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Madison’s Helm highlights day one of state meet

Highlights from Class 1A State track meet in Wichita
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 11:14 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Many of the state’s best will have to wait until Saturday to make their bid for state titles. That was not the case for Madison’s Casey Helm in the throws. The Princeton-bound senior set new Class 1A state meet records in both of his throws to highlight day one of action at Cessna Stadium.

Helm reached 214-1 in the discus earlier this spring to takeover the national lead and move to No. 1 in the nation this year. Friday he threw as far as 195-0 to beat the rest of the 1A field by more than 40 feet. Brewster junior Brock Woolf collected the silver at 151-6. Helm’s throw smashes a 22-year-old state record by nearly nine feet.

In the final field session of the day, Helm broke a 24-year-old 1A meet record in the shot put on his first effort of 59-4.75. That was enough to win the gold by nearly 11 feet. Wichita County sophomore Simon Medina won the silver by more than two feet at 48-8.5.

The Class 4A shot put finals also provided some drama with three of the state’s top-10 throwers this spring. Paola senior Caden Rhamy trailed Andale junior Jackson Kraus by three feet during the regular season. Friday Rhamy pulled the upset by less than two inches for the title at 57-0.5. Jackson followed at 56-10 for the silver, and Indian senior Beau Kerschen won the bronze by more than two feet on a throw of 55-6.75.

Andale junior Riley Marx flirted with a Class 4A meet record in the javelin. Ranked No. 16 all-time in Kansas, Marx missed a season-best by three feet but beat the state field by 20 feet at 206-5 for the title. Marx missed a 15-year-old state record by just over two feet. Teammate Jonah Meyer threw as far as 186-4 for the silver.

Andover Central’s Barkdull boys provided the fireworks in the Class 5A pole vault competition. Sophomore Bryce Barkdull went as high as 15-0 to beat the rest of the field by two feet for the silver. Senior Ashton Barkdull broke a 10-year-old 5A meet record by a quarter of an inch with one of the best efforts in the nation this season for the win at 16-7.25.

Andover senior Tayton Klein impressed in his events on day one Friday. The all-class leader in the long jump this spring at 23-10, he went even better for the 5A title on a leap of 24-1.75. Aquinas senior Preston May won the silver at 22-6.5. Klein just missed the 5A meet record by less than an inch.

The Class 5A high jump also proved to be one of the most dramatic on the day. Hays senior Jordan Dale led the state for most of the season at just over 6-10. He only cleared 6-2 to win the Emporia regional, and was one bad jump away from being finished Friday morning before clearing the bar at 6-10 for the apparent win. But Mill Valley senior Kendrick Jones answered the call on his final try at 6-10 to force a jump off. Dale walked away with the gold.

The only finals on the track came in the 3200m races. But Topeka Hayden senior Tanner Newkirk set the tone for the day by crushing a 6-year-old 4A meet record by 27 seconds in 8:58.88. Augusta senior Sawyer Schmidt was able to shadow Newkirk for the first few laps but the future Jayhawk pulled away for good on a cool, windless morning. Schmidt won the silver in 9:33.14, and Buhler senior Hayden Keller beat out teammate Tanner Lindahl by six seconds for the bronze in 9:40.23.

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