Wichita Jessica Sylvester, Lindsey Dieterich, Kathryn Sylvester and Bridget Morrisey proved to be another winning 4x800-meter relay combination for Ottawa High's girls track team.
The OHS foursome finished in 9 minutes, 45.03 seconds on Saturday at the Class 4A state track and field meet at Cessna Stadium to secure the Cyclones' fourth consecutive gold in the relay.
"It's something we can look back on and be proud of," said Morrisey, the lone senior on the relay and part of all four gold-medal winning relays. "You don't get to say four years in a row very often. It's come to the point we naturally expect to win this event."
Ottawa was pressured early before pulling away from the pack and winning by 11.03 seconds over El Dorado.
"Some of them changed their tactics and put their best people on the first two legs," OHS relays coach Chris Kornhaus said. "I don't know if that was to try to intimidate our freshman (Dieterich) in the middle or what. It got them in the race. Lindsey fought them off and Kathryn did what she was supposed to do -- took off on them -- and that broke them a bit and Bridget was able to cruise it."
Morrisey, who has committed to run track and Kansas University, also won the open 800 (2:19.09) after finishing second the past two years in the 4A meet and fifth as a freshman in the 5A meet.
"I've been wanting this forever," Morrisey said. "I was actually wanting that (4A meet) record, but today wasn't my day. I've always wanted to stand up there on the first-prize podium. I worked so hard this year and improved so much. Eventhough I didn't get that record, I still believe I can do better."
Baldwin's Becky Demarest placed third and Ottawa's Jessica Sylvester fifth in the 800.
Baldwin excels in jumps
Baldwin scored plenty in the jumps.
Senior Bryan Williams and sophomore Heath Knight placed 2-3 in the Class 4A high jump. Both cleared 6-4.
In the long jump, senior Michael Curran placed third at 21-1/2. He moved into fourth place on his first jump in the finals before advancing a spot with his second jump.
"I was reallly hoping to jump 22 (feet)," said Curran, ranked 10th in the long jump after regional.
Noonan medals twice
Baldwin freshman Matt Noonan received two medals at his first Class 4A state meet.
Noonan finished second in the 3,200 (9:52.73) and rallied in the 1,600 (4:36.92) to place fourth. Noonan led momentarily with a lap left in the 3,200 before Hesston's Justin Rempel pulled away.
In the 1,600, Noonan was last after the first 800 meters before closing the gap.
"It was my last meet of the season and I was going to go as hard as I could," Noonan said. "I was way back. I couldn't catch up with them."
Noonan trimmed 22 seconds off his previous best in the two-mile.
"I don't think it could have gone much better," Noonan said of his first state meet.
Megan Noonan third in 3,200
Baldwin sophomore Megan Noonan, lagging behind the pack early in the race, closed strong and finished third in the 3,200 (11:44.33). Ottawa's Kalyn Fuller finished fifth (12:00.00) and Eudora's Jessa Stein nipped Ulysses' Inga Young by .25 for the sixth and final medal at 12:05.25.
Goetz third in discus
Ottawa junior Rachel Goetz snared the third-place medal in the 4A discus with a 128-11 mark.
"I just wanted in the top six," said Goetz, whose best mark came on her third throw in prelims.
OHS frosh takes fourth
Ottawa freshman Emily Chapman placed fourth in the 1,600 in her first state meet (5:28.30). She finished 2.27 seconds behind winner Abbey Block of Clay Center.
Best places fifth in high jump
Oskaloosa senior Bryan Best finished fifth at 6-2 in the Class 3A boys high jump at 6-2.
"I was hoping to go after the state record but I have a stress fracture in my left leg and I couldn't get over 6-4," said Best, who had cleared 6-10 at the McLouth Relays to rank second in the state this season.
Best sustained the stress fracture at the McLouth meet and was sidelined for two weeks.
"It was disappointing but I improved my placing from last year," said Best, sixth a year ago.
Wellsville relay third
Wellsville's 4x800 relay team of Jackie Caruthers, Tristyn Rutledge, Jill Dorsey and Kristen Shields teamed for a third-place finish in 3A with a 10:10.64 time.
Tonganoxie's 4x100 fifth
Tonganoxie's 4x100 relay team of Patti Crupper, Sam Kern, Bryce Downey and Arrika Reeder placed fifth in 51.97.
"We came in with a pretty good time," said Reeder, the anchor. "We were actually just looking to medal and we were working so hard for it."
Reeder also placed sixth in the open 100 (13.29).
-- Steve Rottinghaus' phone message number is 832-7152. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org