WICHITA — The Newton High School girls’ track team couldn’t quite pull off a fourth-straight Class 5A state title, but the Railers gave the field a run for their money Friday through Sunday at Cessna Stadium.
St. James Academy broke the Railers’ string of titles with 87 points, followed by Bishop Carroll at 68, Newton at 58.5, Pittsburg at 51 and St. Thomas Aquinas at 46.
The Newton boys took fifth. Bishop Carroll won with 64 points, followed by DeSoto at 52, Andover at 47, Lansing at 42 and Newton at 40.
“It was a long, long state meet this year,” Newton coach Tad Remsberg said. “We had several individual titles. We had a four-peat with our relay. … With the weather and everything else, I was pleased with how our kids handled the down time. They were able to load back up and get ready for the rest of the day. The kids really overcame a lot of adversity.”
The Newton girls clinched the plaque with a seventh-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay in 4:10.73. All the Railers had to do in the event was finish ahead of Pittsburg.
Running out of lane eight in the slow heat and seeded 16th, the Railers won the heat and finished ahead of two teams in the faster heat to medal and score a couple points. Pittsburg finished 14th.
With some extra, weather-related rest, Maggie Remsberg and Kalli Anderson were substituted in the first two legs to join Tianna Weeks and Madelynn Hamm.
Hamm held off a Bishop Carroll runner for the entire anchor leg.
“We weren’t expected to do much this year,” Maggie Remsberg said. “We just went out to prove ourselves. It was a lot of determination.”
“I was really scared (the Carroll) runner would catch me,” Hamm said.
“It was good to get the rest,” Anderson said of the delay of the 4x400-meter relay to Sunday. “I was really tired after the 200. We were definitely the underdogs. Getting third was great. It was tough not getting first, but this is still an honor.”
“We were able to get Maggie and Kalli on that relay,” Tad Remsberg said. “They hadn’t run that this year. They finished well ahead of where they were seeded.”
Anderson and Maggie Remsberg each finished the meet with four medals.
Anderson won the girls’ 100-meter dash in 11.81, a new meet record.
She won the race by .48 seconds and broke the record by .09 seconds.
“Being my senior year, I wanted to go out with a bang for myself and my teammates,” Anderson said. “In the 100, it was hard not having teammates Savannah (Simmons) and Jen (Andres, both graduated) pushing me. I just had to push through it.”
Anderson came back and won the 200-meter dash in 24.86, winning the race out of lane eight.
“It was different running on the outside,” Anderson said. “It gave everyone an advantage because they could see me and I couldn’t see them. I was able to get out and get it.”
An injury in the girls’ 4x100-meter relay put the Railer girls in an outside lane in the slow heat. The Railers won in 49.04, topping rival McPherson by .32 seconds.
The lineup was listed as Alexis Valle-Ponds, Maggie Remsberg, Myriah Nicholson and Anderson.
It was the fourth straight win for the Railers in the event.
“Natalia (Varpness, injured in the event at regionals) deserved this race,” Anderson said. “Without here, this wouldn’t have been possible. In the first leg and the rest of the legs, we just came in, showed up and got the job done. All our handoffs were pretty good.”
Anderson finishes the season as one of the winningest sprinters in school history.
“I have collected a lot of memories,” Anderson said. “I have to thank all our coaches and KSHSAA for helping me come out and helping me.”
“The fact that we got it in shows a lot,” Maggie Remsberg said. “Natalia was a big part of it. We wanted to uphold that title. We all ran pretty angry. We didn’t want to lose it this year.”
Maggie Remsberg won the 300-meter low hurdles in 43.36, .02 seconds off the meet record.
She took second in the long jump in 17-7 1/4, falling to Faith Turner of Pittsburg by six inches. She also was a member of the winning 4x100-meter relay team.
“I just wanted to win it all out there today,” Maggie Remsberg said of the 300 hurdles. “That was one of my better races. I’m really proud of myself and happy to go out that way.”
Rebeca Raymundo only qualified for state in the 100-meter high hurdles when Remsberg fell in the regional finals. Raymundo made the most of her chance at state, winning the slow heat in 15.68 and finishing sixth overall for a medal.
