Nightingale Invitational finally turns 50

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Emily Friesen of Hesston won the triple jump Friday at the 50th Conrad Nightingale Invitational.
Addie Fitch of Sedgwick finished second in the high jump at the 50th Conrad Nightingale Invitational.
Halstead senior Doug Grider won both the shot put and discus Friday at the 50th Conrad Nightingale Invitational. Grider fell just shy of his school record in the shot put.
Caryn Yoder of Hesston battles Reese Roper of Haven, left, and Breanne Peters of Smoky Valley, right, in the finals of the 100-meter dash at the 50th Conrad Nightingale Invitational. Yoder led a 1-2 Hesston finish in the event. The Swathers took third in the team standings.
Mason Regier of Berean Academy competes in the pole vault Friday in the 50th Conrad Nightingale Invitational. Regier finished sixth in both the pole vault and high jump.

HALSTEAD — After last year’s spring sports season was canceled because of the COVID-19 outbreak, it was take two for the 50th Conrad Nightingale Invitational high school track and field meet held Friday at Halstead High School.

The Smoky Valley girls and Cheney Cardinal boys each claimed a team title.

In the girls’ competition, Smoky Valley downed Cheney 101-70. Hesston was third at 68, Berean Academy was fourth at 51 and Halstead was fifth at 44. Sedgwick was ninth with 32 points.

The Cheney boys topped Wichita Trinity Academy 91.33-77 for the team title. Hutchinson Trinity was third at 59.33. Berean Academy was fourth at 57.33 and Concordia was fifth at 55. Among other area schools, Halstead was sixth at 54, Hesston was 11th with 19 and Sedgwick was 17th with two points.

“We got third by two points,” Hesston coach Jason Peters said. “We competed very well. We only brought eight girls today. We had a few that couldn’t come today that will compete in the future. The ones who were here competed very well. It was good to see them do well against some good competition.”

The meet marks the halfway point of the season.

“We have a few nagging injuries that we can heal up,” Peters said. “Then we have to figure out where we can put our girls to score the maximum amount of points and put them in a position to compete at state. We’re trying to keep everybody healthy and keep everybody progressing.”

The Hesston girls finished 1-2 in the 100-meter dash, led by Caryn Yoder in first at 12.91 and Emily Friesen in second in 13.03.

Yoder won the 400-meter dash in 1:03.06. Friesen won the triple jump in 34-8.

For the Halstead girls, the team of Karenna Gerber, Dominique Schutte, Kaleigh O’Brien and Parker Schroeder won the 4x400-meter relay in 4:18.42. Schutte, O’Brien, Elena Flask and Schroeder won the 4x800-meter relay in 10:15.92.

Schutte won the 1,600-meter dash in 5:35.96.

For the Halstead boys, Doug Grider won the shot put in 53-4 3/4, 2 1/4 inches off his school record and personal best.

Grider won the discus in 147-6, a personal best by just under five feet. Korbin Black finished second in 145-9 1/2.

“I did very well,” Grider said. “I threw well in shot. I was pretty close to a PR. In discus, I threw a PR, so it was a great day. It was my last ever (home meet).”

Grider set the school record in the shot put in his first meet of the season.

“I’m hoping for great things,” Grider said. “I hope to keep improving. I hope the team keeps improving and keep getting better. It should be a good time. The big meets are coming.”

Grider is looking to qualify for his first state meet.

“I’d like to win state shot and disc,” Grider said. “That would be my top goal. I think I’m second in shot to a kid from Nemaha Central. I think I’m in the top 10 in disc.”

For the Berean Academy girls, Miranda Wiebe won the javelin in 111-3, followed by Lillie Veer in second in 105-6.

For the Berean Academy boys, the team of Tokiwa Armstrong, Chase Wiebe, Devin Busenitz and Trey Topham won the 4x400-meter relay in 3:37.78.

Mark Schnabel can be reached at