1A State Track Recap: Kiowa County girls repeat with dominating performance

Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 9:23 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - A season away did not slow the Kiowa County girls. After winning the 1A title by 10 points in 2019, the Lady Mavs piled up a handful of golds and 64 points to nearly double up Saturday’s 1A state field. Hodgeman County scored 35 points for second, and Beloit-St. John’s and Decatur Community tied for third with 34 points.

Coming off a football championship in the fall and a basketball championship in March, the Hanover boys completed the sweep with the track title Saturday on 55 points. Madison finished second with 48 points, followed by Osborne and Hamilton with 42 and 41 points, respectively.

Heinson collects four golds for Kiowa County

Speed has been the theme for Kiowa County all season. Saturday that meant wins in the 100 and 200m dashes, and the 4x100 and 4x400m relays.

Junior Addi Heinson entered the day ranked No. 2 all-class in the 100m dash at 11.99. She cruised to the state title in 12.59, followed by Hodgeman County junior Kaylee James in 12.96 for the silver. Kiowa County senior Gracie Gray just missed the bronze in 13.00, and Victoria sophomore Macy Hammerschmidt ran fourth in 13.06. The 1A meet record set in 1985 stands at 12.30.

Heinson had to run in back-to-back races to end the season. First she won the 200m dash in 25.62, followed by Satanta senior Sicely Jackson in 26.05 for the silver. Decatur Community freshman Rayne Erickson, an up-and-coming star, ran third in 26.47, just ahead of Central Plains sophomore Brynna Hammeke in 26.59. Kiowa County freshman Marley Little, the 1A leader this season, ran sixth in 26.90.

Heinson followed that performance with a team win in the 4x400. Heinson and Little were joined by Addison Sherer and Charleigh Friesen to post a time of 4:15.43. Burlingame won the silver in 4:16.68, and Central Plains finished third in 4:20.65.

Prior to winning the 200, Heinson was also the favorite to win the 400m dash. Ranked No. five all-class this season, Heinson still had to beat 10th-ranked Jackson and 11th-ranked Erickson. The race went as expected with Heinson winning in 57.60. Erickson won the silver in 58.22, and Jackson followed in 58.69 for the bronze. Hammeke placed fourth for Central Plains in 60.27.

Even without Heinson in the mix, Kiowa County’s team speed made the Lady Mavs a record contender in the 4x100. The team of Gray, Sherer, Friesen, and Little won in 50.87, missing the 1A meet record by just 0.43 seconds. Hodgeman County picked up the silver in 52.11, just 0.05 seconds ahead of third-place Hanover.

Kiowa County junior Addi Heinson, seen here winning the 400m dash Saturday, also won golds in...
Kiowa County junior Addi Heinson, seen here winning the 400m dash Saturday, also won golds in the 100m, 200m, and 4x400m events.((photo by Mike Courson))

Vath, Weiner go head-to-head in distance races

The old and new was on display in the distance races. Lincoln senior Jaycee Vath has been a mainstay at state cross country and track and field in her four years. Vath won the 1A 1600 and 3200m runs in 2019, and she followed up with the cross country championship last October.

Golden Plains freshman Emma Weiner ran third at the cross country championships last fall. She kept Vath company for much of the 3200m race Saturday morning before Vath pulled away for the win in 11:26.48. Weiner finished second in 11:41.75, still 29 seconds ahead of Jane Letourneau, the third-place finisher from Beloit-St. John’s.

The duo again separated itself from the field in the 1600m run. This time, Weiner pulled ahead for the win in 5:26.24 with Vath following in 5:28.70. Kinsley’s Mackenzie Herrmann finished nine seconds later in 5:37.86 for third.

Meade’s Shewey completes exciting day in high jump

It’s been a while since the state meet saw two 7-foot performances in a weekend, never mind a single day. Saturday morning Sterling’s Tyus Wilson set a 2A state meet record at 7-2. No jumpers reached 7-0 in 2019, and even with two jumpers at 7-0 in the regular season in 2018, neither eclipsed 6-10 at state.

Meade senior Vance Shewey entered Saturday ranked No. 3 all-class with a best height of 6-8. He surpassed that to collect the gold at 6-10, missing three attempts to tie the 1A meet record of 7-0. South Central junior Tucker Uhl also went two inches higher than his season best for the silver at 6-8. The next three placers cleared the bar at 6-2.

Decatur’s Erickson goes big in first state meet

Saturday there were the sophomores competing in their first state championships after the loss of the 2020 season, then there were the freshmen doing the same thing. During the regular season, the aforementioned Oberlin freshman Erickson led 1A in the 400m dash and high jump.

Erickson had to settle for second in the 400m dash and third in the 200m dash, both behind Kiowa County’s Heinson, but she won her first state title by clearing 5-6 in the high jump. Only two jumpers in Kansas went higher this spring. The Central Plains sophomore Hammeke won another medal at 5-4 for the silver, and the next two jumpers each cleared 5-2.

Buettner wins three golds for Hamilton

The 110m hurdles featured three of the state’s top 15 times this season. In one of the better races of the day, South Gray senior Ethan Salmans edged Hamilton senior Kelton Buettner by 0.01 seconds for the win in 14.91. Macksville’s Cleven Huggins ran third in 15.18, and Tescott’s Kayden Presnell placed fourth in 15.24.

Buettner was one of 1A’s top track athletes all spring. He got his gold in the 300m hurdles in 39.87. Pike Valley’s Keaton Reeves won the silver in 40.66, and Huggins ran third in 40.71.

In the field, Buettner won the long jump by nearly four inches at 21-11.25 in front of a pair of Hanover jumpers. Buettner also won the triple jump by 16 inches at 43-11.75.

Other notables:

Olpe senior Max Blaufuss was the only Kansas thrower to break 200 feet in the javelin this spring with a best of 208-7. That would easily have set the 1A state meet record of 202-0. Instead, Blaufuss came up just shy with the win at 199-10. Lebo senior Devan McEwan had the fourth-best throw in Kansas this spring to win the silver at 191-3.

Quinter freshman Bradley Bogert ranked No. 17 all-class in the 400m dash. Saturday he ran well off his best to place fifth in 52.45. Macksville sophomore Ryan Kuckelman ran his best time of the year to win the gold by 0.22 seconds in 51.53.

Dighton sophomore Max Neeley led 1A with a best pole vault of 14-3 this season. Saturday his gold-medal dreams came to fruition with a top height of 13-6. South Gray’s Brady Deges won the silver at 13-0.

Madison junior Casey Helm ranked No. 2 all-class in the discus this spring and No. 8 all-class in the shot put. With a season-best discus throw of 182-4, Helm was in the conversation to break the 1A state meet record of 186-4. Instead, his throw of 164-10 beat out the best effort of Bucklin’s Ridge Estes by seven inches for the win. Kiowa County’s Bo West placed third at 143-5. Helm’s shot put throw of 55-4.5 was good enough for the win by three-plus feet. Estes finished second at 52-2.25, and Madison senior Hunter Engle finished fourth at 49-7.25.

Solomon senior Emma Seidl ranked No. 3 all-class behind a pair of shot put throwers with 6A and 4A titles on Thursday and Friday, respectively. Seidl kept the tradition alive with the win Saturday at 40-0.25. Wallace County’s Ja’Asia Stafford won the silver at 38-5.5.

Beloit-St. John’s senior Lauryn Dubbert wrapped up a decorated career by winning the javelin on a throw of 132-11. She entered Saturday ranked No. 16 all-class in that event. Lebo’s Brookyn Jones won the silver at 129-11, and Lakeside’s Lauren Brummet placed third at 129-2.

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