Earlier this season it looked like Lawrence High might be able to fit its state track qualifiers into a Volkswagen Beetle.
Instead, it'll be a new Ripley's record if the Lions pack their state contingent into a compact car.
"We've got a lot of kids qualified who we didn't feel would qualify," LHS boys coach Bob Lisher said. "When it really counted, they had their best meet."
The girls are in the same bus, with five individuals and two relay teams headed to Wichita State's Cessna Stadium this weekend.
"And they're all young, which bodes well for next year," girls coach Steve Sublett said. "But we can't think about next year now. We have to be thinking about this year's state meet."
Field events run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Preliminaries for the state's three largest classes start at 8 a.m. Friday, and finals for all running events are Saturday.
LAWRENCE'S boys 15 will make the trip do not enter thinking of defending their three straight 6A team championships, Lisher said.
"We're approaching it with the attitude that you go down, stay relaxed, enjoy the experience, compete the very best you can and whatever happens happens," he said.
The girls take along a similar outlook.
"I really think we have a chance to score quite a few points," Sublett said, "but I don't know if we have the point total to overcome Shawnee Heights or Junction City. They have pure speed."
Lawrence's boys have their best shot at placing high in the 1,600 relay, their only championship at regionals. Senior Brian Martin, the anchor, also has a shot at medals in the 200 and 400.
If junior Charles Womack has his way, he'll add some points in the triple jump. Womack's jump of 43-5 at regionals was over a foot better than his previous best.
"I THINK I'll have to get at least 45 (feet) to have a chance, but I'm hoping," Womack said. "I'm just trying to improve this year. I have a chance to win next year."
The girls' most likely point-producers are the 3,200 and 1,600 relay teams, both of which are regional champions. Kim Buchleitner and Alicia Rooman were runners-up at regionals in the 400 and 800 respectively and both have a chance at medals.
"We have one of the best quarter-milers in the state," Sublett said, referring to Buchleitner, "and the open 800 is one of those events that four or five people could win. We have a person who could win. Our four-by-four and four-by-eight relays are both contenders. We're pretty enthused."