Tahlequah Daily Press

High School Sports

May 6, 2014

Track trifecta

Girdner shines for Keys at regional meet; Sequoyah’s Kayla Davis dominates in new event


TULSA — Chase Girdner and Gary Willis will be watching plenty of YouTube videos this week, that’s for sure.

“We’ll be watching a lot of Internet videos trying to figure it out,” Girdner said of his newly-acquired skill: throwing the shotput.

Throwing the small iron ball for the first time since middle school, Girdner finished second at the Class 3A regional at Metro Christian Academy on Saturday. Girdner’s toss of 42 feet, 5 inches was second only to Beggs’ Garrett Randol, who won at 43 feet, 10 inches.

The prevailing question coming out the regional: how did Girdner get involved again in the shotput?

“At school, I saw some boys messing around, and I picked it up and I threw one and ended up beating all of them,” said Girdner, who said it was the first time he’d thrown shotput since competing at Tenkiller School.

“After I beat them, I thought, ‘Heck, I’m going to try it.’”

Girdner’s silver in the shotput was a prelude to what turned out to be a banner day for the sophomore.

Girdner followed with a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash and a third-place showing in the long jump.

“I like to see what I’m capable of,” Girdner said. “I like to test myself.”

Girdner’s combination of events led to some lackluster attempts in the long jump, he said.

“I had just got done running the 100, and I had to jump my two jumps back to back,” Girdner said. “I was a little bit winded, but I hope to do a lot better at state.”

Girdner’s leap of 19 feet, 11 inches landed him the bronze in the long jump. Westville’s Wyatt Green won gold at 20 feet, 2 1/2 inches, while Sequoyah’s Elan Eagle was second at 20 feet, 2 inches.

Girdner finished fifth at the 3A state track meet as a freshman in 2013.

This year, Girdner will take part in three state events, including the 100-meter dash, which will have qualifying heats on Friday at Moore High School.

At the regional, Girdner finished the shortest track event at 11.82 seconds. Vian’s Eric Casey won at 11.67.

Girdner’s three top-three finishes accounted for 22 of Keys’ 23 points as a team. Dakota Matlock tallied the other point with a sixth-place finish in the 100-meter dash.

As for Sequoyah, the Indians logged 69 points, including Nick Kingfisher’s gold in the high jump at 6 feet, 4 inches. Eagle was second at 6 feet, 2 inches.

The Indians finished fourth overall.

Sequoyah’s Terrance Nofire beat Kansas’ Seth Whittington by three seconds to claim gold in the 1,600-meter run. Nofire also ran on the one- and two-mile relay teams that finished fifth and fourth, respectively.

On the girls side, Sequoyah came in second with 89 points. Okmulgee won the regional with 124.

Paving the way for Sequoyah was Kayla Davis’ first-place effort in the 800-meter run — an event she opted to run in this season, despite her success as a freshman and sophomore in the 400-meter run.

“I was just trying something new,” Davis said of her switch to the half-mile race. “I’m a junior and I just wanted to do something else.”

Davis won the 800 handily at the regional meet, posting a time of 2:26.10. Sperry’s Sara Seals was second at 2:31.39.

And it was Seals that Davis was running with for one lap until Davis kicked it into high gear.

“I sprint on the first curve and then I just kind of lay back with everybody else,” Davis said of her strategy in the 800. “On the second lap, on the first curve, I just go. I just kick it in. And on the last curve, I just sprint.”

Running a leg on the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relay teams, Davis helped both Sequoyah teams finish third and second, respectively.

Sequoyah also swept first-place honors in the shotput and discus thanks to Brittany Poe. The sophomore thrower was first in the shotput at 37 feet, 1/2 inch and first in the discus at 102 feet, 8 inches.

Keys’ Jessica Johnson led the Lady Cougars with a second-place finish in the long jump at 15 feet, 11 inches. Cascia Hall senior Haley Boone won the event at 16 feet, 10 1/2 inches.

The Keys girls finished with 14 points and was 13th overall.

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