the team is starting to approach its peak at the right time of the season.

“We kind of have a few nagging injuries here and there, so we limited back here and there,” he said. “ I don’t think Susan (Melgares) ran her strongest people in multiple races before we go to league. But I think our guys are hitting their strides at the right time.”

Overall, Woodard said he was happy with the way the meets finished out as the Indians prepare for league.

“I was pleased with our performances,” he said. “You know what you are going to get from Ben Bolton and Alaina Schroeder and Mari Jo, but Colt Skidmore was great and Logan Mahan as well, and Tia Cooke, and several others too.”

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