Records fall as Cards rack up successful year
In the last week of March, the Eudora Cardinal track team set foot onto the track at Wellsville's Snowball Relays with hopes of a successful season.
Thirteen school records, a regional championship and one state gold medal later, the season could be considered a success.
"I don't think that I've ever had a team that performed that well," head coach Phil Katzenmeier. "It was an outstanding campaign."
At Wellsville for the Snowball Relays the team began the year with some strong performances from both the boys and girls teams.
Junior Carrie Lister began the season with a double gold medal in the shot put and discus, while on the boys side, senior Brandan Helm took third in both events.
On the track, in a sign of things to come, junior runner Megan Ballock took first in the 200-meter dash and the 400, while the 1,600-relay team raced away with the top spot.
Two weeks later at the Bobcat Relays, senior Chris Durkin added his name to the school record books with a throw of 174 feet, 4 inches. It was a performance that was added to a long list of records for the year.
Junior Nolan Smith added silver medals for himself in the 100 and 200.
A few weeks later, the girls team began to separate itself from the rest of the pack by capturing its second-consecutive first-place finish at the Redbud Relays.
The 106 points were good for the championship, which followed a first-place finish at the Cardinal Relays at Eudora.
"The girls just took their performances to a whole other level," Katzenmeier said. "They performed brilliantly, and I couldn't have asked for a better effort."
The boys team finished second at the Cardinal Relays, its best finish of the year.
At the Frontier League championships, amid pouring rain, the girls solidified their growing dominance with the Frontier League title.
That rain-soaked performance left the coach at a bit of a loss for words.
"You just had to be there to appreciate that performance in Baldwin," Katzenmeier said. "It was just an incredible sight."
The girls followed up the Frontier League meet with another first-place finish at the 4A regionals in Tonganoxie. The team took home the regional championship and generated momentum going into the state meet.
"Some of the people were right at their peak when state came around," Katzenmeier said.
On the boys side, Smith did his own damage at regionals by taking home the championship in the pole vault.
Durkin also had an impressive performance at Tonganoxie to earn his way to Wichita.
At Cessna Stadium in Wichita, the Cardinals came with some big wins as each qualifying team member placed at the meet.
Smith placed 10th in the pole vault, and Durkin was 12th in the javelin.
On the ladies side, it was the members of the relay team that did the damage, both as a team and on the individual.
Sophomore Brittney Graff notched a third-place finish in the 3,200 and helped the relay team to two fourth-place finishes.
Graff's effort was one that the coach remembered well.
"Brittney did well at the state meet," Katzenmeier said. "She ran in a ton of races that day and gave maximum effort in each one."
Freshman Emily Ballock topped off her incredible season with the lone gold medal for the school in the 300 hurdles.
The 2005 Eudora track squad continued to build on the momentum from last season and with this year's performance next spring looks even better.