Orioles fly by competition to Class 1, District 5 title
Four days before the Class 1, District 5 Track and Field Meet at Marshall High School's Sports Complex, the Concordia Orioles raced past the field to win the I-70 Conference championship by 25 points.
On Saturday, the Orioles one-upped themselves, winning the district crown by 27 points.
Perhaps it was the return of senior Luke Kapala, who had been out since early April with an injury, to the lineup that increased the Orioles' superiority over a lot of the same teams.
The Orioles accumulated 172 points. Santa Fe was runner-up with 145 points. Wellington was next with 123 points. Sweet Springs was eighth with 12-1/2 points.
There were 14 teams competing.
It wasn't all about team championships. It was about placing in the top four in each event, earning the right to compete in the Class 1, Sectional 4 meet, which will be held at the same venue Saturday, starting at noon.
The Orioles qualified at least one entrant for the sectional meet in 15 of the 18 events held. They had winners in five events.
Collin Werths, who won three events and was second in another in the conference meet, won all four events in which he was entered.
Werths swept the hurdle events and the long and triple jumps.
Werths' 21 feet, 10-1/2 inch jump was more than a foot further than Santa Fe's James Dahl-Hines (20-6 1/2) to win the long jump.
Werths edged teammate Jes-sy Otero in the triple jump 42-0 to 41-4 1/2.
Wellington's Brandon Nien-dick, also returning from an in-jury he suffered near the end of basketball season, was Werths' chief competitor in the 110-me-ter hurdles, Werths winning by four-tenths of a second in 15.7 seconds.
Werths and Niendick also were 1-2 in the 300-meter hurdles, Werths taking the crown by a much wider margin, winning in 40.4 seconds to Niendick's 42.2.
The other event win for the Orioles came courtesy of Jamie Thieman in the shot put. He was far and away the best thrower on the day, heaving the sphere a ca-reer-best 51-10, beating teammate Josh Kock (44-11) by nearly seven feet.
Thieman also was second to Santa Fe's Will Laws in the discus. Laws topped out at 142-0 to Thieman's best of 138-8.
The Orioles' 4x200-meter re-lay team of Chris Latty, Jesse Schnakenberg, Kyle Wilson and Wade Nevels finished second to Wellington (Nathan Arndt, Jared Mershon, Blaine Beissenherz, Quinton Hill). The Tigers ran the race in 1:34.8 compared to CHS's 1:36.6.
Concordia's Dan Miller, Wil-son, Schnakenberg and Nevels teamed to finish second to Wel-lington (Niendick, Jake Ruskey, Beissenherz, Arndt) in the 4x100-meter relay. The Tigers were clocked in 45.3 seconds to CHS's 47.4.
Arndt, Hill, Seitz and Mer-shon also teamed to win the 4x400-meter relay in 3:37.3 for the Tigers. CHS's team of Latty, Nevels, Schnakenberg and Wil-son was timed in 3:40.1 in second place.
Schnakenberg also tied Santa Fe's Ben Nienhueser for second place in the high jump at 5-8, four inches shy of Wellington's Willard.
Otero also was third in the long jump at 20-0. Josh Kock was third in the discus (126-10 1/2).
Kapala turned in a third and a fourth in the sprints.
He was third behind Santa Fe's Dakota Jones (11.4) and Wellington's Beissenherz (11.6) in the 100-meter dash in 11.8 se-conds.
Kapala was fourth in the 200-meter dash in 24.6 seconds. The event was won by Jones in 23.2, nipping teammate Kuntz by one-tenth of a second. The Orioles' Schnakenberg was third in 23.7.
Jones (51.8) and Jeff Kuntz (52.3) of the Chiefs were 1-2 in the 400-meter dash, just ahead of Latty's 52.9 in third.
The Orioles' 4x800-meter re-lay team of Chase Rosser, Ne-vels, Daniel Steen and Latty was third in 9:16.5. Wellington's Blake Brockmeyer, Seitz, Hill and Jacob Bowling won the event in 9:01.7, almost 15 seconds in front of Santa Fe's Matt Bodenhamer, Alex Martinez, Nienhueser and Danny Ma-honey (9:16.2).
Otero also qualified in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing fourth in 16.8, six-tenths of a second behind Dahl-Hines, who was third.
Rosser was fourth in the 800-meter run in 2:13. Grant Wheeler of Hardin-Central won in 2:08.4. He was followed by Hill (2:09.2) and Seitz (2:12.0) of the Tigers.
Other qualifiers for the Chiefs include Lucas Miller (10-0) second and Bodenhamer (8-6) fourth in the pole vault; Jones, third in the triple jump (40-1); Bodenhamer, fourth in the 1,600-meter run (5:05.7; Dahl-Hines, fourth in the 300-meter hurdles (43.0); and Bodenhamer (11:37.7) and Nienhueser (11:39.0) third and fourth, respectively, in the 3,200-meter run.