Railer track sweeps first meet since 2019

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Newton junior Hayley Loewen wins the triple jump at the Newton Invitational. The Railers edged McPherson for the team title.
Newton senior Davis Mick wins the shot put at the Newton Invitational. The Railer boys also won the team title.
Newton junior Oliva Adams, left, duels Buhler senior Allison Willm in the anchor leg of the 4x800-meter relay at the Newton Invitational. Adams pulled away on the final lap for the win.
McPherson freshman Jayla McCloud and Newton senior Alexis Valle-Ponds finish 1-2 in the 100-meter dash in the Newton Invitational. The two also finished 1-2 in the 200-meter dash.
Newton sprinter Curt Claussen, left, challenges Buhler’s Diante Campbell in the 100-meter dash during the Newton Invitational. Campbell won both the 100- and 200-meter dash in the meet. Claussen finished third in both events.

For the first meet for the Newton High School track team since 2019, there was a little bit of rust that needed to be shaken off.

The Railers returned to action Monday for the Newton Invitational at Thresher Stadium on the Bethel College campus, winning both the boys’ and girls’ titles.

The Railer girls edged McPherson 158-152. Buhler was third at 137, followed by Wichita North at 32 and Bishop Carroll at 28.

The Newton boys scored 211 points, while Buhler was second at 177, McPherson third at 96, Wichita North fourth at 20 and Bishop Carroll fifth at three.

At five teams, the meet was about half the size of normal, but teams could enter up to five scoring athletes per event. In addition, B relays were scored.

“It was our first meet in a long, long time,” Newton coach Tad Remsberg said. “It was really good to get it in. I was really pleased with the way the kids competed and got after it today. We have a lot of really solid guys and girls. They just continue to work hard. We had solid performances all the way around.”

Last year’s high school season was canceled because of the COVID-19 outbreak. That also canceled much of the summer club season.

“It’s like having two freshmen classes,” Remsberg said. “You miss a whole year, your pole vault, high jump, all your skill events, the learning curve is at a whole different place. I’m glad we’re back.”

The only double-winner for the Railers was Creed Ekerberg, who won the boys’ 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 43.12 and the triple jump in 39-11 3/4. 

“It was pretty good for my first meet,” Eckerberg said. “I didn’t run my junior year because of COVID. It’s a pretty good start.”

Ekerberg hasn’t been completely without competition. He has been a state swimming qualifier for four years.

“The water’s easier because I only have to go 50 meters,” Ekerberg said. “The triple jump is a lot easier. I was hoping break 40 in the triple jump. I was just a quarter of an inch off. It was a great start overall. (Practice) was really difficult the first week or two because I was balancing practice and rehearsals for one-act plays. I had to cut my time between working on jumps, working on hurdles and working on one-acts. It’s almost a miracle I did this well for the first meet.

“I do want to break 40 in the triple jump, because if I do, the coach is going to buy me dinner. I want to continue to cut my time in the hurdles. I have a lot of work to do with my form. I’d like to continue to run the 4x100-meter relay. That’s the first time I’ve ever been in a sprint relay. I want to keep cutting my time in the 4x4.”

The Newton boys went 1-2-3 in the javelin. Kenyon Forest won in 153-7, followed by Davis Mick at 143-9 and Tanner Dorrell at 129-4.

Aiden Kendall won the boys’ discus in 157-8, followed by Davis Mick in second in 130-4. Davis Mick won the shot put in 45-3, followed by Kendall in second in 44-4.

Santiago Castillo won the 400-meter dash in 54.03.

Newton took second in the boys’ 4x800-meter relay in 9:21.77. Newton took second in the 4x100-meter relay in 45.87, followed by the B team in third in 46.35. Newton took second in the 4x400-meter relay in 3:42.19.

Jacob Schmidt took second in the high jump in 5-6.

Simon Secor took second in the 1,600-meter run in 5:04.51.

Gabe Gaeddert took second in the 800-meter run in 2:14.51.

Tanner Dorrell took third in the 110-meter high hurdles in 19.14.

Kaden Anderson took third in the 3,200-meter run in 11:44.00.

Curt Claussen took third in the 100-meter dash in 11.20 and in the 200-meter dash in 24.72.

For the Railer girls, Enyisha Peterson won the discus in 105-7.

Asha Regier won the high jump in 5-4, followed by teammate Hayley Loewen in second in 5-2. Loewen won the triple jump in 37-0.

The Newton girls won the 4x800-meter relay in 11:39.50. Newton won the 4x100-meter relay in 53.04.

Down by two points entering the final event, Newton took second in the 4x400-meter relay in 4:45.01. McPherson was open in the event, allowing Newton to win the meet.

Alexis Valle-Ponds took second in the 100-meter dash in 13.19, followed by Gracie Hendrickson in third in 13.54. Valle-Ponds took second in the 200-meter dash in 29.57, followed by Hendrickson in third in 29.84.

Olivia Antonowich took second in the 400-meter run in 1:05.70.

Abigail Koontz took second in the javelin in 89-0.

Jaymie Murry took third in the long jump in 14-4. Berkley Roberson took third in the 100-meter high hurdles in 17.97. Carly Anderson took third in the shot put in 34-11 1/2. Olivia Adams took third in the 800-meter run in 2:57.00.

“It’s a good way to start,” Remsberg said. “We loaded it up a bit, with five entries in each event. That gave a lot of our younger kids a chance to get a meet in and see where we are.”

Newton competes Thursday in the Winfield Invitational at Jantz Stadium on the Southwestern College campus.

“It’s a nice, hard-work week,” Remsberg said. “Two meets in a row. We’ll see what we got.”

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com