Andale squads double up field for league track and field titles

The Andale boys and girls brought home gold from the AVCTL IV track meet.
Published: May. 13, 2023 at 12:11 AM CDT
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ANDALE, Kan. (KWCH) - There are two rules in life: no one puts Baby in a corner, and no one beats the Andale track and field teams. The Lady Indians have won 13-straight regional titles and the last five Class 4A state crowns.

Andale scored 218 points Friday at home to cruise to the AVCTL-IV championship. Rose Hill scored 104 points to edge Clearwater by five points for second. The Indian boys scored 202 points in their win. Wichita Collegiate followed with 105 points, and Rose Hill scored 102 points.

“It’s just the expectation,” said Lady Indian senior McKenzie Fairchild, who swept the throwing events Friday. “We just want to keep going, and we know that it doesn’t always work out that way for us. It could be taken away just like that, so we just have to keep pushing and getting as many points as we can. Everybody has to contribute.”

Fairchild added some distance on her discus throw, moving to No. 5 all-class with the win at 136. Senior Emery May now sits just half an inch from No. 2 in Class 4A after a throw of 127-1 for the silver. Jessa Jarmer completed the sweep with a toss of 108-3. Fairlchild improved to No. 3 all-class in the shot put, winning by more than four feet at 42-9.25.

El Dorado junior Cheyenne Jones broke up another Andale sweep with the silver at 38-2. The Lady Indians did get the sweep in the javelin, led by Fairchild at 141-7. Jenna Kuepker placed second with a throw of 121-10, and Kyrie Kerschen finished third at 111-10. Fairchild’s best career throw of 169-4 ranks No. 5 all-time in Kansas, and her best throw of 155-9 this year leads all competitors this spring, even though that mark was set on April 6.

“I think earlier in the season you’re a little more fresh,” Fairchild said. “You haven’t been doing all the ball throws and just continuously throwing on it. I think we’re just more fresh and more loose at the beginning.”

Andale won many of the events, making non-Andale winners even more notable. The triple jump featured three of the top-four jumpers in Class 4A. Wellington junior Isabelle Cullens edged Andale junior Grace Rowland by an inch for the win at 36-5. Rowland missed the gold but was part of a sweep in the long jump. She won at 16-11, followed by teammate Rylee Meyer with the silver at 16-6.5, and Taya Orth at 16-4 for third.

The high jump featured four of the top-eight Class 4A jumpers. Andale senior Lexi Horsch and Wellington junior Whitney Zeka each cleared 5-0 for the gold and silver, respectively.

Andale had the best 4x400m relay time in Kansas this spring. The girls came up short of that mark but still beat Clearwater by five seconds in 3:59.98. One of the top distance runners in Kansas, Clearwater senior Hayley Trotter was a late scratch in the 1600m run. She won the 800m run by three seconds in 2:23.05, still well off her 4A-leading pace.

Rose Hill sophomore Kimber Lovell won the 1600m run by 12 seconds in 5:49.51. The 400m dash could have been a premium event. Trotter made a rare appearance in the event, running the third fastest 4A time for the win in 58.63. Andale’s Maddie Schrandt, the reigning 4A champion, did not run, though teammate Ava Steven ran behind Trotter in 1:02.50. Schrandt, the 4A leader in the 200m dash, posted a top-seven all-class time for the win in 25.03.

League teams no match for Andale boys

Like their female counterparts, the Indian boys picked up many gold, silver, and bronze medals Friday, sometimes in the same event.

Senior Riley Marx reached 202 feet in the javelin early this season and is still the only Kansas thrower to cross the 200-foot line this season. But senior Jonah Meyer won the gold Friday on a throw of 183-8. Marx got the silver at 180-2, and sophomore Cooper Marx completed the sweep at 175-2 for third.

Two of those three throwers completed another sweep in the discus. Riley Marx won the gold at 175-1, followed by Cooper Marx at 149-9, and senior Jackson Kraus at 149-5. Riley Marx moves to No. 5 all-class this spring with his throw.

Kraus took his turn leading the team in the shot with the win at 49-11. Cooper Marx followed at 48-1 for the silver, and El Dorado sophomore Bronson Larimer broke up the sweep in third at 48-0.

The Indians completed another sweep in the pole vault. Junior Rylan White added a foot to his season best, moving to a tie at No. 2 in 4A with the win at 14-6. Colt Lane picked up the silver at 13-0, and Noah Horsch also cleared 13-0 for the bronze.

Andale senior Kelby Eck had a nice day with a gold in the triple jump at 43-4. Wellington junior Morice Ayers placed second at 41-1.25. Teagan Cobb, the Class 4A 110m hurdle leader from Rose Hill scratched from the finals in that event. Eck filled in for the win in 15.03, followed by teammate Harrison Potucek in 15.24 for the silver. The duo repeated the feat in the 300m hurdles.

Cobb, also the 4A leader in the long jump, got his gold in that event at 22-9.25. Collegiate senior Jaden Mitchell took the silver on a leap of 22-0.5.

Three 100m dashers broke 11 seconds, led by Mitchell in 10.82. El Dorado’s Gabe Harp-Jackson ran second in 10.93, and Andale’s White placed third in 10.95.

Harp-Jackson cut more than a second off his season best to win the 400m dash in 50.65, and top-10 4A time.