WICHITA, Kan.—The Independent Panthers track and field team has had a successful start to the season. Various athletes have started off the year with personal bests and had top finishes in their respective events.
The Panthers opened their season at the Wichita Collegiate Invitational on Monday, Apr. 2, and finished the week at the Marion Invitational on Apr. 5. The boys claimed the team title at Collegiate, defeating the host team by one point.
Campbell placed third in the 800-meters at Collegiate, and won the 1600-meter run. At Marion, he placed fourth in the 1600, and won the 800. The Panthers completed a sweep in the 800 race, with junior Grant Campbell placing second and senior Jason Ream taking third.
“I’m really close to my PR [personal record] already, and we’ve just had two meets at the beginning of the season,” Jacob Campbell said. “Our team has been performing really well at practice. I know some may not be getting the times they want now, but we’ve been having harder practices, and it will pay off later in the season when it counts.”
On the girls’ side, the Panthers may be lacking in numbers, but not in talent. Despite the graduation of many of last year’s top performers, this year’s team is still performing well.
Senior thrower Sam Carter has stood out this year, placing in every meet so far this season. She won the throwing triple crown at Collegiate—claiming the individual title in discus, shot pu, and javelin. At Marion, Carter took third in the discus and third in the javelin.
“The first meet was really good and I PRed twice,” Carter said. “For the rest of the season, I’d like to throw 110 in both the javelin and the discus.”
Only one week into the competitive portion of the season, the Panthers are already putting out top performances, and competing at a level close to that of the end of the season. The athletes will be able to put themselves to the test in the upcoming week, with competitive meets at Wichita Heights and the Pre-State Challenge at Wichita State.