“We didn’t know she had an outside shot, but she worked so hard this year and improved so much,” Maggie Remsberg said. “She got in. It feels great.”
The Newton team listed as Lindsey Antonowich, Alaina Stucky, Olivia Adams and Megan Bartel finished the 4x800-meter relay in seventh in 10:29.58.
Kayla Mwangi took seventh in the discus in 110-4, followed by Enyisha Peterson in 11th in 101-9.
Asha Regier took seventh in the high jump in 5-0, followed by Hayley Loewen in 13th in 4-8.
Loewen was 10th in the triple jump in 34-10 1/4, followed by Savannah Garcia in 12th in 33-10 1/2.
Damarius Peterson won the boys’ shot put in 57-9 3/4. He secured the lead on his second attempt and hit his best mark on his fourth and final attempt.
“I was really nervous,” Peterson said. “It was pretty wet. I’ve had my bigger throws. This is my last year, so I wanted to go out big. I didn’t get the distance I wanted, but I was happy to win it.”
Under the modified format of the meet, athletes got four attempts total instead of three attempts in the preliminaries and three in the finals.
“That got in my head so much,” Peterson said. “I felt rushed. I have to have four marks that are good. My biggest thing was trying to save a throw. I got a good one at the end. The crowd here is great. It’s fun to do this in a crowd like this.”
Peterson was 13th in the discus in 133-2.
Peterson comes right back to the same ring in the fall when he begins college track at Wichita State.
“I’m glad I get to come back here,” Peterson said. “I get to throw with (Newton grad Cory Martens). I’m looking forward to it.”
Zachary Garcia matched his season best in the high jump at 6-6 to take second.
Jerik Ochoa opened the day with a third-place finish in the 110-meter high hurdles in 14.92. Ochoa was fourth in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 40.29, running in the slower heat.
Eli Blaufuss placed fourth in the 400-meter dash in 50.72.
Malicai Coleman placed fifth in the long jump at 21-0 1/2.
Kenyon Forest took seventh in the javelin in 158-8.
The team listed as Noah Massanari, Antonio Negrete, Jonah Hodge and Elijah Edwards took 14th in the 4x800-meter relay in 8:40.31.
Massanari was 11th in the 1,600-meter run in 4:42.73.
Newton loses one of its most successful senior class in school history.
“This is a really special group to me,” Tad Remsberg said. “I had a lot of them since the Newton Flyers. I had Maggie since she was a kindergartener. I had Kalli just a couple years after that. There are a lot of kids on this team I watched grow up.
“The rest of the kids need to keep working and get ready to go. They have a lot of tradition to uphold. We should have a good class coming in next year. You just don’t always know what sport they will play when they get to high school.”
100-m. HH — 6. Raymundo 15.68.
100-m. dash — 1. Anderson 11.81-r.
Discus — 7. Mwangi 110-4, 11. E.Peterson 101-9.
Long jump — 2. Remsberg 17-7 1/4.
4x800-m. relay — 7. Newton 10:29.58.
4x100-m. relay — 1. Newton 49.04.
High jump — 7. Regier 5-0, 13. Loewen 4-8.
300-m. LH — 1. Remsberg 43.36, 12. Raymundo 49.50.
200-m. dash — 1. Anderson 24.86.
Triple jump — 10. Loewen 34-10 1/4, 12. S.Garcia 33-10 1/2.
4x400-m. relay — 7. Newton 4:10.73.
110-m. HH — 3. Ochoa 14.92.
4x800-m. relay — 14. Newton 8:40.31.
High jump — 2. Z.Garcia 6-6.
Shot put — 1. D.Peterson 57-6 3/4.
Long jump — 5. Coleman 21-0 1/2.
1,600-m. run — 11. Massanari 4:42.73.
Discus — 13. D.Peterson 133-2.
300-m. IH — 4. Ochoa 40.29.
400-m. dash — 4. Blaufuss 50.72.
Javelin — 7. Forest 158-8.