The view from Lane 7 has been unfamiliar to Jewell Bolden in her illustrious track career, which has included four state championships.
Sprinters loathe running an outside lane like Lane 7 because it’s nearly impossible to see the competition and because it typically means you ran a slow preliminary time.
But in this case, Friday afternoon on a sunny day at the Valley Center Invitational, Bolden found herself in Lane 7 because of a computer error. And because she hadn’t ran a 200 race this season, Bolden was buried in the slow heat of the 200 meters.
The Andover Central junior overcame the adversity to win the 200 by five-tenths over the final heat in 26.70 seconds.
“She could have made it an issue or used it as an excuse,” Andover Central coach Tom Audley said. “But she just got out there and ran. Sometimes that’s what you have to do. She’s just the real deal.”
It was an impressive performance on a day full of them for Bolden, who started her day juggling finals of the long jump with running in the 100 and 100 hurdles.
After leaping a season-best 18 feet, 10 3/4 inches on her first attempt in the long jump, which proved to be the winning jump, Bolden turned her focus to the track.
She blazed past a strong contender in Hutchinson’s Tyjai Adams to win the 100 hurdles in 14.73 seconds, then less than five minutes later, was back in the blocks for the 100. She barely had time to catch her breath, but still won in 12.81 seconds.
“It’s hard to calm down right after you catch your breath like that, but I’ve been working on being able to do that for a long time now,” Bolden said. “This year it’s easier to do and I’m feeling pretty good now.”
Bolden was naturally pleased by winning all four of her events. But as a competitor, she doesn’t view her performances through the scope of whether or not she won.
“I just look at my times,” Bolden said. “I’m not really worried about who I beat or who I competed against right now. I’m just working hard to make sure my times keep dropping.”
A new No. 1 – After his throw last week ranked him second in the country, Derby senior Trent Allen knew he wanted to come for the number one spot when the conditions allowed.
Allen capitalized on the head wind and improved his record mark to 211 feet, 1 inch on his second throw in the preliminary round to catapult himself to tops in the nation. He decided to rest his arm for next Friday’s showcase at Wichita State and not throw in the finals.
“Everything fell into place on that one,” Allen said. “It came right out of the arm and I didn’t even feel it. It’s pretty exciting, it really is. It’s something I’ve strived for and worked for, so it feels really good right now.”
Demel goes big – When his first attempt in the triple jump ended up as his personal best, Carroll senior Kyle Demel figured Friday would be a good day.
He was right.
Demel recorded personal-best marks in both the triple jump (43-4 1/2) and the high jump (6-4) to win both events.
“A lot of it has to do with me just being more confident in myself,” Demel said. “After my first jump went that far, I knew it was going to be a good day. I just felt more confident after that.”
His jumps coach at Carroll, Josh Mans, echoed that sentiment and said Friday could be a jumping off point for Demel.
“His demeanor is just so good and he just has this calmness about him this year,” Mans said. “He knows what he’s capable of. I never like to put a limit on him because I’d like to think we haven’t tapped it yet. Today was certainly a step in the right direction.”
Smallest school comes up big – Andale took home both of the team titles in a competitive meet that included several Class 6A and 5A teams.
The boys team, which had its 400 relay team win and Jeff Ast (shot put and discus) as its only individual champion, edged Derby by seven points, while the girls team, which featured individual winners in Abby Smarsh (300 hurdles), Jewel Eck (pole vault), and Victoria Orth (javelin), won by 24 points.
“I tell the kids all the time that this is a team sport, that’s why they keep score,” Andale coach Greg Smarsh said. “For us to come here against 13 other schools and to be the smallest, that’s pretty cool to win both.”
Kossover kicks it in – Friday was the first opportunity for Maize South junior Ethan Kossover to showcase the foot speed that he had worked on throughout the winter.
First, Kossover turned on his new afterburners in the 1600 to overtake Carroll’s Paul Becker coming around the final bend and hold off a late charge by Andover’s Alex Moen to win in 4:31.13.
Then he doubled up and swept the 800, winning in 2:04.20, as teammates Bryce Merriman and Britt Magnuson followed closely behind to sweep the event for Maize South.
“It’s a pretty good feeling knowing that all of that hard work paid off,” Kossover said. “As soon as (Becker) slowed down just a little, I knew I had to take off and finish it. That was a pretty good feeling.”
Back and better – When Valley Center’s DeMarco King tore his lateral tendon in his ankle during last summer before his senior year of football, he was devastated.
He knew he was going to miss his last season of high school football, but he also feared whether he would have the same breakaway speed that he possessed before the injury.
On Friday, he made his triumphant return to the track and showed that he is back and improved by winning the 100 in 11.02.
“It’s been a really long process and it felt good to know that I can still run fast like that,” King said. “I was a little nervous before this meet, but I wanted to show coaches that I can still run like I did before.”
Teams – Andale 105½, Derby 98, Carroll 95, Garden City 95, Maize South 80, Hutchinson 47, Andover Central 46, Valley Center 44, Andover 33, Eisenhower 18½, Goddard 17, Winfield 14, Arkansas City 8.
100 — King, Valley Center, 11.02; 200 — Frausto, Maize South, 22.69; 400 — Baker, Hutchinson, 50.25; 800 — Kossover, Maize South, 2:04.20; 1600 — Kossover, Maize South, 4:31.13; 3200 — Sinclair, Andover Central, 10:02.14; 110 hurdles — Birch, Andover Central, 14.62; 300 hurdles — Eck, Carroll, 41.81; 400 relay — Andale 44.06; 1600 relay — Derby 3:32.32; 3200 relay — Andover 8:25.11; High jump — Demel, Carroll, 6-4; Pole vault — Kennedy, Eisenhower, 14-6; Long jump — Gustafson, Derby, 20-10¼; Triple jump — Demel, Carroll, 43-4 1/2; Shot put — Ast, Andale, 49-3 1/4; Discus — Ast, Andale, 160-4; Javelin — Allen, Derby, 211-1.
Teams — Andale 114, Garden City 90, Maize South 86, Andover Central 81, Valley Center 54, Hutchinson 49, Derby 43, Carroll 37, Goddard 34, Eisenhower 25, Andover 22, Arkansas City 21, Winfield 7.
100 — Bolden, Andover Central, 12.81; 200 — Bolden, Andover Central, 26.70; 400 — Wright, Hutchinson, 59.03; 800 — Gurrola, Garden City, 2:25.18; 1600 — Eskridge, Maize South, 5:17.88; 3200 — Schepis, Maize South, 12:06.70; 100 hurdles — Bolden, Andover Central, 14.73; 300 hurdles — Smarsh, Andale, 48.02; 400 relay — Andale 50.76; 1600 relay — Garden City 4:09.57; 3200 relay — Maize South 10:15.84; High jump — Runnion, Valley Center, 5-2; Pole vault — Eck, Andale, 11-0; Long jump — Bolden, Andover Central, 18-10¾; Triple jump — Kakoulias, Andover Central, 36-4; Shot put — Kakoulias, Andover Central, 41-5¼; Discus — Rodriguez, Hutchinson, 133-11; Javelin — Orth, Andale, 147-3.