Yes, they placed sixth overall in a competition with just seven schools. But that didn’t mean the Bluejays were absent of any recognition or progress.

“I thought we improved greatly in terms of competing from last week,” Perry’s head coach Ben Coy said.

At Gilbert on April 2, the Bluejays, along with six other teams, participated in this season’s GHS Lindsey Ellingson Coed HS Invitational.

With just 54.50 total points, the Bluejays were just 10 points better than last place Ballard but missed a top-five finish to Saydel’s 57 points.

The big accolades, according to Coy, went to a total of eight athletes, who together finished their evening with seven top-five finishes, including four in the top three and one first place win.

Perry’s Kato Dougan was responsible for the squad’s only first place win when he converted a 20-foot jump in his long jump event.

Dougan also nabbed a second-place victory in the 100-meter dash at 11.86 and finished things off with a fifth place win in the 200 with a time of 24.61.

Teammate Bryan Funez achieved not one but two third-place finishes. First, he recorded a time of 2:15.90 in the 800.

“Bryan Funez ran a big personal record,” said the head coach.

Funez then competed in the 4x8 relays, along with fellow Bluejays Collin Malmberg, Joseph Clark and Byron Melendrez. They put together a time of 1:47.85.

There were also two fourth-place finishes. Luke Holtorf recorded a 40-50.25 in the shot put throw and the 4x100 relay team of Malmberg, Clark, Caden Steva and Carlos Calderon ran a 50.40.

Coy also wanted to recognize his long-distance runner, Hayden McFarland, who in the 1,600 run achieved a personal best time of 5:19.19.

Overall Roland Story (172.5), Des Moines Christian (146) and the host Tigers (129) rounded out the top three. South Hamilton (119.50) placed fourth.

The squad heads to Woodward on April 4 for a coed invitational hosted by the Woodward-Granger Hawks.