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Great Bend girls dominate 5A regional; Hays boys win

Great Bend junior Kyndall Blessing won Class 5A regional javelin title in Emporia Friday. The...
Great Bend junior Kyndall Blessing won Class 5A regional javelin title in Emporia Friday. The Lady Panthers nearly doubled-up the field with 151.1 team points.((photo by Mike Courson))
Published: May. 21, 2022 at 2:28 PM CDT
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EMPORIA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The Great Bend girls have been putting up big numbers on the track and in the field all spring. Friday in Emporia, the Lady Panthers dominated the Class 5A regional meet in Emporia with 151.5 points. Salina Central and Hays followed with 86 and 60.5 points, respectively.

The Hays boys also had a big day with 109 points for the team title. The rest of the field packed up with Great Bend scoring 71 points, Valley Center finishing with 69, Newton scoring 68, and Topeka West placing fifth with 66 points.

The relays featured some of the state’s best on the girls’ side Friday. The 4x100 included three of the top-four 5A teams this year. Great Bend led the pack with the gold in 50.26. The Lady Panthers posted a top-three all-class time in the 4x400 to win by seven seconds in 4:01.60, and Great Bend’s 4x800 team finished second to Topeka Seaman in 10:18.58.

“We have always stressed relays,” said Great Bend coach Lyles Lashley. “Relays build great team chemistry. The beautiful thing about some of them is that you don’t have to be the fastest four kids, the baton has to be the fastest. Great baton handling makes up for a lot of things.”

The Lady Panther 4x400 team of Eliana Beckham, Sadie Spray, Kara Feist, and Makenzie Premer – all underclassmen - beat Salina Central by nearly second seconds in 4:01.60. Only two 6A schools had faster times around the state entering Friday.

The 4x100 team of Feist, Spray, Premer, and Valarie Luna pulled the upset against Salina Central and Valley Center with a season-best of 50.26. Hays won the silver in 50.83. Beckham also ran in the 4x800 relay with Emma Loomis, Diane Alvarez, and Cassie Ellegood for the silver medal in 10:18.58, three seconds behind Seaman in 10:15.25.

The Lady Panthers qualified for state all over the track and in the field. Premer entered the regional ranked No. 3 all-class in the 300m hurdles. She virtually matched a season best for the win in 45.42, followed by Spray for the silver in 47.19. Salina Central sophomore Saniya Triplett ran third in 48.20.

Premer ranked No. 6 all-class in the 100m hurdles. She won the regional in 15.52, followed by Seaman’s Taylin Stallbaumer in 15.74, and Triplett in third in 15.87. Valley Center’s Anna Eldridge took the final qualifying spot by 0.06 seconds in 16.01.

Salina Central’s Katelyn Rupe swept the distance events but Great Bend qualified for state three times in those two races. Rupe ran an 11:26.26 in the 3200s, followed by Lady Panther sophomore Addy Nicholson in 11:47.81. Great Bend senior Emilia Diaz ran fourth in 11:57.57 to beat out a teammate for the final state spot.

Rupe cruised to the 1600m win in 5:26.21, followed by Diaz in 5:30.54 for the silver. Valley Center’s Hannah Grover ran fourth in 5:36.84 to qualify.

Seaman junior Bethany Druse won the 800m run in 2:22.39, followed by Beckham and Loomis for Great Bend in 2:27.89, and 2:28.41, respectively. Salina South senior Grace Allen took the final qualifying spot in 2:29.57, five seconds ahead of Lady Panther freshman Kate Welcher.

Salina Central sophomore Elle Denning led the 400m dash pack in 61.69, followed by Great Bend’s freshman Feist in 62.45 for the silver, and Hays junior Amelia Jaeger in 62.89 for the bronze.

Salina Central junior Mykayla Cunningham, ranked No. 4 all-class in the high jump, matched a season best for the win at 5-6. Spray cleared 5-4 for Great Bend, and Luna also qualified in third at 5-2.

The Lady Panthers also won two of the three throws. Junior Kyndall Blessing won the javelin by eight-plus feet at 127-4. Sophomore teammate Macy Nachtigal qualified in fourth on a throw of 115-7.

Senior Taryn Warren won the shot put by three-plus feet at 37-11.25, followed by Hays junior Maggi Lindenmeyer at 34-7.5. Warren found herself in the hard-luck fifth-place spot in the discus, just 13 inches behind teammate Rylie Duvall who qualified in fourth at 108-0. Salina South sophomore Aunisty McNeal won that event on a toss of 121-11, followed by Newton’s Abby Green at 110-0 for the silver.

Hays boys qualify several in field

Hays High juniors Chason VanDerWege and Keamonie Archie both qualified for state in the 100m...
Hays High juniors Chason VanDerWege and Keamonie Archie both qualified for state in the 100m dash and helped the Indians to a regional title in Emporia.((photo by Mike Courson))

In a spring without a seven-foot high jumper in the state, Hays senior Jordan Dale entered Friday’s regional as the state leader at 6-10.25. He only cleared 6-2 in Emporia but that was enough for the win by four inches. Salina South senior Carter Copes and Salina Central senior Alex Shea each cleared 5-10 for second and third, respectively.

The Indians also had success in the other jumps. Junior Keamonie Archie finished second in the long jump at 21-10.25, 11 inches behind Topeka West Zsamar Sipple. Newton’s Jonah Remsburg and Hays’ Kyreese Groen also qualified at 21-9 and 21-5, respectively.

Sipple won the triple jump by nearly two feet at 45-1 ahead of teammate Alesecio Batson. Groen collected the bronze on a leap of 43-0.5, and Salina Central’s Jameer Moore qualified at 43-10.75.

Remsberg had a bittersweet day, entering the meet ranked No. 4 in the 5A 110m hurdles before a false start ended his season in that event. He did win a regional title in the pole vault at 14-0, followed by Hays sophomore Harley Zimmerman at 12-6 for the silver.

Hays junior Grayson Walburn won the discus on a throw of 140-10, followed by Valley Center senior Ethan Vanderweide at 139-5 for the silver. The Indians took three of the four qualifying spots in the javelin, led by junior Wyatt Waddell at 163-7. Freshman Dalton Meyers finished second at 158-6, and senior Nate Brooks took the final spot at 149-11. Great Bend junior Mathew Moeder qualified in third on a throw of 153-3.

Valley Center junior Logan Davis won the shot at 48-2.5, followed by Newton’s Marcel Gonzalez at 47-9.75 for the silver, and Hays junior Brandon Yauch in third on a toss of 46-8.

In notable action on the track, Valley Center junior Nolan Bevan swept the short sprints. He won the 100m dash in 10.73, followed by Salina Central sophomore Dez Gibson in 10.96 for the silver. Hays junior Chason VanDerWege ran fourth in 10.98, just 0.01 seconds behind Central freshman Kamryn Jones. Bevan won the 200m dash in 22.52, followed by VanDerWege in 22.95 and Hays’ Archie in 23.18 for the bronze.

The state field will be a little more wide open with the absence of Aquinas’ Logan Seger, the 5A leader who did not compete at regionals. Great Bend junior Kaiden Esfeld won Friday’s regional in 4:28.06. Esfeld entered Friday ranked No. 3 in the 5A 800m run. He won the title by nearly three seconds in 2:01.54, and sophomore teammate Alex Galindo took the final qualifying spot in 2:04.99.

In the hurdles, Newton’s Remsburg had the top 110m prelim time before the false start in the finals. Great Bend’s Madison Regehr won the 300s in 41.07 and finished second to Emporia’s Kyle Obermeyer in the 110s. Both hurdlers qualified for state in both events.

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