Ferguson continues climb

Kord Ferguson (Ottawa) moved in to the #2 spot on the Kansas all-time shot put list with his throw of 67’10” at the Mill Valley Jaguar Invitational on Friday, April 11. He is now within 15 inches of becoming the state’s all-time best in the event. He also tossed the discus 194’2” for a great double.

Ferguson also currently stands #4 on the Kansas all-time discus list with a throw of 205’6” earlier this season. Keep that in mind when reading the following.

WSU may need a plan!

The Wichita State athletic administration may want to schedule a meeting with folks in the University administration and the project engineers for the new dorms being built south of Cessna Stadium. That building project has involved the rerouting of a street south of the stadium and Koch Arena which has resulted in a shortening of the landing area down the left sector line of the discus/hammer throwing area southwest of Cessna Stadium to no more than 215 feet, I would guess.

With the way Ferguson is performing this spring, if he gets a south/southwest wind toward the ring, he may just put one into the fencing at the bottom of the embankment.

I spent three days at Cessna Stadium last week at the K.T. Woodman/Shocker Pre-State Challenge, but we really couldn’t tell if the new dorms are going to have a major affect the wind patterns inside the stadium. The wind blew like heck, out of the south one day, then out of the north the next, before calming down for a beautiful day on Friday.

The wind on Wednesday and Thursday did appear to swirl in the south high jump area, but the wind patterns didn’t appear to be much different than in past otherwise. There may even be slightly less wind on the straights due to “wind break” of the dorms.

There is another thing to keep in mind while planning for the state meet. With the construction of the new dorms, they are going up where the parking lot south of the stadium used to be, there will be fewer parking spaces available within easy walking distance of the stadium. A new lot has been built to the east of Corbin Hall, east of the stadium, but it has 200 less parking spaces than the old lot. Plan ahead!

What a beautiful day!

Last Friday had to be one of the best days for track & field in Kansas in the past several years. Most of the track races and horizontal jumps at the Shocker Pre-State Challenge had legal winds. Plus, with temperatures in the eighties, athletes could get and stay loose, yet we saw very few athletes seemingly suffering from the unseasonably warm temperatures.

Athletes we won’t see at State

Wichita Home School is listed among the KSHSAA “approved” schools. KSHSAA-affiliated schools can compete against “approved” schools, but their athletes aren’t allowed to participate in KSHSAA state tournaments or championships. WHS has several pretty good athletes on its roster this year including the state’s current leading girl high jumper, Mona Gottschaemmer. Mona, who is 15 years old and considered a sophomore, has already jumped 5’8” twice this season, one of which won the Elite Girls High Jump at the Shocker Pre-State, plus she jumped 5’7 ¾” as part of her 500-point plus win in Thursday’s Shocker pentathlon. Maybe we’ll get an opportunity to Alexa Harmon-Thomas (Free State-Lawrence) and Gottschaemmer go head-to-head a multi-event competition this summer. We can hope.

Great Southwest Classic

While only a very select few Kansas preps will qualify for the limited fields for events at the U.S. World Junior Championships Trials we wrote about last week there are other elite, post-interscholastic season competitions out there for Kansas preps to compete in each year. These meets include the Great Southwest Classic in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 5th through 7th. Others post-school season meets include the New Balance Outdoor Nationals and the Golden West Classic as well as the annual USATF and AAU Junior Olympic series and USATF National Youth and Junior meets.

While the Junior Olympic series consists of age-group meets, open to all entrants beginning with local and area qualifying meets, the New Balance Outdoor and Golden West are “select” meets, meaning participation is generally on an invitation-only basis. Entry into the USATF National Youth and Junior Championships requires athletes meet certain established qualifying standards to compete.

The Great Southwest meet is unique in that it is a scored “team meet” as well as an individual competition, both open entry and by invitation. Each state participating has a selection team that extends invitations, but athletes or coaches can also initiate to process by expressing an interest in competing. While the GSW started out originally as a meet for elite athletes of Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and Utah it has expanded in recent years to take in the states of Kansas, California, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington and Wyoming and offers a neat opportunity for Kansas athletes to see how they stack up against others of the best athletes in the surrounding states.

Kansas preps are not allowed to compete as a representative of their school in any of these post-interscholastic season meets per eligibility rules of the KSHSAA. Rather, Kansas athletes must compete as unattached athletes or as part of a club team that is not school associated.

Any Kansas prep athlete interested (or coaches who think they have athletes who might be) in being part of the Kansas team at the 2014 Great Southwest Classic should contact any of the following individuals who make up the Kansas selection team as soon as possible.

Lance Lenard (Rossville, KS) State Coordinator – nektrackclub@yahoo.com
Kelly Harmon (Lawrence, KS) Girls’ State Selection Chair – kellyharmon@sunflower.com
Jim Madison (Howard, KS) Boys’ State Selection Chair – madisonj@westelk.us
Assistant State Selection Chairs:
Mike Spielman (Baldwin, KS) – mspielman@usd348.com
Scott Coppoc (Concordia, KS) – sdcoppoc@yahoo.com
Vince DeGrado (Iola, KS) – degrade@allencc.edu
Carol Swenson (McPherson, KS) – swensonc@mcpherson.edu