6A State Track & Field Recap

Wichita Heights Elijah Mosley battled a nagging injury but still claimed 6A titles in the 200m...
Wichita Heights Elijah Mosley battled a nagging injury but still claimed 6A titles in the 200m and 400m dashes Thursday.((photo by Mike Courson))
Published: May. 28, 2021 at 12:11 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Elijah Mosley simply made it look easy early Thursday evening. Despite injuring his hamstring in the final weeks of the season, the Wichita Heights senior capped his prep career with gold medals in the 400m and 200m dashes. On the girls’ side, Gardner-Edgerton senior Kendra Wait made her case for top prep track athlete in the state with four gold medals.

Mosley topped out at 47.61 in the 400m dash to climb to No. 8 on the state’s all-time list. This season he posted a 48.16 at the GWAL meet to gain on his state lead. After tweaking a hamstring at regionals, he had to forget about time Thursday and just go for gold.

“Last week I pulled up in the 100. Honestly, I didn’t come out here to run anything fast,” he said. “I just came out here to win at this point.”

Rain caused a 4-hour delay to Thursday’s day one of the state track meet, and more rain fell during the mile and 4x100 races, but conditions were largely dry for Mosley’s premiere event. A growing wind did not help any injuries in the first 200 meters.

“It was very windy on the back stretch,” Mosley said. “It was not what I expected. I can do so much better than what I just did.”

Olathe North’s Jacob Parrish grabbed the 400 silver in 51.00, followed by Liberal’s Erich Ortiz in 51.73 for the bronze.

Mosley entered state ranked No. 2 all-class in the 200m dash. He was able to better his time by 0.01 seconds in 21.68. Shawnee Mission West’s Peyton Moore kept it close for the silver in 21.77, and Blue Valley’s Alex Swarens and Hutchinson’s Ezekiel Seamster finished just 0.007 seconds apart with Swarens collecting the bronze in 22.51.

Moore and Seamster went head to head in the 100m dash with Moore emerging victorious in 10.61. Seamster followed in 10.66 for the silver, closely followed by Gardner-Edgerton’s Ethan Reynolds in 10.67.

Washburn Rural senior Marquel Russell entered state ranked No. 5 all-class in the 100m hurdles. He lived up to expectations there with the win in 14.79. Hutchinson junior Stephfon Hunter finished in 15.00 to earn the silver by 0.05 seconds.

Hunter had to settle for another silver in the 300m hurdles. There he finished in 40.55, a third of a second behind Campus junior Garrett Denning in 40.26 for the gold. Campus junior Andrew Howard ran fourth in 40.89.

Northeastern Kansas runners dominated the distance events. Olathe South senior Riley Vandaveer battled rain but finished just three seconds off his state-leading time to win the 1600m run in 4:15.16. Manhattan’s Daniel Harkin ran second in 4:19.68.

Vandaveer won the 800m run by nearly a second in 1:54.97. Gardner-Edgerton’s Quenton Walion, ranked No. 1 in Kansas this spring at 1:54.02, finished second in 1:55.73.

The 3200m runners had to make sure Thursday’s meet would even take place after field events were pushed back four hours due to weather. Free State junior Ben Shryock and Shawnee Mission North’s Micah Blomker ran away in the top-two spots in 9:15.01 and 9:16.22, respectively.

Wichita East’s 4x100 team of Justin Bell, Adama Faye, Tobi Osunsanmi, and Travon Manuel-Atkinson entered the field ranked No. 3 all-class this spring. The squad ran just off its best time of the season for the win in 42.74. Olathe North followed a quarter of a second later for the silver.

In the field, Blue Valley West junior Evan Schmidt became just the third Kansas pole vaulter this spring to clear 15-0 for the win. The next three vaulters each cleared 14-0.

Just 10 Kansas javelin throwers reached 180 feet this spring. Olathe Northwest senior Benjamin Gutekunst just missed his best effort of the season for the win at 183-3. Blue Valley North junior Henry Martin placed second at 176-8.

