Lawrence High has qualified 13 girls and 10 boys for the state track meet, scheduled Friday and Saturday at Wichita's Cessna Stadium.
Regardless of state honor rolls and projected scores, Lawrence High head track coach Jerry Skakal says don't overlook his girls team as a contender for the team title at this weekend's state meet at Wichita's Cessna Stadium.
"They think they can win it and that's more important than any number you can put on a piece of paper," said Skakal, whose girls are coming off the Class 6A regional championship in Olathe. "We're going to have to be at our very, very, very best to have a chance."
The Lions compiled 147 points to outdistance Leavenworth, considered a contender for the state crown, at regional. Senior Lydia Oelschlaeger (1600 and 3200), junior Kristin Brune (400) and junior Lori Yoder (800) were regional winners for LHS, which qualified 13 girls for state.
Oelschlaeger, Brune and Yoder are expected to challenge in their respective events. At state last year, Oelschlaeger placed sixth in the 1600 and 3200. Brune placed sixth in the 400.
The LHS girls' 1600 relay team of Kizzie Ricks, Eniola Ajayi, Yoder and Brune also won at regional.
Senior Deanna St. Cyr -- a qualifier in the javelin, discus and shot put -- headlines Lawrence's entries in field events. She will throw the javelin, discus and shot put.
Freshman long jumper Marci Attig is the only other LHS girl qualified for a field event.
Skakal expects Ricks, a sophomore, to place in both hurdle events. She finished second in the 100 hurdles and third in the 300 hurdles at regional.
Sophomore sprinter Jacy Hurst is questionable for the weekend meet. Hurst, a qualifier in the 200 and the anchor of the 400 relay, has been hobbled by a sore knee.
If Hurst can't go, Ricks will run on the relay team.
The LHS boys have 10 entries, including regional winners Garrett Attig, David Humbarger and Jo Jo Polk.
"I really, truly believe as wide open as the boys meet will be and if we can score 40 points we can bring home a trophy," said Skakal, whose boys placed second at regional.
Attig, heavily favored to defend his pole vault title, has cleared 16 feet this season and has been no lower than 14 feet while winning all six meets in which he has competed. He vaulted 15-9 at regional. Shawnee Mission North's Eric Sanchez had the second-best regional effort with a 14-0.
Humbarger soared to 6-8 to win the high jump at regional. His personal record was the top regional mark for the four regionals.
Polk won the 300 hurdles (39.8) and placed second in the 110 hurdles at regional.
"He's flat out worked hard enough to deserve to win," Skakal said.
The LHS track team was scheduled to leave tonight for Wichita. The first events begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday.