WICHITA, Kan.—The Shocker Pre-State Challenge at Wichita State University proved to be the highest point in the season for the athletes at Independent thus far. With four season (and personal) bests attained in various events, the meet was the perfect setting for peak performances.
Independent received first in three events, and two of those events were in the distance category. Senior Jacob Campbell was a key runner in two of those races, the 1600 meter run and the 4x800 meter relay, and attained a personal best time in each.
The 3200-meter relay consisted of seniors Jason Ream, Dylan Hernandez and Jacob Campbell and junior Grant Campbell. The Panthers took the lead and expanded it once the lead off finished his second lap of the first leg and ended up finishing first by a large margin with an official time of 8:23.
"I knew we had it in us," said J. Campbell. "This was the first time all four of us had run together this year."
As for the other first for the Panthers, senior Ben Varenhorst dominated the sprints and jump categories as he received first in the long jump with a distance of 20'-10". Varenhorst also ran a 52.04 to receive second place in the 3-1A 400-meter dash.
Senior Josh Werner also helped the Panthers along in points by running a 16.62 in the 110-meter high hurdles to get second place.
The Panthers will be racing next at the Kansas Classic in Emporia this Friday and Saturday.
"We, as a team, like to be pushed as hard as we can and going to big meets like the Kansas Classic just makes us better overall," said J. Campbell. "I believe we will be able to compete well and hopefully bring back some medals."