Rainy day shouldn’t factor at home meet
After a long drive to the Clay Center Invitational, the Eudora track team was looking forward to a good day of competition. The trip turned out to do little more than waste gas, however. Strong winds and a persistent rain canceled the event and the majority of Eudora's athletes returned before they even had need to take off their warm-ups.
"It just wasn't a good day," Eudora coach Phil Katzenmeier said. "We thought we were going to get some things done, but the wind started and then the rain came."
The rain out did more than just put the runners back on the bus sooner than they would like. There was also a sense of disappointment at what was lost as a result.
"It is disappointing to lose that meet on a couple of levels," Katzenmeier said. "On one hand, we lose the competition of some of the schools that were there. Second, we lose a meet where we could have improved our game. That's really the goal for us out there."
The postponed meet did net a few results for the Cardinals as several of the field events were completed before the wind and the rain set in.
Senior Carrie Lister finished second in the shot put, while freshman Kendal Abel continued to improve in the long jump with a sixth-place jump of 15 feet, 3 3/4 inches.
The Cardinals now move their focus to Thursday's Eudora Invitational, the first of two consecutive meets to take place at Laws Field.
The meet will feature 13 teams and will boast a mix of league and regional opponents, some familiar and others unfamiliar.
Among the schools competing in Thursday's event will be Bonner Springs, Tonganoxie, Santa Fe Trail, Perry-Lecompton and McLouth.
"We'll have some good competition this Thursday," Katzenmeier said. "We've seen Bonner Springs before and some of the league teams, and we'll get to see some of the other schools as well."
With Tonganoxie, the home crowd will see a team which recently swept last week's Lansing Invitational in both the boys and girls events.
The Chieftains possess a solid hurdler in 300-meter specialist Jessica Wagner.
Wagner took the gold in the event at Lansing and could challenge the Cardinals' Emily Ballock, who has won the event in two consecutive meets.
Larger Frontier League schools like Paola and Ottawa will also be in attendance.
Paola will threaten in the javelin as the Panthers' Jessica Logan set a meet record at Ottawa in late March.
Even with the loss of Friday's meet, Katzenmeier said the Cardinals would be ready and in top form in front of the home fans.
"We did miss some competition," he said. "The kids are keeping up with the practice and will be fully prepared."
Aside from the breadth of competition expected at Thursday's event, the meet will also give the runners an opportunity to perform in front of the home town crowd.
"I expect they will be excited to go out there on Thursday," Katzenmeier said. "There should be a good crowd out there with all the people the other teams bring and the people who don't normally get a chance to watch us here."
The Eudora Invitational begins at 3:15 p.m. Thursday at Laws Field.