Tonganoxie If Baldwin High's boys track team hopes to repeat as Class 4A state champions, it will have to start today.
The Bulldogs have all their scorers back from last year and will be favored in today's boys and girls 16-team 4A track regional at Tonganoxie High.
Field events will begin at 3 p.m., running preliminaries at 4:30 p.m. and finals at 6:15 p.m.
Baldwin boys won four events at last spring's Class 4A state meet in Wichita. Matt Noonan won two races the 1,600 and the 3,200, and finished second to teammate Eric Black in the 800. The Bulldogs' other state champ was Eric Brown in the javelin. Teammate Hugh Murphy was second in the spear throw.
All four scorers are back for their last season in Baldwin's purple uniforms. Noonan, Brown and Black all have signed NCAA Division One track tenders Noonan with Missouri, Brown with Arkansas and Black with Kansas. Murphy is expected to attend Brown University, an Ivy League school that doesn't give athletic scholarships.
Baldwin has a defending girls state champion in Emily Brown, who high-jumped 5-4.
Another state champ who will be competing at the Tongie facility is Perry-Lecompton's Spencer Kennedy, who earned a gold medal in the high jump last spring by clearing 6-foot-4.