Southeast of Saline captures 3A boys state track title
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - (Story by Mike Courson) The Southeast of Saline boys have been putting up silly times all season. Even losing a top sprinter to injury early in the season, the Trojans were the odds-on favorite for the Class 3A title Friday. And they did it with relative ease. Southeast scored 84 points for the win, followed by Girard with 55 points, and Perry-Lecompton with 50 points. Silver Lake and Scott City took the next two places with 34 and 31 points, respectively.
Sprecker flirts with 800 record, wins three golds
Trojan junior Dylan Sprecker was one of the top-two milers in Kansas early this spring and he entered state ranked No. 3 all-class in the 800m run. For much of that race, Sprecker seemed destined to break the 21-year-old meet record of 1:54.20. In the end, Sprecker missed his best time of the season by just 0.05 seconds and missed the record with the gold in 1:55.34. Girard’s Gavin Doubrava finished a distant second in 2:01.25, and Southeast’s Luke Gleason ran third in 2:02.59.
Some serious 1600m times in the northeast corner of the state pushed Sprecker to No. 5 all-class in that event. Again, he just missed his best effort, this time by 0.11 seconds, for the gold in 4:17.74. Girard senior Cormick Logue finished second in 4:28.51, and Lakin’s Lawson Weilert-Beymer ran third in 4:29.95. Gleason placed fourth for the Trojans in 4:32.82.
Southeast of Saline tore up the Ellinwood track to the tune of an 8:06 4x800m time on May 7. Friday morning the Trojan team of Sprecker, Gleason, Dominic Jackson, and Drake Augustine battled chilly temperatures and a little wind to dominate the relay in 8:22.59. Wichita Trinity finished nearly 10 seconds later in 8:32.19 for the silver.
Finally, Sprecker’s 4x400 team entered the final event of the day for yet another gold with healthy leads in both regional qualifying and regular season times. But it was not to be. Hesston’s team of Max Werner, Cason Richardson, Tyler Rewerts, and Cavan Faqua cut 0.08 seconds off its best time of the season to steal the gold in 3:30.72. Southeast of Saline ran second in 3:31.04, and Girard finished just a tenth of a second later for third.
Poague proves dominance in hurdles
Dad was a great hurdler. Two sisters were great hurdlers. Now Southeast of Saline junior Chase Poague can officially add his name to the list after winning both 3A hurdle titles Friday. Poague was the state leader in the 300s entering state. He beat his own best time by 0.04 seconds to run away with the gold in 39.38. Goodland’s Leyton Cure picked up the silver in 40.47.
Poague ran a hand-time sub-14 110m hurdle race in Ellinwood on May 7. Unofficially the state leader in that event, he officially won the 3A title in 14.93 Friday. A stumble on the last hurdle may have cost him the state meet record of 14.40. Wellsville’s Ian Smith finished second in 15.29, and Minneapolis’ Brendan Shanks ran third in 15.62. Grant Stumpf ran fourth for the Trojans in 15.76.
Peters struggles to three golds, leads Smoky Valley to win
Smoky Valley senior Belle Peters may have had the worst good day of all-time at the Kansas State Track and Field Championships. Her Lady Vikings still cruised to the team championship with 85 points, followed by Eureka with 43 points and Chaparral with 33 points.
But Peters could have won four golds instead of three. And the goal was a state record in the pole vault. And that’s where trouble began on a chilly Friday morning. Ranked No. 2 all-time in Kansas with a state leading 13-3 third season, Peters entered the event late at 11-6. After failing to clear on her first attempt, she was ruled over on the second attempt. It proved to be her last clearance of the day.
Scott City senior Paige Vulgamore was the only other competitor going at that time, also missing once at 11-6. Vulgamore’s previous misses proved to be the deciding factor as both vaulters failed to go higher. Peters still owns the 3A state meet record of 12-8 set as a sophomore in 2019.
“To get to first place is awesome,” she said. “I would have hoped for a higher mark but not every day can be a good day.”
No state champion can be accused of failing, but Friday’s mark came up well shy of her goal of 13-6, and well shy of various meet records Peters set this season.
“I think I’ve been trying to get the pressure off me,” she said. “A lot of people have been putting pressure on me, so I’ve been trying to get that off my mind and kept reminding myself to just have fun today. That’s what I kept trying to do.”
Peters ran a 14.39 in the 100m hurdles to take the state lead after regionals. She was tested Friday, winning by just 0.02 seconds in 14.78. Anderson County senior Abby Reid, ranked No. 11 all-class, took the silver in 14.80. Osawatomie’s Amiah Simmons ran third in 15.07, and Eureka freshman Ashley Singateh, ranked No. 9 all-class, ran fourth in 15.13. Chaparral’s Sophie Francis, the 3A leader in the regular season, placed fifth in 15.52.
Peters third and final gold was no struggle at all as she opened a half-second lead against Francis in the 200m dash to win in 25.94, her best time of the season. Francis crossed in 26.45, followed by Marysville’s Brynn Oneil in 26.48, and Hoisington’s Macy Hanzlick in 26.58.
The 3A 100m dash looked to be well contested at it was. Hesston junior Caryn Yoder ran easily her finest race of the year to pull the upset in 12.32. Singateh placed second for Eureka in 12.46, closely followed by Peters 0.02 seconds later for third. Hesston’s Emily Friesen ran fourth in 12.57.
Lambert wins 800 for Smoky
Part of Smoky Valley’s dominance this season has been top-level talent across the board. Junior Gracie Lambert entered the state field ranked No. 2 all-class this spring. She missed her best time by more than two seconds but easily won the championship race in 2:18.75. Colby’s Lara Murdock finished second in 2:22.56, just ahead of Wichita Trinity’s Jenna Elliott in 2:22.89 for the bronze. Halstead’s Kaleigh O’Brien ran fourth in 2:24.73.
With Lambert running the final leg, Smoky Valley pulled away in the 4x800m dash Friday morning. The team of McKinley Johnson, Keira Mullen, Abby Rose, and Lambert stayed even with Norton for half the race before pulling away to win by 10-plus seconds in 9:48.99. The Lady Vikes were ranked No. 6 all-class entering state. Halstead took over in second place in 9:59.39, followed by Sabetha in 10:04.37 and Norton in 10:07.16.
Hoisington girls bring 4x1 title to fruition
Momentum was building for Hoisington’s 4x100m relay team. The girls set a Central Kansas League record two weeks ago, then set a new school record at the regional meet in Beloit. All that remained: a state title.
The Lady Cardinals put up surprising times down the stretch given the fact the team featured not one top-20 all-class sprinter this spring. Yet the 48.87 out of the Beloit regional ranked No. 3 in all of Kansas this season. Friday the team of Sheena Gocela, Macy Hanzlick, Suzanna Schneider, and Samantha Colson won the title in 49.77. Eureka finished second in 50.10, and Marsyville took the bronze in 50.48, just 0.05 seconds ahead of Phillipsburg.
Hanzlick medaled in the 200m dash for Hoisington, and Colson medaled in the 100m dash and 100m hurdles. She ran 12th in the 300m hurdles.
Alderson wins distance races for Lady Trojans
The Southeast of Saline boys are not the only ones who can piece together a distance race. As a 5A runner two years ago, Lady Trojan junior Jentrie Alderson medaled in both distance events but Friday’s field included reigning 3A 3200m champion Lara Murdock of Colby. Alderson ran away with Friday’s race in 11:13.06, followed by Murdock in 11:29.41 for the silver. Lady Trojan sophomore Ashley Prochazka won the bronze in 12:04.87.
Alderson and Murdock again took the top-two spots in the 1600m run. Alderson won that race in 5:11.59, followed by Murdock in 5:14.04. Columbus’ Montana Ohmart placed third in 5:29.88, and Haven’s Taylor Hoskinson ran fourth in 5:29.41.
Holcomb’s Mason beats fast 100m dash field
Class 3A looks tough in just about every sport. This year’s 100m dash field was no exception as one of the fastest among all six classes. That played out well in Friday’s final race with four runners finishing under 11 seconds. Holcomb senior Zephyn Mason led the charge in 10.69, followed by Rossville’s Woodrow Rezak in 10.74, and Scott City’s Isaac Tarango in 10.85 for the bronze. Burlington’s Ty Anderson also broke 11 seconds in 10.87.
Reid wins loaded 300m hurdle race
Some classes just load up in events. In recent years, Class 3A has been among the strongest hurdle classes. Friday’s finale included two of the top-three and eight of the top-10 hurdlers in Kansas this spring. Anderson County’s Reid, ranked No. 3 all-class heading in, got the win in 44.35. Chaparral’s Francis won the silver in 45.28, and Eureka’s freshman Singateh ran third in 45.58.
Larned sophomore Jayme Hagerman took the state lead in the triple jump in her first varsity meet. She expanded on that lead at regionals with a mark of 38-2.5. Friday morning, she was able to reach only 35-0.75 for the silver. That left the door wide open for Douglass senior Karsen Dunham to take the gold at 36-9.75.
Russell senior Renee Nichol won the 3A long jump two years ago and opened the season ranked No. 2 in 3A. But she didn’t improve upon that mark until regionals, and she carried that momentum into state with another gold medal on the winning leap of 17-3.25. Girard’s Gracie Peterson placed second at 17-0.5.
Riley County senior Ames Burton ranks No. 13 all-time in Kansas in the discus. She finished eight feet off her best throw Friday but still won the 3A crown by 27 feet at 147-2. Santa Fe Trail’s Addison Hinterweger placed second at 121-1. Burton ranked No. 4 all-class in the shot put this year. She won the 3A title by nearly a foot at 41-3.5. Eureka’s Abigail Singateh won the silver at 40-4.25.
Wellsville senior Jadyn Troutman ranks No. 16 all-time in Kansas with a best javelin throw of 153-9. Friday she reached just 142-9 but still beat Riley County’s Jessi Brummett (139-8) by three feet for the title.
Chaparral junior Matte Schwartz ranked No. 2 all-class in the high jump at 5-7 entering state. Friday she was able to clear the bar at 5-6 to beat Eureka’s Brooklyn Ptacek by two inches for the gold.
Santa Fe Trail junior Brett Schwartz led Kansas in the discus this spring at 190-6. His best throw Friday went just 176-6 but easily won him the title. Marysville’s Peyton Smith finished second at 151-10, and Osage City sophomore Landon Boss placed third at 151-7.
Boss was one of just four javelin throwers in Kansas this spring to reach 190 feet. Beloit junior Brennan Walked added two feet to his PR to take the gold at 184-1. Boss finished second at 169-3, just two inches ahead of Phillipsburg’s Trace Hanchett.
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