Archive for Sunday, June 1, 1997


June 1, 1997


— Don't close that Lawrence High trophy case just yet.

The LHS boys and girls are bringing home two more plaques. The Lion boys tied for first and the girls placed second at the Class 6A state track and field championship on Saturday at Cessna Stadium.

Lawrence's boys led 60-54 heading into the final event -- the 4x400 relay. The Lions didn't have a qualifier for the relay and needed Wichita Southeast's relay to finish fourth or lower to win the title outright. Wichita Southeast placed third to catch Lawrence.

"We didn't tie them," LHS coach Jerry Skakal said. "They tied us. Being the last opportunity for a one-high school town, I'm glad we're at least able to tie for first."

Wichita Southeast actually led the 4x400 relay but dropped the baton before the final leg. The Buffaloes' anchor was able to retrieve the baton and place third.

In the girls meet, Lawrence finished with 50 points to trail Leavenworth, the defending state champion. Leavenworth finished with 69 points.

The LHS girls produced four champions on Saturday and junior Kizzie Ricks figured in three of them. She won the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles plus ran a leg on the winning 4x400 relay. Lawrence's 4x800 relay also placed first.

The LHS boys had two winners on Saturday -- Jake Skakal in the javelin and Andy Pelsma in the 3,200. On Friday, David Humbarger won the high jump and triple jump.

"We couldn't have had a whole lot better day," coach Skakal said. "I thought we had a great day -- four state champions on the boys side and four state champions on the girls side."

Ricks, Eniola Ajayi, Lori Yoder and Kristin Brune capped the day with a victory in the 4x400 relay (3:57.54).

"She runs the 4x800, the 400, the 800 and the 4x400," Skakal said of Brune's effort on Saturday. "You show me somebody else who did that?"

Brune placed in all four events.

"We took a little honey," Brune said. "It brought back energy, which I didn't think I had. I think we owe it all to Eniola Ajayi."

Lawrence boys hadn't placed first at state since winning in 1991, the last of three straight crowns.

Skakal defends javelin title: LHS senior Jake Skakal won the javelin for the second straight year. He threw 210-9 mark, three feet and two inches better than runner-up Zach Josephson of Olathe North.

"It was closer than I expected," Skakal said. "He's a good thrower."

Skakal, the school record holder in the event, threw over 200 four times at state.

"It's a good feeling," Skakal said of repeating. "I was looking to throw my best."

Skakal's event started at 8:30 a.m. In preparation for the early start, he practiced twice a day, including a morning session.

"I think that helped a lot," Skakal said.

Said coach Skakal, Jake's father, "I'm so proud of him. He worked so hard."

Pelsma cruises in 3,200: LHS senior Andy Pelsma pulled away from the pack with 500 meters left to win the 3,200 in 9:41.96.

"I figured I had to kick on them early because those guys are quicker than I am in the shorter distances," said Pelsma, a Sunflower League, regional and state champion in the event.

Pelsma also placed in the 1,600, finishing sixth in 4:32.8.

Ricks claims both hurdles: Kizzie Ricks, state runner-up last year, won the 100 hurdles in 14.79 to edge Topeka freshman Janelle Wright, who tumbled near the finish line.

"God has truly blessed me," Ricks said. "It's a big accomplishment because I've had to work really hard this year."

Later in the afternoon, Ricks beat Wright's senior sister, Carmen, in the 300 hurdles (45.53) to break her own school record set in Friday's prelims. Wright, a Kansas State signee, had defeated Ricks at regional last week.

"That was my goal to catch her," Ricks said.

Girls set 4x800 record: Lawrence's 4x800 relay team of senior Lori Yoder, junior Joanna Kueker, freshman Betsy Lee and senior Kristin Brune won in 9:38.72 to shatter the school record of 9:46.0 set in 1980.

"They gave us our times before we had to run to beat the record," said Brune, the anchor leg. "They were reasonable times so we knew we could do it. It's a great thing to do right before the high school splits up."

The LHS foursome sliced 34 seconds off last week's regional time.

Later, Brune placed fourth in the 400 (59.24) and 800 (2:21.55).

  • Jackson takes third: Junior Jerreme Jackson took third in the long jump (21-11 1/2).

  • Penny places in shot put: Senior Jon Penny, fifth in the discus on Friday, was fourth in the shot put with a 54-11 toss.

  • Ajayi fifth in 200: Eniola Ajayi placed fifth in the 200 (25.82).

  • Anderson places in hurdles: Junior Gabe Anderson was fifth in the 110 hurdles (15.26) and sixth in the 300 hurdles (40.89).

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