Ballock, Graff continue to lead way for Cardinal track squad
Emily Ballock and Brittney Graff are no strangers to setting records on the high school track. That's why it came as no surprise when both bettered their school and personal records at the Anderson County meet Thursday.
Graff ran the 1,600-meter run in 5 minutes, 12.4 seconds and Ballock ran the 400 in 58.5. Both already had the school records, having set them just four days before.
Coach Phil Katzenmeier said what made those times even more special was that they were among the top in the entire state.
"They have a great work ethic and are very talented," Katzenmeier said. "It is the combination of talent, work ethic and hard work that make them succeed. People will say that girls peak as freshmen or sophomores, but that's not true with these girls -- they continue to get better."
Overall, the Anderson County meet was very successful for Eudora. The Cardinal girls took home the first-place trophy, scoring 157 points. Perry-Lecompton finished in second with 108 points. The boys' second place streak was broken at the meet, finishing in third place with 92 points. Anderson County just squeaked by Eudora, scoring 93 points and earning the second-place medal.
Like in previous weeks, the relay teams finished extraordinarily well. The boys took first in the 800-meter relay, with a time of 8:47. The team consisted of Zane Pittman, Jordan Katzfey, Joey Chino and Cody Burns. The Justin Ballock, Ben Katzenmeier, Katzfey and Burns 400-meter relay team also came in first with a time of 3:38.2.
The girls relay teams finished just as strong. Alisha Wingebach, Lindsey Slavens, Bre Miller and Liz Hoese placed first in the 800-meter relay, with a time of 10.38.9. Wingebach, Kendal Abel, Tianna Dunnaway and Rachel Pyle won the 400 relay, finishing it in 51.1. Finally, with a time of 4:22, Wingebach, Slavens, Hoese and Dunnaway won the 1,600-meter relay.
Katzenmeier said he was pleased with the relay teams' finishes.
"This last meet, we saw that the girls have enough depth and talent on the track to always finish well no matter who is running the relays," Katzenmeier said. "The boys just continue to do well. We have people competing for a spot on the relay teams, so that adds some competition."
But the successes are not limited to the track. Several field athletes continue to place highly. Abel long-jumped her way to a first-place victory with a distance of 15-9.25. The Hoover siblings again tore through the competition on the pole vault, with Austin making it 10-6 and finishing in second and Allison taking first with 8-6 for the girls.
What made Katzenmeier the most pleased with his teams was their depth of talent.
"There are kids that are always working hard," Katzenmeier said. "We're a good team from top to bottom."
The teams compete again at 4 p.m. Thursday at Eudora's own Cardinal Relays. Then, several of the girls runners will compete at the KU Relays on Friday and Saturday. Ballock will be running the 400 and the high hurdles. Graff will run the 3,200 and the 800. Finally, Wingebach and Slavens will join the other two for the relay events.
In all, Katzenmeier said his teams were mentally and physically tough and would give any team a run for its money.
"People know our girls are very talented," Katzenmeier said. "With the exception of state, they haven't lost a meet in a couple of years. The boys have really come on this year. They had their string of second-place finishes broken by one point this week, but they worked really hard."