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Hoisington's pole-vault brothers are a triple threat
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Hoisington's Brandon Ball - photo by JIM MISUNAS Great Bend Tribune


NICKERSON — One-by-one, the trio of Hoisington High Ball brothers took their turns at the pole vault.
The brothers Ball — Brandon (14-6), Jonathan (14-0) and Christopher (13-0) — finished first, second and third in Thursday’s Central Kansas League track meet. Brandon has cleared 15-0 feet. Jonathan matched his season best (14-0) and Chris has cleared 13-6.
It was reminiscent of state wrestling in March when Brandon won his fourth state championship while his brothers each finished as state second-place finishers.
Brandon barely missed a personal record of 15-4 ¼. They competed in perfect 80-degree weather blessed by light wind.
“It was a nice day today,” Brandon said. “It doesn’t surprise us when we place high. We just try and keep the brothers going and do our best. My goal was to get 15-4 and I was really close. It’s a brotherly rivalry, but it’s all good because we’re good friends.”
The Hoisington pole vaulters will compete at the Beloit regional May 22. Brandon missed making state track last year when rain ruined his regional meet. Jonathan Ball placed fourth at state as a freshman, clearing 13-0.
“It helps out a lot to have brothers competing. When one person does good, it correlates to everyone doing well that day,” Brandon said. “We always are confident we can make a height.”
Brandon was invited to compete in the pole vault by Hoisington wrestling coach Dan Schmidt, who doubles as the Cardinals’ pole vault coach.
“I started pole vault until my freshman year. Schmidt pretty much said I was doing pole vault,” Brandon said. “He told me he’d ordered three new poles and that I’d better be ready.”
Pratt won the CKL boys division with 112 points. Hoisington finished seventh with 37 points. Larned placed 10th with 27 points.
Hoisington’s Seth Owen placed second in the shot put (46-61/4).
Larned was paced by runner-up Ty O’Neill in the discus (125-11) and Wyatt Davis, who placed second in the javelin (138-91/2). Lukus Anderson placed third in the discus (123-3).
GIRLS — Hoisington High senior’s Lexi Sanders swept the 100 (12.87) and 400 (59.53) and helped the 1,600-meter relay to first place (4:12.16) to go along with a runner-up finish in the pole vault (10-0) on a tiebreaker. She’s performing her best after missing last year with a shoulder injury.
The Cardinals scored 65 points and placed fourth. Hesston won the CKL girls division with 104 points. Sanders beat Lindsey Shupe of Minneapolis last week in the 100 meters. Sanders has cleared 11-0 in the pole vault, the state’s best in Class 3A.
“Last week was the first time I ran in the 100 meters. It was good competition today in the 100. I beat some pretty good runners last week,” Sanders said. “I’m surprised by how well I’m doing. I’m excited for regionals. I didn’t realize I was that fast. The 400 is going good too. I was really happy with my time.”
Hoisington’s Abbi Demel placed first in the 300 hurdles (46.71). Jaci Schremmer placed third in the triple jump (32-71/2).
Larned’s girls finished ninth with 28 points. Delanie Gordon led the way with a third in the 1,600 (5:38.5), fifth in the 3,200 (12:55.72) and a sixth in the 800 (2:36.12).
Larned’s Ally Aldrich placed third in the high jump (4-8) and Jorge Kimble placed third in the 400 (1:02.82).