Quinter HS track team responds to controversial call that ended state title hopes
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The 2023 high school track season didn’t end the way the Quinter Bulldogs wanted. The Class 1A boys’ 1600-meter relay toward the end of the meet appeared to solidify a team state championship. A controversial disqualification erased the dream.
Heading into last weekend’s state track meet in Wichita, the Quinter boys’ track team was confident, but knew it would take a strong couple days to win a team state track title for the first time sine 1996. Pieces fell into place for that feat to be within the Bulldogs’ grasp. All that was needed was a strong finish in the 4X4 or 1600-meter relay.
“If we finish first and Axtell finished fifth or worse, we’re going to be state champs,” Quinter track coach John Crist said.
Avery Briggs was the third leg in the 4X4. When he handed the baton to the team’s anchor, Bradley Bogert, the Bulldogs were one within striking distance of the lead.
‘I handed it off in third place and I’m thinking, ‘our anchor’s gonna chase em down and we’re going to win a state championship,’” Briggs said.
The team celebrated when Bogert took the lead and kept it.
“We erupted, we were going absolutely crazy,” Quinter track athlete Lakin Getz said. “You know, we ran down onto the field, giving everyone chest bumps, high fives, congratulating them all.”
That excitement was short-lived. A judge ruled the Bulldogs were disqualified for disrupting Kiowa County on the anchor leg.
“I was told by the head judge that he was told by an official that our kid stopped their kid in his tracks, and I immediately went, ‘that didn’t happen,’” Crist said.
Team members said they were ready to be recognized as state champions. Now, they’re working harder for next year.
“I think we have plenty of talent and if we keep working hard, we can definitely bring home a state title next year,” Briggs said.
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