BY JIM MISUNAS
WICHITA — One-by-one, Hoisington's school record-breaking 400-meter girls relay performed like champions on a perfect 70-degree day.
The Cardinals earned a 3A track gold medal with their fleet quartet of Sheena Gocela, Macy Hanzlick, Suzanna Schneider and Samantha Colson (49.77). The Cardinals broke the school record (48.87) at last week's 3A track regional.
The Cardinals expressed confidence, but didn't take anything for granted on their magical run, the first 400-meter relay title since the 1990s when Cardinal track coach Mandy Mason was part of a state relay champion.
Gocela ignited the historic run with a nervous start that she didn't consider her best. It was more than good enough.
"It feels amazing to be a state champion," Gocela said. "I felt my start was slow. Maybe it was because I didn't feel warmed up. I was sure happy when a passed the baton to Macy.
Hanzlick took her turn making sure the Cardinals stayed close. The transfer from Wilson High School developed into the Cardinals' fourth quality sprinter.
"It feels great to be a state champion on a relay, part of a team," Hanzlick said. "Our handoff went pretty well. I felt I caught up by the end of my leg. We were pretty confident we'd win, but it's still nerve wracking. Once I saw Samantha have the baton, we knew we'd win it."
Schneider typically makes sure Colson is in the lead or close enough, so there's nothing to worry about.
"We were second or third when I started. I had good handoffs both ways. The adrenaline kept me going fast enough to win. It's awesome to be a state champion. That's my first time going to state and we earned first place."
Colson seldom worries if she's close. She's a fearless front-runner who keeps the lead.
"If we're ahead third leg, I'm pretty confident," Colson said. "If Sue pulls ahead, I can stride out and keep the lead. You never know because you can't hear them coming. It's amazing. This is what we wanted all season."
Colson enjoyed a multi-event day with a sixth in the 100 hurdles (15.97), eighth in the 100 meters (12.87) and ninth in the 300-meter hurdles (49.44).
Larned's Jayme Hagerman started her day at 8 a.m. in the triple jump with an impressive finish. The Central Kansas League champion soared to a runner-up 3A triple jump finish (35-03/4) behind Douglass' Karsen Dunham (36-93/4). Hagerman had posted the state's best triple jump (38-21/2) in regionals.
The Cardinals' boys 400-meter relay sprinted to a solid time (44.15) to place third with Cade Mason, Legend Robinson, Dylan Richards and Chase Robinson.
3A GIRLS TEAM SCORES—1—Smoky Valley 85; 2—Eureka 43; 3—Colby 33; Chaparral 33; 5—Phillipsburg 32; Anderson County 32; 7—Riley County 28; 8—SE Saline 26; 9—Girard 21; Scott City 21; 11—Hoisington 19; 20—Larned 13
3A GIRLS RESULTS
100m–8—Samantha Colson, HHS, 12.87, 10—Jayme Hagerman, Larned, 12.98
100m hurdles–6—Samantha Colson, HHS, 15.97, 11—Kylee Hahn, HHS, 16.46
200m—4—Macy Hanzlick, HHS, 26.58; 16—Savannah Smith, Larned, 28.15
300m hurdles—9—Colson, HHS, 49.44; 15—Kylee Hahn, HHS, 51.78
400 relay—1—Hoisington 49.77 (Sheena Gocela, Hanzlick, Suzanna Schneider, Colson), 6—Larned, 51.35 (Jayme Hagerman, Savannah Smith, Jaidyn Pinkston, Cagney Lemuz)
Long jump—7—Halee Barker, Larned, 17-23/4
Triple jump—2—Jayme Hagerman, Larned, 35-03/4
Shot put—15—Cadee Upson, Larned, 31-21/4
3A BOYS TEAM SCORES—1—SE Saline 84; 2—Girard 55; 3—Perry 50; 4—Silver Lake 34; 5—Scott City 31; 6—Holcomb 28; 7—Hays TMP 24; Osage City 24; 9—Nemaha Central 23; 10—Beloit 22; 20—Hoisington 13
3A BOYS RESULTS
100m—10—Cade Mason, HHS, 11.29; 12—Chase Robinson, HHS, 11.44
200m—7—Dylan Richards, HHS, 23.17
300m hurdles—14—Josiah Ball, HHS, 43.09
400m—12—Deryk Yott, HHS, 54.34
400m relay—3—Hoisington 44.15 (Cade Mason, Legend Robinson, Dylan Richards, Chase Robinson)
Triple jump—7—Bralen Thompson, HHS, 20-111/2
Pole vault—6—Josiah Ball, HHS, 13-0; 9—Jarrett Shives, HHS, 12-6
Long jump—16—Fernando Herrera, Larned, 18-101/2