Garden City, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-There was no doubt that Tuesday’s Garden City Invitational was the warmest event of the year, and it definitely made for a challenging day.
“It was hot,” Dodge City’s Oscar Carmona said following his victory in the 1600 meters. “My throat got dry after the first lap so I wasn’t trying to make time. I was just trying to win.”
That sums up a day where athletes persevered despite temperature soaring into the mid 90’s.
Garden City senior Kayla Doll started the day off with a spectacular showing in the girls 1600 meters. Pacing herself like an Olympic veteran, Doll finished first with a time of 5:13:12-a good 10 seconds in front of second-place teammate Alex Miller.
“I was hoping to get 5:10,” Doll said trying to catch her breath. “But I’m not going to complain about 5:13.”
Her teammate Alex Miller was at her sensational best in the 3200 meters-strolling to victory nearly 20 seconds in front of Liberal’s Mercy Perez.
The Garden City girls, who finished tops out of the eight teams participating, also took home victories in the 800 meter, 4×100, 4×400 and 4×800 meter relays. Kyra Bellows won the high jump; Taryn Tempel the long jump; Kaylee Kipp the shot put and Breece Dreiling the discuss.
Dodge City finished second, followed by Scott City, Ulysses, Liberal, Colby, Goodland and Holcomb.
On the boys side, the most anticipated race of the day was the 300 meter hurdles. And it definitely didn’t disappoint.
Defending state champ Trenton Hammon from Liberal outdueled fellow state title holder-Holcomb’s Heath Tucker by less than two seconds.
Tucker bounced back with a victory in the 200 meter dash. His team finished fifth.
Garden City placed second thanks to victories in the 4×100 meter relay, the long jump (Dusty Tempel) and the pole vault (Nick Jauche).
Dodge City was third-paced by Blaik Middleton’s first-place finish in the 100 meter dash and Carmona’s win in the 1600 and 3200 meter races. The Demons also took home first place in the 4×800 meter relay.
The best race of the day: Easily the girls 100-meter dash where Scott City’s Kelly Wycoff beat out Dodge City’s Brekk Flaxx in a photo finish.
“I was definitely not expecting that,” Wycoff said. “There’s usually a girl from Liberal that’s pretty fast, but she wasn’t there. So I thought it wouldn’t be a stressful day. But she (Flaxx) kept gaining on me.”
Wycoff also took home victories in the 200 and 400 meter races.