Eudora girls grab second at state track
Standing at the peak of performance Saturday, Eudora sophomore Emily Ballock enjoyed her successful defense of the 300-meter hurdle state title with a very simple thought -- victory never gets old.
"I never get tired of winning gold medals," Ballock said. "At the end of the race when you're standing on top of the box, all of those workouts make sense and you think I have 40 hours practice for a 60-second race. But I love it."
The sophomore added several more notches to what has already been an incredible season by ascending to the state's top spot in the 300 hurdles by outdistancing Coffeyville's Shauna Dowing by nearly a full second, despite averting disaster in the early going.
"I almost fell on hurdle four," Ballock said. "And I was really disappointed about that, but I got that much more adrenaline to go. I just wanted to finish strong the whole way ahead of the rest of the pack to defend my title."
Ballock's title defense along with some record setting performances made Eudora's trip to the Class 4A state championships one to remember, as the team brought home a host of medals and Eudora's first-ever piece of hardware in track and field as the state runners-up behind meet champ Concordia.
The girls 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams both won gold and Brittney Graff was second in both the 1,600 and the 3,200 runs.
"What a great way to finish a fantastic season," Eudora head coach Phil Katzenmeier said. "Bringing home the first state trophy for Eudora track and field was a tremendous experience for everyone involved."
The girls 1,600 relay team -- Megan Ballock, Brittney Graff, Alisha Wingebach and Emily Ballock -- added its own bit of history to this year's state trip by setting a state record on Friday afternoon with a time of 4:00.09 seconds.
"Last year we had the fastest prelim time, but when we got into finals we finished fourth, even though we had the fastest time," Graff said. "Then yesterday we had the fastest time again and we were all freaking out and excited. Our coach was bringing us back down to earth and telling us it couldn't be like last year. We were all really psyched and excited for it, though."
This year, the team's excitement was well warranted as it backed up the preliminary record by bringing home the gold in the event by nearly six seconds over second-place Andale in Saturday's finals.
The Cardinals' 3,200 relay team duplicated the record-setting performance by capturing the 10th fastest time in state history in the event with a time of 9:37.16.
Along with being part of a record-setting relay team, Graff resumed her season long competition with Baldwin's Heather Garcia in both the 1,600 and 3,200.
In the 1,600, Graff had to use a last burst of speed to close the gap Garcia had made to move from fourth-place to second against a wind that had howled across the field the entire day.
"Last year I started way too slow and my coach made fun of me all year," Graff said. "So I was like OK, I can't start too slow this year. So I started fast-- but not too fast -- but up with the pack and that helped me a lot. It was way better than last year. Then I was just staying behind people against the wind."
The pair emulated their season long duels by hanging with the pack throughout most of the 3,200 before separating themselves by a good distance to capture the two top spots.
For Graff, the results proved similar to the many races during the season as the junior captured second in both races.
Senior Megan Ballock not only ended her Cardinal career as part of two championship relay teams she also claimed an individual mark in the 400 with a third-place medal.
"I was really happy with the way I placed," Ballock said. "I knew I probably wouldn't get first. It wasn't my best time, but it was really windy and I was really happy with how I finished."
Eudora's overall point total also benefited from the field efforts of senior Carrie Lister, who took sixth, seventh and ninth in the shot put, discus and javelin, respectively.
The 400 relay team, composed entirely of freshmen, finished its first taste of state with a ninth-place finish. The team was just 1-100th of a second from taking eighth.
Girls team results:
1. Concordia 80; 2. Eudora 57; 3. Fort Scott 33.
Girls state results:
Shot put: 6. Carrie Lister, 38-3.75
Discus: 7. Carrie Lister, 116-2
Javelin: 9. Carrie Lister, 118-11
Pole vault: 11. Allison Hoover, 8-6
3,200: 2. Brittney Graff, 11:46.07
3,200 relay: 1. Brittney Graff 2:20.7, Lauren Colman 2:30.6, Emily Ballock 2:23.7, Megan Ballock 2:21.9---9:37.16
1,600: 2. Brittney Graff, 5:23.23
400 relay: 9. Alisha Wingebach, Kendal Abel, Tianna Dunnaway, Rachel Pyle--51.13
400: 3. Megan Ballock, 60.72
300 hurdles: 1. Emily Ballock, 44.56
200: 6. Emily Ballock, 23.60
1,600 relay: 1. Alisha Wingebach, Emily Ballock, Brittney Graff, Megan Ballock-- 4:01.20 (Preliminary 4A state meet record and school record--4:00.09)
Boys state results:
Pole vault: 10. Nolan Smith, 12-6
200: 13. Nolan Smith, 23.23 (preliminaries)
3,200: 10. Cody Burns, 10:36.95
2006 school records:
Pole vault: Nolan Smith, 13-0
Shot: Carrie Lister, 38-8.25
Discus: Carrie Lister, 120-9
Javelin: Carrie Lister, 119-2
High hurdles: Emily Ballock, 13.2
3,200 relay: Brittney Graff, Lauren Colman, Emily Ballock, Megan Ballock--9:37.16 (10th all-time best in the state of Kansas)
1,600: Brittney Graff, 5:20.6
400 relay: Alisha Wingebach, Kendal Abel, Tianna Dunnaway, Rachel Pyle--50.8
400: Megan Ballock, 59.1
300 hurdle: Emily Ballock, 44.0 (17th all-time best in the state of Kansas)
200: Emily Ballock, 26.1
3,200: Brittney Graff, 11:10.6
1,600 relay: Alisha Wingebach, Emily Ballock, Brittney Graff, Megan Ballock-- 3:39.9