By Amanda Carney
Day one of the NJCAA Indoor Track and Field championships was a day of almost on Friday at Pittsburg State’s Plaster Center.
Freshman Gabby Collins and sophomore Jewell Bolden were on the cusp of either the medal stand or qualifying for finals. They just missed multiple times. Collins finished 14th in preliminaries for the 1,000 meters on Friday night. That was a personal record for the Blue Dragon cross country All-American with a time of 3 minutes, 9.19 seconds.
Bolden just missed the medal stand in the long jump. She finished ninth with a jump of 18 feet, 4 1/4 inches. Bolden also missed qualifying for the 60-meter hurdle finals with a time of 8.89 seconds.
On day two, sophomore Hannah Smith started the 2019 indoor season by breaking the school record in the women’s weight throw at the Jayhawk Invitational. She closed the 2019 indoor season breaking that same record at the NJCAA Indoor National Championships. Smith uncorked a throw of 53 feet, 5 3/4 inches on Saturday to break her old Hutch record of 52-5 3/4. That throw was good for sixth place at the NJCAA championships.
The other women competitors were the Blue Dragon 4×800 relay. The relay team of Sarah Patteson, Gabby Collins, Christina Bruce and Saw Ahmara finished sixth with a season’s best time of 10:03.60.
Hutchinson Community College men finished fourth with 58 points.
Men’s track – The 4X400 relay team of Denilson Whitmore, Donovan Whitmore, Brock Appiah and Elijah Smith finished the NJCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Pittsburg in fifth place, breaking the school record in a time of 3:14.07.
Also finding their way to the medal stand was Brett Hillabrand, who came in seventh in the mile in a time of 4:19.44.
On the first day of the championships, pole vaulter Myles Hansen was sixth after clearing 14-3 1/4. The distance medley really team came in seventh in a time of 10:18.4. The team included Hillabrand, Elijah Smith, Jason Left and Connor Kaufman.
Baseball – Friday added some frustration to the HutchCC baseball team.
Playing the No. 9-ranked Crowder College Roughriders in a doubleheader to make up for games lost in February, the No. 20-ranked Blue Dragons left a combined 18 runners on base as Hutchinson saw its four-game winning streak snapped after losses of 9-3 and 6-5.
The Blue Dragons fall to 9-5 overall while Crowder, a 2018 NJCAA World Series participant, improves to 14-3.
Softball – Winter’s grip on the Hutchinson Community College softball team continues to be tight.
The Blue Dragons lost their fourth doubleheader of the season when Saturday’s Jayhawk Conference-opening doubleheader against the nationally-ranked Butler Grizzlies was called off.
No make-up date has been announced for the doubleheader with the Grizzlies.
Golf – The Blue Dragons are ranked No. 5 in the first spring poll, their highest ranking of any poll this season.
With just days from the resumption of the men’s golf season, the HutchCC men’s golf team is now in the Top 5 of the GolfStat NJCAA Rankings.
The Blue Dragons are ranked behind No. 1 Indian Hills, No. 2 Midland; No. 3 Eastern Florida State and No. 4 Odessa. Only Odessa has yet to win at least one tournament of the Top 5 teams.