Overland Park Technically, Jill Oelschlager and Kim Buchleitner had run in varsity meets before if you count junior high varsity.
Ninth graders at South Junior High, Oelschlager and Buchleitner made their high school varsity debuts Friday at the Sunflower League meet at Shawnee Mission North. They marked the occasion with a league title apiece.
Lawrence ran away with the boys team title at the rain-soaked, wind-blown meet, scoring 185 points more than doubling runner-up SM Northwest's 91.
And behind an influx of talent from the junior highs, the Lion girls tied with Olathe South for second with 83 points. SM West was the girls team champion with 99 points.
Buchleitner won the 100 in 12.9 and added a fourth-place finish in the 200. Oelschlager became the league long jump champion with a leap of 16-4 on her last jump.
"Everybody has been telling me I'd do good," Buchleitner said. "I always thought I'd do OK, but I didn't think I'd do this well this quick."
Oelschlager also had her doubts.
"THIS IS THE first time I've been here," she said. "I was pretty nervous. I thought coming in that I'd just be out to jump. I thought the others would be so much better."
Girls coach Steve Sublett, however, had faith in the youngsters, and had for quite awhile.
"We have to wait until the junior high season is over before we can bring them up," Lion girls coach Steve Sublett. "But I've been watching some of these girls for years. Obviously, they're good enough to compete in the Sunflower League. They're good athletes."
Eight freshmen girls have been practicing with the high school team for about a week, and several attended the league meet.
"I've worked on my starts," Buchleitner said. "I've totally improved since I came to the high school. It's so much harder. We do a lot harder workout, and it's tough just trying to keep up with everybody else."
Oelschlager not only kept up, but her final jump she dropped teammate Heather Flachsbarth to second place.
"I didn't think I had a chance," Oelschlager said. "Heather had gone 16-2, and another girl had gone 16-3. I told my friends before my last jump. `This is it. I have to go all out.'"
IN THE SPIRIT of the youth movement, sophomore Brad Meade went all out to win league titles in the 200 and the long jump. His best leap was his first an impressive 22-11 .
"My best had been 22-6, so I moved up quite a bit," Meade said. "Actually, I didn't think it was that long when I did it. It didn't feel like I was in the air as long as I usually am."
Friday's soggy conditions obviously weren't much of a problem until he hit the pit.
"That was a problem. My face was sandy and I had sand in my mouth. But that's what you expect when you're a long jumper."
Howard Harris was a triple winner again for Lawrence, winning the high jump, the 110 hurdles and the 300 hurdles. David Johnston won the 1600 and 3200.
Lawrence's boys were one race short of sweeping every event on the track because three runners were scratched from the 800. The race was to be run in two heats, but went off in one instead, and the Lion runners were not notified. . .
Nicole Johnson, the defending Class 5A state champion in the 800, was ill and did not attend the meet. . .
The LHS girls also lost points when their winning 800 relay team was disqualified because a runner stepped out of her lane. Likewise, their 400 relay team was DQed for a false start. "It's simply a matter of inexperience," Sublett said. Both teams were to rely heavily on freshmen. . .
Both the boys and girls will travel to Topeka Seaman next week for the regional meet. . .