Freshman Ballock golden
Young runners pace Eudora girls to 10th-place finish at 4A state track meet
There were people everywhere.
A field full of media members and a stadium full of spectators were all on hand in Wichita for the state track and field championships.
It was certainly something Eudora freshman Emily Ballock had never experienced before.
"It was a weird feeling competing in front of all those people," she said. "It certainly makes for a lot more pressure."
But pressure wasn't an issue for the freshman runner as late in the day she captured Eudora's sole first-place medal in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 46.30 seconds.
As Ballock stood atop the podium in the center of Cessna Stadium, she felt rightly proud.
"It was amazing to stand up there," she said. "After all of the hard work, it was such a great experience."
Ballock had another first to go with her medal in the hurdles, as she took the place of Johanna Rahmqvist on the 3,200 relay team. Rahmqvist was unable to attend the meet because of a trip to California.
"I'd never run the 3,200 before," Ballock said. "I thought I ran pretty good for them. But the great thing about that was that I got to hand off to my sister."
Ballock, along with older sister Megan, Brittney Graff, Lauren Colman and Cara Seats didn't miss a beat as they took fourth at 9:56.54.
Along with the fourth-place finish, the relay team notched another season's best for itself.
"The fourth-place finish was great," Graff said. "And it also feels great to beat our own mark along the way."
As the team took its place on the podium, Emily Ballock felt a difference in the feelings.
"It's a little different when you're up there with a team," she said. "You get to enjoy the medal with them instead of by yourself, and it's a great feeling."
After taking first in Friday's qualifying round, the same Cardinal relay team duplicated the fourth-place feat in the 1,600 relay later in Saturday's finals.
Megan Ballock took her own spot on the podium with a fourth-place finish in the 400 with a final time of 59.85.
Another relay team member, Graff, was able to grab a third-place time of 11:31.06 in the 3,200.
In the field for the Cardinal girls, junior Carrie Lister finished the shot put in ninth place with a final throw of 36 feet 5 inches.
Senior Julie White was 11th in the triple jump, while her long jump distance of 16-01 3/4 was good for 10th place.
As a team, the Cardinals finished 10th with 30 points.
The lone boys' participants in the weekend's activities, junior Nolan Smith and senior Chris Durkin, placed 10th and 11th, respectively.
Smith tied for the 10th spot in the pole vault on Friday with a jump of 12-06, while Durkin's 12th-place finish in the javelin came on a throw of 156-0.