WICHITA — It came down to the wire, but the Newton High School girls’ track team pulled away for its third straight state title at the Class 5A championships at Cessna Stadium in Wichita.
Newton topped St. James Academy 87-76 for the title. Pittsburg was third at 70, followed by Mill Valley at 69.5 and Blue Valley Southwest at 63.
In the boys’ division, Newton finished tied for 14th with 18 points. Bishop Carroll won at 119, followed by Shawnee Heights at 79, Liberal at 57, Mill Valley at 37 and Emporia at 35.
“It was a really good day,” Newton coach Tad Remsberg said. “We were watching scores and knew we had it locked up (after the 200-meter dash). We knew it was going to be a tough one. We knew there were about five teams that had the opportunity. Our kids did a really good job. We had a lot of volume. We only had two Ws, but had a lot of high finishes.”
The team of Myriah Nicholson, Kalli Anderson, Taylor Antonowich and Savanah Simmons won the 4x100-meter relay in 47.81, the seventh fastest time in the state all-time. The Railers had to hold off a charge by Leavenworth down the stretch for the win.
“I felt really good about that race with (Aarika Lister of Leavenworth) on my tail,” Simmons said. “I felt like that pushed us to a faster time. The whole team pushed us even more.”
Newton wins the 4x100-meter relay for the third straight year.
“I was a little scared about it, a little nervous,” Anderson said. “Myriah got us off to a good start. She ran an amazing leg. Taylor ran well on the curve and caught up was amazing as well. Savannah brought it home for us. To have that momentum, it was amazing.”
Maggie Remsberg won the title in the 100-meter high hurdles in 15.06. She finished second in the 300-meter low hurdles in 45.69, finishing behing Bishop Carroll’s Kindel Nordhus by .73 seconds.
She finishes with four medals.
“I was very nervous (in the 100 high hurdles) because I knew I was favored,” Maggie Remsberg said. “I got out really well. Because I was so amped, I almost stutter-stepped the hurdles, which would have had me going down crashing. It shook me a little mentally, but was able to sprint between hurdles. It got me the win. I knew the 300s would be tough to win. (Nordhus) is very good in the 300s. She’s a good competitor. I was watching her times. I knew where I stood with her. I’m not upset with my finish. I would have liked to win, but I’ll have a chance to get her next year.”
She said she will be splitting her summer between volleyball and track. Maggie Remsberg and Taylor Antonowich competed in a beach volleyball tourney last summer at the national level, which she said they intend to do again this summer.
“Next year, I probably won’t do relays because we lose so many seniors,” Maggie Remsberg said. “I’ll do multis in the summer. We’ll see what event I pick up. We’ll go from there. It’s my last year with Taylor (in volleyball), so we’ll make it count.”
The team of Remsberg, Antonowich, Christina Bruce and Simmons took second in the 4x400-meter relay in 3:59.64, the first time the team has broken the four-minute barrier in a while. The team was just shy of the school and state records. St. James Academy beat Newton in a state-record time of 3:56.56.
“I’m really proud of the way we ran,” Taylor Antonowich said. “It’s been a long two, hot days. We knew it would be difficult. I’m proud of everybody.”
“I would have liked that gold, but everybody ran that hard,” Maggie Remsberg said. “All these girls were seniors and we wanted to finish with a bang. We did that.”
Taylor Antonowich took fourth in the 400-meter dash in 58.66, giving her three medals.
“It’s a great way to end my track career,” Taylor Antonowich said. “I’ve worked so hard, especially my senior season. I’m happy to see all our results. I couldn’t be more blessed to have such great teammates who pushed me the whole way. They made me the best version of myself. It’s hard to believe, but it was a close one. We got some points in unexpected areas. Everybody came into their best.”
Taylor Antonowich will be playing volleyball at Washburn in the fall.”
“Our school record is 3:59.2, so we were close,” Tad Remsberg said. “If we needed that win, maybe we would have gotten that record.”
In the 100-meter dash, Anderson took second in 11.85, followed by Simmons in third in 12.17. Anderson would have set the meet record by .05 seconds except for Leavenworth senior Lister, who smashed it at 11.64.
