Lady Owls win gold at Warrensburg Relays
WARRENSBURG -- The Marshall track and field team had its first outdoor exposure of the season Saturday -- and exposed it was, with the temperature barely above freezing when the Ron Clawson Relays started at Warrensburg.
The meet, consisting of nothing but relays -- handoffs on runs and combined heights and distances in field events -- was better suited for the Lady Owls and the Marshall boys because of their relative depth. However, neither squad was able to enter more than nine of the 18 contests.
The Lady Owls placed tenth in team scoring with 30 points, well behind champion Warrensburg at 113 points, but the team was in the top half of the field in six of the eight events it entered -- taking four medals.
Marshall's lone title came in the long jump, where sophomores Linzi Leimkuehler, Brooke Jasper and Ashley Schlotzhauer combined for leaps totaling 39 feet, 5.5 inches -- more than a foot longer than second-place Raymore-Peculiar.
Leimkuehler and Jasper teamed with seniors Stacey Jasper and Marshon Stephenson for second in the 400-meter relay with a time of 54.79 seconds -- .39 seconds behind Kansas City-Ruskin, seventh at last year's MSHSAA Class AAA Championships.
Schlotzhauer, senior Katie Crawford and junior Sam Narron posted a 13-2 combined high jump for third place -- with Schlotzhauer's 4-10, equaling her best of last season, being the meet's individual standard.
Stephenson, Narron, Stacey Jasper and Leimkuehler were fifth in the 800-meter relay (1:57.4) and Marshall was eighth in both the thrower's 400-meter (1:08.34) -- with junior Rachel Clemons joined by freshmen Megan Bolling, Julia Stubblefield and Shantae Berry -- and freshman/sophomore 400 (1:01.60), in which Bolling and Berry were aided by freshmen Tasha Gay and Amber Nichols.
The Marshall boys were near the top of the field in four of their nine races -- not entering any of the field events. The Owls were 13th among the 16 teams with 20 points, with Ruskin (113 points) the champion.
The 800-meter relay quartet of seniors Jay Ritter and Derik Lavers, junior Aaron Kleinschmidt and sophomore Shaun Berning showed promise with a third-place run of 1:37.36 -- .23 seconds faster than last year's low and behind only state qualifiers Ruskin and KC-O'Hara.
Berning and sophomores Justin Cary, Donnie Hardwick and Justin Frauenhoffer turned in a strong 3,200 -- finishing third at 9:11.45 -- 8.28 seconds better than a year ago. State champion Warrensburg came in first. Lavers, Ritter, Cary and Berning came in fourth in the 1,600 (3:40.65) -- only three seconds off the 2001 pace -- and Ritter, Berning, Cary and Hardwick were sixth in the 1,600-meter medley at 4:06.8.
"Overall, it was a good day for the Marshall boys," said MHS head coach Paul Thomas. "We were proud of the way our kids performed and we are dropping individual times every meet, which is what we look for."
The Owls are scheduled take part in a triangular meet at Warrensburg today against the host Tigers and Knob Noster.