That’s how many GAC Central Track and Field Championships the Washington High School girls have now captured.

If you ask me, that’s a pretty impressive accomplishment.

The latest conference championship was secured last Thursday at Washington High’s gorgeous facility at Rauch Field.

Winning five-straight conference titles is something the Lady Jays, Coach Mike Olszowka and his entire coaching staff should be very proud of. Of course, when a program wins five consecutive titles that means many, many athletes have contributed to the streak.

What impressed me about Thursday’s performance was the fact that the Washington girls scored points in every event but one (discus). The Lady Jays had 13 top-three finishes, equally impressive. In fact, taking first, second, or third in that many events is pretty dominating.

And all of those top-three finishes are a good sign as district and sectional events await in the near future.

While this year’s team does have a couple of standouts they rely heavily upon to score points, the Lady Jays received solid contributions from numerous athletes in every area —  sprints, middle distance, long distance, the jumps, the hurdles, and the throwing events. That’s a total team effort.

And as Olszowka noted, the team’s seniors have won the GAC Central each and every year of their prep careers. Talk about leaving a legacy.

Olszowka noted the tradition continues because of the dedication of the athletes. They care about the program, and its continued success.

“Each and every year we have great kids that pass on their dedication, desire, and work ethic to the next class,” Olszowka said. “This doesn’t just build teams, it makes an entire program a success.”

Five-straight conference titles is definitely an achievement.

The track program, the school district and the entire community should be very proud.

The only question now is  how long will the streak continue?

Track Notes

Coach Olszowka thanked all of the volunteers and workers who made the GAC Central Meet run smoothly. He noted opposing coaches were very appreciative, as well.

“Usually at the GAC Meet each team must supply a coach or two to help run the events and work other parts of the meet,” Olszowka said. “Mr. (Bill) Deckelman takes great pride in setting up high-class events here at Washington. We had enough parents, teachers, coaches, and administrators volunteer to help at the meet that not one coach from another school had to take time to be an official. Instead, their time was used to focus on coaching their kids.”

The Washington boys team also had a successful showing at the meet, finishing fourth. Austin Subke (discus) and Nathan Kopp (shot put) earned individual titles in their signature events for the Blue Jays.

The last few events of Thursday’s track meet were held in the pouring rain. I felt especially bad for the athletes in the 3,200-meter run. They had to run eight laps in a downpour. The 1,600 relay events were also held in a hard rain before the meet concluded.

The Washington High track teams will head to the Class 4 District 5 meet at Jefferson City on Saturday. The top four in each event will advance to the sectional, which is scheduled for the following week in Eldon.

And if the GAC Central meet is any indication, the Blue Jays will be giving us many more positive things to write about.