Three former KSHSAA state champions represented the United States of America at the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain, between July 10 and 15. Two Kansans were competing in field events and one headed the Men’s coaching staff.
Casey Bowen (Gardner-Edgerton ’11/U of Kansas) cleared 16’2 ¾” in the qualifying round of the men’s pole vault but did not advance to the finals.
Le’Tristan Pledger (KC Washington ’11/Texas Tech) jumped 19’11 ½” in the qualifying rounds of the women’s long jump. That placed her 20th in the field and failed to advance her to the finals.
Head Men’s Coach for the USA Junior Men’s Team at the World Championships was former Kansas high school state champion Steve Fritz (Southeast of Saline ‘86). Fritz was a three-time state champion and six-time state medalist for SE of Saline [1986: 1- 3A 110H, 1-300IH(State Meet Record), 6-HJ; 1985: 1-3A HJ, 3-300IH; 1984: 4-3A 300IH]. Steve then went on to Hutchinson Community College, where he was the 1988 NJCAA National decathlon champion and had the game-winning shot as the Blue Dragons won the 1988 NJCAA National basketball tournament. From Hutch, Steve moved up the road to Kansas State University, where he was twice an NCAA multi-event All-American and set the Big 8 decathlon record with a score of 7,924 points. Following the completion of his eligibility at KSU, Steve continued to train at K-State and in 1996 won a berth on the USA Olympic Team in Atlanta where he scored a career best in the decathlon of 8,644 points in the Olympic Games, good for fourth place, just 20 points short of a medal and a spot
on the podium.
Steve also played basketball for two seasons while at Kansas State where he graduated with a degree in business. Fritz has just completed his 20th season on the Wildcat track & field coaching staff. Fritz earlier served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2007 Thorpe Cup in Bernhausen, Germany, and most recently was on the USA staff at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany.
NACAC U-23 Championships
Guanajuato, Mexico – July 7-8, 2012
Following the USA Olympic Trials Rebeka Stowe (Olathe Northwest ’08) and Heather Bergmann (Concordia ’09) were named to the USA Under-23 team for the North America-Central America and Caribbean Under-23 Championships which took place the first weekend in July in Guanajuato, Mexico.
Stowe followed up her Olympic Trials performance where she advanced to the finals in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a silver medal finish in that event in Mexico with a time of 10:45.14.
Bergmann place fourth in the javelin in Mexico with a throw of 164’0”, a throw just short of 10-feet better than her best throw in the qualifying round of the OT javelin.
USATF Region 9 Junior Olympics
Free State High School – Lawrence, KS – July 6-8, 2012
The 2012 Kansas prep track & field list continues to see change as the summer season moves toward its
concluding meets in late July and early August.
At the USATF Region 8 qualifier for the USATF National Junior Olympics Championship, held at Free State High School in Lawrence the first weekend in July, Grant Garst (Inman) moved up into the #2 spot on the 800-meter list as he finished second in a time of 1:56.27 in the Young Men division. In the same race, Jackson Barbour (SM Northwest) moved up to #4 with a time of 1:56.89 while finishing fourth.
Caroline Bingham (Maranatha Academy) moved up in two events, winning the Intermediate Girls 400 meters in the #4 time of the extended 2012 season, 57.43. She also moved into the top 10, now ranking #8, with a preliminary time in the 200 meters of 25.49. Caroline then finished fourth in that event’s final.
Below are other Kansas prep winners for the Region 9 as well as other Junior Olympic competitions this summer. Not knowing every Kansas prep and school affiliation, I know we have overlooked some Kansas winners. We would appreciate knowing we have overlooked. Any additions can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that Region 9 Intermediate Boy 2k Steeplechase winner Tristan Irish (Salina South), winner a time of 6:52.58, was overlooked as the AAU Area 16 winner of the 1500 (4:21.48), 2k Steeplechase (6:56.79), and 3,000 meters (9:26.31) at those championships, a meet covered in a previous blog.
Complete results of the Region 9 meet can be found at http://www.heartlandtiming.com
IG 200 4.Caroline Bingham (Maranatha Acad) 25.58 (25.49p #8 KS ’12)
IG 400 1.Caroline Bingham (Maranatha Acad) 57.43 #4 KS ‘12
IG 400 Hurdles 1. Kiara Clark (Free State) 1:08.36
IG Heptathlon 1. Alexa Harmon-Thomas (Free State) 4331
(15.01, 5-03.75, 28-06.5, 26.73w, 18-00.25, 78-09, 2:46.77)
YW Pole Vault 1.Emly Brigham (Mill Valley) 12-04.75
YW Long Jump 1.Emily Brigham (Mill Valley) 18-06.5
IB 2k Stpl 1.Tristan Irish (Salina South) 6:52.58
YM 400 1.Jackson Barbour (SM Northwest) 49.57 #11 KS ‘12
YM 800 2.Grant Garst (Inman) 1:56.27 #2 KS ‘12
4.Jackson Barbour (SM Northwest) 1:56.89 #4 KS ‘12
YM Pole Vault 1.Ben Carpenter (Gardner-Edgerton) 13-11
YM Shot Put 1.Kord Ferguson (Ottawa) 51-04.25
YM Discus 1.Kord Ferguson (Ottawa) 144-02