Belle (Peters) rules CKL ball with four wins

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Belle Peters of Smoky Valley, left, holds off teammate Clara McElroy in the finals 100-meter high hurdles during the Cenral Kansas League championships. Peters won four events with two meet records. The Vikings won the meet for the third straight time.
Gracie Lambert of Smoky Valley anchors the 4x800-meter relay during the Central Kansas League Championships. The Vikings won the event with a new meet record.

HALSTEAD — Belle Peters was the beauty and the beast for the Smoky Valley girls’ track team Thursday at the Central Kansas League Championships at Hess Field in Halstead.

Her beauty was a new meet record in the pole vault at 13-feet, just shy of her personal best and still among one of the top, all-time bests in the state; along with a meet record in the 200-meter dash.

Her beast was scoring 40 points to lead the Vikings to a CKL title for the third year in a row.

Smoky Valley finished with 125 points. Hesston was second at 78 and Hoisington was third at 73.

Hesston won the boys’ competition with 100 points, followed by Halstead with 85 and Hoisington with 75. The Vikings scored 71 points for fourth.

“We have had some good luck this year,” Smoky Valley coach Jay Myers said. “We have had several step up the last few weeks. It’s just been a lot of fun. They come and work every day in practice. They kind of bond together. It’s been fun to be with them.” 

Smoky Valley defends its title from 2018 and 2019. Last year’s season was canceled because of COVID-19.

“I worried about it,” Myers said. “I was worried some would give it up. Some did. The ones that did are doing other sports, and they seem to be happy, so I’m happy for them because they didn’t just not do anything. We might have picked up a couple along the way — the guys did for sure. It’s been a blessing all the way around.”

Belle Peters won the long jump in 16-2 3/4, followed by Breanne Peters in third in 15-4 1/2. Belle Peters won the pole vault with a meet record 13-0, followed by Breanne Peters in second in 10-0.

Belle Peters won the 100-meter high hurdles in 15.38, followed by Clara McElroy in third in 17.17.

Belle Peters finished off the meet by winning the 200-meter dash in 26.35.

“It felt pretty good,” Belle Peters said. “I had a pretty good attempt at my best (in pole vault), which is 13-4. I’m getting pretty consistent at 13, which is really nice. (The 100 hurdles) was a good race, but not the time I wanted. I’m looking for a sub-15 for regionals at state. I had 16-3 in long jump. I’m kind of disappointed in that, but I can do better. The 200 felt really good.”

She has a week to prepare for regionals. She is the defending champion in Class 2A in the pole vault and runner up in the 100-meter high hurdles.

“I think I’m looking good,” Belle said. “I still don’t know what events I’m doing. It depends. Winning league three years in a row, minus the COVID year is pretty good. We go to Beloit, which will be a tough regional. I’d like to get over 13-6 next week, but I can do that at state. Then it’s off to Pitt State (where she signed for track). I’m just excited to see what this team can do at state.”

“She has won every event except one this year,” Myers said. “She got beat in the long jump a couple of meets ago, and got second. She has been really focused this year. She has not been satisfied doing certain things in certain events. She has a great work ethic. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing, to see someone with that kind of talent in an event, like she is in the pole vault.”

Abby Rose won the 400-meter dash in 59.44.

Gracie Lambert won the 800-meter run in 2:17.33, a new meet record.

The team of McKinley Johnson, Keira Mullen, Abby Rose and Gracie Lambert won the girls’ 4x800-meter relay in 9:50.86, a new meet record. The team of Rose, Mullen, Kajsa Peterson and Lambert finished the meet by winning the 4x400-meter relay in a meet-record time of 4:06.65.

For the Smoky Valley boys, Ryan Heline won the 1,600-meter run in 4:42.57. Heline won the 3,200-meter run in 10:30.45.

The Vikings compete in the Class 3A regionals at 2 p.m. Friday in Beloit.

Mark Schnabel can be reached at