Just three prep discus throwers went beyond 180 feet this spring. Blue Valley senior Ben McAlister was one of them. He won Thursday’s gold at 174-8, followed by Olathe South’s Jordan Allen at 170-5, and Garden City senior Trey Nuzum at 167-1 for the bronze.

Manhattan senior Darius O’Connell was the lone shot putter in the state to break 60 feet at 61-3 this spring. He came up shy of that mark Thursday but still won the 6A title by three-plus feet at 59-6. McAlister got the silver at 56-2.5.

Kansas City Wyandotte senior Malike Calhoun missed his best triple jump of the season by nine inches to win at 45-4.5. Manhattan’s Charles Jones picked up the silver at 44-9, followed by Cmapus junior Isaac Whitson in third at 42-4.75.

Washburn Rural junior Zsamar Sipple won the long jump at 22-0, closely followed by Jones at 21-10.5, and Gutekunst at 21-9.

Manhattan won the 6A team championship with 66.5 points. Blue Valley finished second with 54 points, and Gardner-Edgerton scored 43 points for third.

Wait leads 6A girls

The list for top track athlete candidates may be a short one but does include some versatility. Smoky Valley’s Belle Peters and Gardner-Edgerton’s Kendra Wait can both sprint and pole vault with the best of them. The difference: Peters hurdles while Wait throws the shot.

Wait and Peters have vastly different frames but use them in similar ways. Ranked third in Kansas this spring, Wait ran just off her season best to win the 100m dash in 12.02. Top-ranked Ka’Liyah McGinnis of Olathe North finished second in 12.10, followed by Wichita Southeast’s Deanna Miller in 12.29 for the bronze, and East’s Kennadie Jinkins in 12.38 for fourth.

Wait was just as good in the field. Ranked No. 6 all-time on the Kansas pole vault list at 13-0, she needed just 11-0 to win that gold by a foot Thursday. Olathe West’s Claire Thomas picked up the silver.

Ranked No. 4 all-class in the long jump, Wait came up just two inches shy of her season best there for the win at 18-5. Lawrence’s Bella Kirkwood grabbed the silver at 17-9, and Hutch’s Sarah Schwartz placed third at 17-7.

Finally, Wait ranks second only to Andale phenom Katelyn Fairchild in the shot put this season. Wait easily won Thursday’s title with a throw of 41-2.5, followed by Junction City’s Joem Toala at 39-4.

Another big name heading into state was newcomer Anjali Hocker-Singh, a freshman at Olathe North. In the conversation for best distance runner in Kansas this spring, she put herself on the all-time map in the 3200m run where she posted the eighth-fastest time in state history for the win in 10:33.91. Blue Valley Northwest senior Riley Beach finished a distant second in 10:45.37, the second fastest time in Kansas this spring.

Ranked No. 1 and 2 in the state in the 1600m run, Beach and Hocker-Singh again went head to head in that event. In the rain, the two maintained their status as the only female runners to break five minutes this spring. Beach won in 4:59.33, followed 0.06 seconds later by Hocker-Singh.

Hocker-Singh put on yet another show in the 800m run, settling for another silver in a photo finish against Shawnee Mission East’s Grace Meyer. Both runs were listed at 2:19.22.

East’s Kennadie Jinkins missed her bronze in the tough 100m dash field. She did well in the 100m hurdles, earning the silver in 15.12. Olathe North’s Kaiya McKie won in 14.97, and Dodge City senior Hadley Williams ran fourth in 15.27.

Williams was on the short list to win the 300s with the top time in 6A this spring. She had the lead late until Jinkins caught her from the outside to take the gold in 46.68. Williams claimed the silver in 46.94, and Northwest’s Adryana Shelby placed fourth in 48.17.

The girls’ high jump proved to be wide open. Wichita North sophomore Taryn St. Clair led the class at 5-8 this season but cleared just 5-2 at regionals. Thursday the top-four jumpers each finished at 5-4 with St. Clair picking up the gold. Shawnee Mission Northwest’s Ella Machiewicz, Shawnee Mission East’s Tess Roman, and Blue Valley West’s Lindsey DeWitt each cleared 5-4.

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