SALINA — The Newton High School girls' track team barely survived a challenge from Valley Center to claim the title of the Class 5A regionals Friday at Salina District Stadium. On the last event for the girls, the 4x400-meter relay, Newton could clinch the meet by finishing no worse than one spot behind Valley Center. The Hornets took fourth and the Railers were fifth, preserving the regional title. Newton scored 113 points, followed by Valley Center with 112, Salina Central with 87 and Hays with 69. The Newton boys finished fourth out of eight teams. Hays dominated the field with 188 points, followed by Salina South at 96, Great Bend at 83 and Newton at 68. "This was the first meet we had where — it wasn't really hot — but it was hotter than most of our other meets," Newton coach Tad Remsberg said. "It was tough on our kids. We didn't run as well as we hoped. The 4x4's struggled. But overall, we did really well. In the girls' throws, senior Brooke Regier won the discus in 130-1 and fourth in the shot put in 36-11 1/2. Freshman Payton Roberts-Parker took second in the discus in 128-1 and second in the shot put in 40-1 3/4. "My shot put was pretty average today," Regier said. "I've done better. My discus wasn't my best, but it was pretty good. I'm hoping to go about 140 at state next week. I'd like to go 39 or 40 in shot. We've been practicing outdoors about the last two weeks, and that's helped. It's been nice to finally have some good weather." "It's just been an incredible year," Roberts-Parker said. "I got first in my first varsity meet. I've gotten so much support from the coaches." Roberts-Parker competed in the AAU Nationals last year, placing in fifth in the shot put, seventh in the javelin and ninth in the shot put in her age group. "The coaches didn't want me to (compete in javelin) this year," Roberts-Parker said. "I just went with what they wanted." She said her goal was to hit a 43 in shot put and just to win discus. She said Regier has been positive influence on her this season. "She is such a supporter," Roberts-Parker said. "She is never mean. She helps me a lot. We have been back and forth in discus many a time. When she is on, she is very hard to beat." "It's been nice to have someone like her to compete with," Regier said. "We've been able to help each other and push each other." Regier has signed with Fort Hays State in track. She expects to compete there in discus, hammer throw and weight throw, an indoor event. "I really liked the coaches there," Regier said. "It's a four-year school, but it's a small community, and I liked that. I like the fact that about everywhere on campus is in walking distance." "Our throwers did really well," Remsberg said. "Brooke had a very good day. We're going to miss her. She's done a lot for our team — not just competing, but her work with the summer team. We're really going to miss her. Pete (Anderson) and Justin (Helmer) have done a really done a great job with our throwers. They've been the strength of our team this year> The 4x100-meter relay team of Hailey Valdez, Larissa Espinoza, Sarah Bartel and Lauren Anderson won in 50.69. Andrea Baron took second in the 100-meter high hurdles in 15.75. The girls' 4x800-meter relay team of Ashlyn Glann, Sadie Winter, Jaiden Ochoa and Kasey Stucky placed second in 10:14.51. The Railers surged at the finish line to hold off two other teams. Lauren Duerksen took third in the javelin in 111-5. Espinoza took third in the long jump in 15-10 1/2 and third in the triple jump in 34-7 1/2. Anderson took third in the 100-meter dash in 13.02 and third in the 200-meter dash in 28.07. Valdez took third in the 400-meter dash in 1:03.23. Sarah Bartel took third in the 300-meter low hurdles in 48.22. Stucky finished third in the 3,200-meter run in 12:36.94. "Lauren Anderson had a great meet," Remsberg said. "She's been battling some shin splints. She ran very well. Larissa Espinoza has been coming on strong. She is a good jumper, a talented kid. She wasn't with us at the start of the season, but having her back has really helped us." Junior Cory Martens won the discus in 165-2 and took third in the shot put in 52-8. "(Discus) felt pretty good," Martens said "I've been practicing pretty hard the last couple of weeks. Coach Andy has been working with me in a lot of stuff, and I have improved. I haven't been able to practice very much. I think 170 is going to win (state). There's a thrower from Maize South who has been getting close to that. I know last week, he threw a 168. Whoever throws 170 will win it." Martens took third in a loaded shot put field. Teammate Joseph McConnell couldn't finish any higher than sixth with a mark that would have probably qualified in most of the other regionals. Martens had a personal best 55 last week at AV-CTL Division I to win it, "Kade Sharp from Hays threw a 56 today," Martens said "I saw him throw 58s in warm-ups. He's really good. I would like to take first in disc and second in shot at state." The 4x100-meter relay team of Peter Nelson, Matt Willis, Seth Hill and Alex Tuszynski won in 43.70. Both the boys' and girls' 4x1's were able to pull away with good exchanges with the anchor legs, while some of the other contending teams struggled with exchanges. "We worked hard on that," Remsberg said. Nelson took second in the long jump in 21-6 1/2. Zack Alexander took third in the pole vault at 11-0. Willis took third in the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.30 and fourth in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 40.49. The 4x800-meter relay team of Mark Krieder, Ryan Stuchlik, Joshua Robinson and Dylan Moore finished fourth in 8:38.61. "Peter Nelson jumped really well today," Remsberg said. "We were hoping to get all of our relays in. We didn't get our 4x4s in, but anytime you get your relays in, you can bring a couple of alternates and get some extra kids the state experience. That's good." Newton has about 15 state entries for the girls and about eight for the boys. The state meet is Friday and May 25 at Cessna Stadium in Wichita. "We'll try to do as well as we can," Remsberg said. "The girls have been on top of about every meet this year. The guys have been a rebuilding year for them, but I'm still proud of them. I think they'll continue to do well next week. I think some people didn't expect us to win (AV-CTL I) last week, but the kids expected it. Our guys our young. We're returning a lot of guys. We're also going to have a good freshman class next year."
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