In the 200-meter dash, Lister pulled up injured early in the race. Anderson led for most of the race, but freshman Emily Ervin of Blue Valley Southwest pulled away late for the win in 25.06. Anderson was second in 25.10 and Simmons was fourth in 25.71.
The finish clinched the state title for Newton in the meet.
“I’m not happy about that at all,” Anderson said. “(Lister) is one of the top sprinters in the state. I loved competing against her. Not to compete to the best of your ability, it’s not fair. You just do what you have to. (Ervin) ran well there. I have another year and will come back and have another chance against her. Coming out of the blocks in the 100, I didn’t do well. … I feel upset coming up short. Next year, I plan to give it all I’ve got. … I’m going to cry next year. I’m going to cry this year, losing Taylor and Savannah. It’s their last meet.”
“It went OK,” Simmons said. “I didn’t do as well as I wanted to in the 200s. Simmons said. “It was still pretty good. I just felt really bad for (Lister). She would have finished pretty well and it was her senior season. I finished pretty good in the 100. I got out of the blocks pretty well and did the best I could.”
Simmons was the defending champ in the 200, splitting with Lister in the sprints last year.
Simmons will be competing at Missouri Western State in the fall, which just started its program this year.
“I’m just really looking forward to it,” Simmons said. “I ended high school with a bang. I’ll be running indoor. For outdoor, I’ll run 100, 200 and 400.
“Nothing beats the energy of being here in this stadium and on this track and nothing beats this crazy team. I love them so much.”
Freshman Savannah Garcia finished third in the triple jump in 35-5 1/4. She missed second by 1/2 inch. Kyndal Bacon was fourth in 35-5.
Both only started competing in the event this season.
“My very first jump was nerve wracking,” Bacon said. “After that, I settled down and was able to jump. I’m happy I could help the team out. I wish I could have done better. I think that was my best mark, but as a competitor, I think I could have done better.”
“I was a half-inch off my best,” Savannah Garcia said. “I could have gone a little bit better, but I’m happy with what I did. I didn’t see this coming. I thought I was going to be a JV athlete. My first meet, I won and I thought I might do something. Then when I won regionals, it was like ‘wow.’”
Savannah Garcia said she won’t do much track in the summer, instead working on cheerleading.
Bacon, a senior, didn’t even come out for track until this year. She played softball last year.
“Some of the coaches said, ‘do you want to try jumping,’” Bacon said. “I didn’t know what to expect. In junior high, I did high jump and running. It wasn’t even on my radar. (At the start of the season,) I was doing high jump, but eyeing triple jump. It seemed like something I could try and do. My goal was just to see how it goes and do the best I can.”
Bacon will be playing volleyball at Colby Community College in the fall.
“Our jumpers as a whole did a really good job,” Tad Remsberg said. “Maggie in the long jump and Savannah and Kyndal in the triple jump. At that point, we started feeling very confident in the meet. We had Zach (Garcia) in the high jump yesterday. He was hurt all season and performed as well as he did at the end of the year.”
Freshman Alexis Valle-Ponds finished 14th in the 100-meter dash in 13.17.
The team of Christina Bruce, Lindsey Antonowich, Alaina Stucky and Megan Bartel) finished 16th in the 4x800-meter relay in 10:43.04.
The Newton boys were led by Damarius Peterson, who took second in the shot put in a personal-best 53-3 1/2. Peterson missed the title by just under three feet.
“This is my second year doing shot and disc,” Peterson said. “I really fell in love with shot at the beginning of this year. It was something I liked. To get second place was great. Coach (Pete) Anderson) told me in middle school I’d be throwing javelin. I was prepared to throw jav, then he said try shot and disc, so I said, ‘Why not.’ I just fell in love with shot. Coach Andy makes it fun. The mark was my best. I would have liked to have gone farther, but it’s second place. Class 5A is tough. It’s not something you can just go in and place. The guys here are good. I’m glad I got competition. Most of these guys are seniors.”
Peterson said he’ll work out in shot and disc in the summer, as well as work on football and basketball.
Newton sophomore Malicai Coleman made his state debut by taking fifth in the long jump at 20-7.
Jakob McFarlane finished seventh in the javelin at 166-9.
Jerik Ochoa finished eighth in the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.77.
