HALSTEAD — It was a good day on Thursday to be running track as a Viking from Smoky Valley High as the girls track team won the Central Kansas League Track Meet at Halstead and the boys team placed second.
“It was a beautiful day for track in Halstead,” noted Smoky Valley head track coach Jay Myers. “Plus it was a great day for the Viking track and field teams as the Viking girls are now the Central Kansas League champions, and the Viking boys were good for runner-up.”
Taking advantage of 10 first-place finishes, the Lady Vikings rolled up 115 team points to take the CKL Girls Track Championship by 23 points over runner-up Hesston who scored 92. Both teams far outdistanced third-place Hillsboro with 62 and fourth-place Haven who had 47. Other teams scoring in the girls meet were Hoisington and Nickerson, tied with 45 points, Larned (43), Pratt (38), Kingman (32), Halstead (31) and Lyons (5).
Six Lady Vikings experienced winning gold at the league meet with Amanda Behanna and Belle Peters each gaining three. Behanna won the 100 and 200 Meters while running the final leg of the 4x100 Meter Relay quartet, and Peters scored gold in the 110 Hurdles, Pole Vault and the 4x100 Meter Relay by carrying the second leg.
Ellise Peterson and Kerington Haxton also scored multiple golds with each getting two, Peterson earned hers in the 1600 Meters and the Triple Jump, while Haxton gained hers in the 300 Hurdles and the first leg of the 4x100 Meter Relay.
The other two earned gold medals came when Addie Heitschmidt got a gold by being the third leg of the Smoky Valley 4x100 Meter Relay team and Grace Lott took first in the 3200 Meters. The remaining team points came from Heitschmidt finishing sixth in the 200 Meters, Peterson being third in the 800 Meters, Lott taking fourth in the 1600 Meters and Haxton placing fourth in the 110 Hurdles.
For the Viking boys, they gained 76 team points which placed them in second-place, well behind the 124 points scored by league champion Kingman. The remaining field was Hoisington (70.1666) Halstead (61), Hesston (58), Larned (49), Nickerson (41), Hillsboro (34), Pratt (29.8333), Lyons (9) and Haven (3).
Timmy Lambert was the star of the meet as he led the Smoky Valley boys with all four of the Vikings first-place finishes. Lambert who was named ‘Outstanding Male Athlete’ at a recent meet in Hesston, brought home gold in the 100 and 200 Meters, the 300 Hurdles and the 4x400 Meter Relay where he ran the final leg for the Vikings. Also earning gold with Lambert in the 4x400 Meter Relay were Carson Windholz, Andrew Peters and Carter Couchman.
Peters also scored points for Smoky Valley by taking second in the Pole Vault and fourth in the 100 Meters, while Windholz earned sixth in both the Long and Triple Jumps. Couchman ran the third leg of a fourth-place Viking 4x800 Meter Relay quartet that included Joshua and Stephen Peterson and Ryan Heline.
Other scoring points for the Viking boys were Kaiden Vendbles taking fourth in the 110 Hurdles, Heline and Joshua Peterson finishing third and fourth in the 3200 Meters and Ethan Wampler placing fourth in the Discus.
Myers concluded some coach reflections on the meet by saying, “We just had a few of our athletes disappointed in marks or results as usual. But what I saw all day was what we were point at – this is one of three meets in the year that we care about team standings. We wanted focus and determination and we got that as well as the kids doing a superb job of backing each other up and cheering other on. That doesn’t always happen in track and field, and it is special when it does. This has been our mode for most of the season, I am proud of our kids.”
The Viking track teams will now face the challenge of qualifying for state at the Class 4A Regional Meet in Andale on Thursday, May 17. It could be a battle as Buler, Andover Central, Holcomb, Hugoton, Larned, Mulvane, Pratt, Ulysses, Wellington, Wichita Collegiate and McPherson will be in the Viking’s regional.