Day 2 state boys’ track wrap: Barkdull, distance runners highlight final day of track season

Wichita Trinity junior Clay Shively set a new 3A state meet record with the 1600m win Saturday....
Wichita Trinity junior Clay Shively set a new 3A state meet record with the 1600m win Saturday. Shively ranks No. 2 all-time in Kansas in the event.((photo by Mike Courson))
Published: May. 27, 2023 at 9:35 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - A buzz surrounded the distance events heading into the final day of the 2023 track season at the KSHSAA State Track and Field Championships at Wichita State University Saturday. And the athletes lived up to the hype. New state meet records were set in two 1600m runs Saturday afternoon.

Wichita Trinity junior Clay Shively ranks No. 2 all-time in the state’s 1600m ranks. He set a 3A meet record in that event Saturday with the win in 4:12.60. Southeast of Saline’s Dylan Sprecker set the mark at 4:14.88 last year in a win against Shively. Trinity junior Samuel Ferguson won the silver Saturday in 4:18.70, and teammate Caleb Tofteland placed fourth in 4:23.35.

Shawnee Mission East senior Wyatt Haughton ranks No. 3 all-time in the state’s 1600m ranks. He set a new 6A 3200m meet record Friday night. He followed suit with another record Saturday with the win in 4:12.93. The old record of 4:13.60 dated back to 1980. Teammate Caden Peters won the silver by a quarter of a second in 4:15.18.

The Class 5A pole vault turned into a premiere event because of Andover Central’s Bryce Barkdull. The junior was the lone Kansas vaulter to clear 17 feet this season, going as high as 17-6.25. His brother, Ashton, set the 5A state meet record last year at 16-7.25. Bryce went as high as 17-1 Saturday for the title and a new record. He ranks in the top-10 nationally in the event. Gabe Heck and Carson Ratzlaff of Blue Valley Southwest each cleared 13-6 for second and third, respectively.

The Class 5A 100m dash was a marquee event with No. 1 all-time Jeremiah Smith of Shawnee Heights rejoining the fray after missing due to injury in 2022. Syracuse-bound Bryce Cohoon of Maize added more excitement to the event. In the end, Topeka-Highland Park senior Tre Richardson took home the gold in 10.73, followed by Leavenworth senior Isaac Ativie in 10.80. Cohoon and Smith ran fourth and fifth, respectively, in 10.87 and 10.95. Cohoon got his title in the 200m dash, winning in 22.05. Ativie ran second in 22.33.

The 1A and 2A 100m dashes also packed excitement. Madison senior Bryson Turner repeated as the 1A champion in 10.94, beating Kiowa County sophomore Brock Deterding by 0.31 seconds. Pleasanton senior Isaiah Bates won the 2A title in 2022 and led Kansas this year. He pulled up with an injury to finish eighth Saturday in 11.44. Moundridge sophomore Kaden Elmore took the gold in 10.95, beating Inman junior Tanner Heckel by 0.01 seconds.

Elmore was part of Moundridge’s 4x100m relay team that flirted with a 2A meet record in Friday’s prelims. The Wildcats were disqualified in Saturday’s finals due to a lane violation. Garden Plain’s team of Elijah Atkins, Taegen Gallagher, Elliot Helton, and Noah McGregor stepped in for the win in 43.99, followed by Smith Center in 44.18 for the silver.

Andale has won two of the last three Class 4A titles. Louisburg won in 2021. Those two schools were at it again this year. Andale did not have a team in the 4x400m relay finals to close out the season. Louisburg finished fourth in 3:23.98, just 0.81 seconds behind Bishop Miege in third. That secured Andale’s state title by just half a point over the Wildcats.

The Indians got a state title out of senior Jackson Kraus in a rowdy shot put competition. He won on a throw of 56-3.5, followed by Miege senior Daegen Jensen at 52-10 for the silver. Andale sophomore Cooper Marx picked up a valuable extra point in seventh on a throw of 48-6.25.

The Class 4A 110m hurdle finale lived up to the hype. The race featured three of the top-seven hurdlers in the state this spring. Rose Hill senior Teagan Cobb won in 14.67, followed by Louisburg senior Mason Dobbins in 14.70, and Abilene junior Judah Bowell in 15.04.

The 1A high jump early Saturday morning featured two of the top-10 jumpers in Kansas this spring. It proved to be a runaway with Burlingame senior Matthew Heckman, ranked No. 1 in Kansas this year, winning at 6-10. Pawnee Heights senior Alec Carlson, who won a gold and silver on Friday, just beat out South Central senior Jaden Sawyers for the silver at 6-2.

Beloit senior Grady Seyfert broke a 3A meet record in the shot put Friday. With a best discus throw of 195-8 this year, he ranks No. 14 all-time in Kansas and was a threat to the meet record of 200-4 set last year by Santa Fe Trail’s Brett Schwartz. Seyfert came up well short of that mark at 178-11 but still collected another championship. Nemaha Central’s Connor Deters won the silver at 174-4.