Garrett Mick finished ninth in the 800-meter run in 2:01.22, one spot out of a metal. Mick was 10th in the 1,600-meter run in 4:39.18.
The 4x800-meter relay team of Jonah Hodge, Noah Massanari, Erik Brown and Elijah Edwards took 16th in 8:50.08.
“Our guys, we knew we would have a rebuilding year this year,” Tad Remsberg said. “They are going to bounce back. We have a lot of kids returning next year and will be much stronger.”
Newton will lose five seniors among its state performers — three girls in Simmons, Taylor Antonowich and Bruce; and two boys in Mick and Brown.
Six of Newton’s state performers were freshmen.
“Most of (the returnees) are multi-sport athletes, so they will be in the weight room most of the summer,” Tad Remsberg said. “A handful will hit the summer track circuit. We will just try to get better. Our eighth-grade boys (won the league title). We’ll try to keep building.
“We lose some great kids. Garrett has been to the state meet every year. Taylor Antonowich, Caroline Bruce, Savannah Simmons, Erik Brown have all done a great job. To stick it out in track for four years is special. It’s not easy to do. I’m proud of them.”
CLASS 1A — Burrton’s Michael Rimbey finished 12th in the 200-meter dash Friday in 24.34.
Team scores — Newton 87, St. James Academy 76, Pittsburg 70, Mill Valley 69.5, Blue Valley Southwest 63, Leavenworth 58, Bishop Carroll 48, Emporia 26, DeSoto 22, St. Thomas Aquinas 20, Maize 17, Shawnee Heights 17, Great Bend 16.5, Kapaun-Mount Carmel 14, Goddard Eisenhower 14, Salina Central 13.5, Topeka West 11, Goddard 11, Salina South 11, Valley Center 10, Maize South 9, Topeka Seaman 4, Andover 4, Lansing 3.5, Wichita Heights 3, Liberal 2, Olathe West 1.
100-m. dash prelims — 2. Kalli Anderson 11.91-q, 3. Savannah Simmons 12.21-q, 14. Alexis Valle-Ponds 13.17.
100-m. HH — 1. Maggie Remsberg 15.06.
4x800-m. relay — 16. Newton (Christina Bruce, Lindsey Antonowich, Alaina Stucky, Megan Bartel) 10:43.04.
100-m. dash finals — 2. Kalli Anderson 11.85, 3. Savannah Simmons 12.17.
4x100-m. relay — 1. Newton (Myriah Nicholson, Kalli Anderson, Taylor Antonowich, Savanah Simmons) 47.81.
Triple jump — 3. Savannah Garcia 35-5 1/4, 4. Kyndal Bacon 35-5.
400-m. dash — 4. Taylor Antonowich 58.66.
300-m. LH — 2. Maggue Remsberg 45.69.
200-m. dash — 2. Kalli Anderson 25.10, 4. Savannah Simmons 25.71.
4x400-m. relay — 2. Newton (Maggie Remsberg, Taylor Antonowich, Christina Bruce, Savannah Simmons) 3:59.64.
Team scores — Bishop Carroll 119, Shawnee Heights 79, Liberal 57, Mill Valley 37, Emporia 35, Topeka Seaman 32, Pittsburg 28.5, Blue Valley Southwest 26.5, DeSoto 25, Andover 21, Goddard Eisenhower 21, Great Bend 21, Valley Center 19, Newton 18, Kansas City Schlagle 18, St. James Academy 17, 16 Wichita Heights 17, St. Thomas Aquinas 17, Maize 17, Salina South 15, Kapaun Mount Carmel 13, Kansas City Turner 11, Maize South 10, Leavenworth 7, Olathe West 6, Salina Central 5, Kansas City Wyandotte 4, Lansing 3, Topeka West 2.
4x800-m. relay — 16. Newton (Jonah Hodge, Noah Massanari, Erik Brown, Elijah Edwards) 8:50.08.
110-m. HH — 8. Jerik Ochoa 15.77.
Long jump — 5. Malicai Coleman 20-7.
Javelin — 7. Jakob McFarlane 166-9.
1,600-m. run — 10. Garrett Mick 4:39.18.
Shot put — 2. Damarius Peterson 53-3 1/2.
800-m. run — 9. Garrett Mick 2:01.22.