Fulton, Bateman, 4x800 relay are SEK champs

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Iola High’s Ethan Fullon flies over the final hurdle on his way to defend his Southeast Kansas League championship in the 110-meter high hurdles at Thursday’s SEK Championships at Coffeyville. Ethan Fulton set a new league and school record for the event as his brother, Aaron (right) came in third in the race.
Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Iola High senior Keith Bateman won his second straight Southeast Kansas League triple jump championship at Thursday’s league track meet in Coffeyville.
Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Iola High’s 2009 4x800-meter relay team claims a third straight Southeast Kansas League championship in the event at Thursday’s league track meet in Coffeyville. At left, senior Joel Tidd hands off to junior Ryan Weir, both have run on the relay all three years. At right, junior Seth Browning just handed the baton to anchor runner Aaron Cheung, who is also a junior.

COFFEYVILLE — “Run fast and relaxed,” Marvin Smith shouted.
Iola High’s Mustangs heeded their head coach’s words well at the 2009 Southeast Kansas League championships Thursday.
Iola has produced a three-time SEK champion — the 4x800-meter relay team. Team members have come and gone but the Mustangs put together a foursome the past three years that no other SEK school has been able to beat.
Senior Joel Tidd and junior Ryan Weir have been constants on the relay team the past three seasons. Tidd led off the race Thursday for the Mustangs.
“Last week Pittsburg beat us by four seconds at the Chanute meet. We knew who was running for them today and we had a good chance of winning,” Tidd said after the Mustang foursome won the race in 8 minutes, 32.9 seconds.
“I stayed with the Pittsburg runner throughout my leg and it was a great final 200 meter to the exchange zone.”
Weir took the baton from Tidd and stayed on the heels of the Pittsburg runner.
“I was confident this year going into the race. I just wanted to keep up with the guy and hand it off to Seth Browning. It feels good to be three-time relay champions,” Weir said.
Juniors Seth Browning and Aaron Cheung ran the last two legs of the race. It was Browning who made the move to the front on his second lap.
“I thought I had to catch him on that first lap but then I heard Marv (Smith) said ‘use your head Seth, use your head,’” Browning said. “Then on the backstretch on the second lap I made my move around him and gave us a good lead.”
“I was scared. I didn’t want to lose the lead,” Cheung said on his anchor leg. “I really feels great to be a part of this relay.”
Pittsburg ran away with the team title with 184 points. Iola was second with 93 points and Chanute was third with 81 points.
Iola had eight athletes earn All-SEK honors in nine events. The top three finishers in each event receive all-league distinction.
The Mustangs had two two-time SEK champions in individual events.
Keith Bateman, a senior, defended his triple jump championship. He had a leap of 42 feet, 4 inches, which put him in a tie for first.
“It was really close and they had to go back to the second-best jumps to determine the championship,” Bateman said. “I was very happy in defending my title since triple jump is my best event.”
Bateman, who struggled in the earlier long jump event and did not place in it, said he relaxed and went for it in the triple jump. He said the heel injury that had hampered his competition earlier in the season was healed up.
Ethan Fulton had to lean at the finish line in a photo finish to claim the 110-meter high hurdle championship. There was no need Thursday evening on the Coffeyville track.
Junior Ethan Fulton just ran fast and relaxed in the 110-meter high hurdle preliminaries and in the finals. In the prelims, Fulton set a new SEK meet record and the IHS school record in the event.
Ethan Fulton ran the race in 14.4 seconds to break the mark of 14.5 set by Hayes of Coffeyville in 1992. Fulton had tied the IHS mark of 14.6 seconds held by Dale Remsberg (1955) and Don Nickels (1972) earlier this season.
“I felt really relaxed in the finals after the way I ran in the preliminaries. Having my brother in the races, pushes me because I don’t want him to beat me,” Ethan Fulton said after winning the final race in 14.4 seconds also.
Aaron Fulton, Ethan’s twin brother, finished third in the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.7 seconds. Aaron was sixth in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 45.3 seconds.
“After hitting the hurdle in the preliminaries, I was pleased with the way I ran in the final. I was probably worrying too much about where my brother is,” Aaron said with a smile.
Ethan Fulton came right back on the track to run the finals of the 100-meter dash. He finished third in 11.3 seconds.
Junior Darin Hutton collected the silver medal in the discus with a throw of 135’5” and senior Drew Lower was fifth at 124’1”. Hutton placed third in the shot put with a toss of 44’8”.
Ethan Fulton took third in the javelin with a distance of 158’2” and Aaron Fulton was fourth at 157’1”. Dylan Allen placed sixth with a throw of 151’3”.
Browning claimed third in the 800-meter run in 2:04.9. Freshman Roman Yocham was fourth in the 1600-meter run in 4:55.2. Junior Nate Pope took fifth in the 3200-meter run in 10:52.5 and senior Kyle Carswell was sixth in 10:54.
The Mustang 4x400-meter relay team of Tidd, Browning, Bateman and Shane Snavely posted a third-place time of 3:38.5. The 4x100-meter relay team of E. Fulton, Bateman, Snavely and senior Chad Rourk was fourth in 45.4 seconds.