BLUE DRAGONS WIN REGION VI TRACK CROWN FOR COACH BECHERMay 6, 2013
HCC Sports Information
GREAT BEND – This one was for head coach Pat Becher.
On Thursday, minutes before Becher, Hutchinson Community College’s veteran head track and field coach was about to depart for the Region VI Outdoor Track and Field championships, he was taken to the hospital after suffering some severe discomfort.
Becher had a heart attack and will go through further procedures to correct the problem on Sunday.
Undeterred by their head coach’s absence at regionals, the Blue Dragons went out and won a second-straight Region VI outdoor crown on Saturday in fairly convincing fashion by 29 points over runner-up Colby. HCC won a third-straight Jayhawk West titles and now have won 4 of the last 5 conference crowns contested, both outdoor and indoor.
This was the fourth Region VI outdoor championship under Becher.
Paced by the 1-2 sweeps of Chris Peters and Dakota Becker in the decathlon and Andrew Pope and Becker in the pole vault, the Blue Dragons amassed 138 points in the regional team standings. The Blue Dragons scored in 17 of 22 events and had multiple scorers in seven events.
Jayhawk West team standings were immediately available.
Peters and Dakota Becker set the pace on Friday with a sweep in the decathlon. Peters scored 5,937 points to capture the regional title. Peters won the decathlon shot put (35 feet, 4 inches), the discus (125-3) and the pole vault (15-2 ¾). Peters is HCC’s first Region VI decathlon champion since Jarid NeSmith in 2010.
Becker finished overall in the decathlon at 5,769 points. Becker won the javelin (151-9) and the long jump (20-7 ¾).
The Blue Dragons then made a huge push after the pole vault on Saturday with the 1-2 finish by Pope and Becker to push HCC’s team lead to nearly 30 points at that point. Pope cleared 14 feet, 10 ¾ inches to capture the regional title. Becker was right behind at 14-4 ¾.
Sophomore Skylar Arneson won two regional championships to pace the Blue Dragons. Winning twice on Friday, Arneson won the shot put at 52-11 and the hammer at 178 feet. Arneson also finished eighth on Saturday in the discus at 140-2.
Sophomore Spencer Amerin was Hutchinson’s other regional champion, winning the high jump with a height of 6-9 ¾.
Other Blue Dragon placers this weekend were:
+ The 4x800-meter relay of Jesse Lyle, Paul Cuellar, Matthew Wright and Isaac Williams placed third with a time of 7 minutes, 53.90 seconds.
+ Tyler Barber placed third in the triple jump at 46-10. He placed fourth in the 110-meter hurdles in 14.97 seconds.
+ Karson Becker finished third in the javelin throw at 156-2.
+ Tyler Rambo finished fourth in the shot put at 48-5 ½.
+ Joseph Talbert placed fourth in the hammer throw at 158-11.
+ Brandon Koenigsman placed fourth in the discus at 152-11.
+ Courtland Garrett placed fifth in the discus at 149-6.
+ Devante Smith was fifth in the 100 meters, trying a personal record with the seventh-fastest time in team history at 10.46 seconds.
+ HCC’s 4x400-meter relay of Michael Brown, Juwan Cubit, Paul Cuellar and Matthew Wright was fifth in a time of 3:23.61.
+ Orbelin Rojas was sixth in the 5,000 meters in a time of 16:09.56.
+ Juwan Cubit was sixth in the 100 meters in a time of 10.56 seconds.
+ Matthew Wright was sixth in the 400 meters at 49.50 seconds.
+ Jesse Lyle was sixth in the 800 meters in a time of 1:59.06.
+ the 4x100-meter relay team of Juwan Cubit, DeAngelo Strickling, James Jones and Devante Smith was seventh in 43.49 seconds.
+ Blake Wilkey was seventh in the 110-meter hurdles in 15.45 seconds.
+ DeAngelo Strickling was seventh in the 200 meters and eighth in the 100 meters in a time of 11.81 seconds.
The Blue Dragons will next compete at the NJCAA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships May 16-18 at Gowans Stadium.