Wichita On her third throw of the day, Ottawa High junior Kearsten Peoples broke an 11-year-old state meet record in the shot put to clinch her second straight Class 4A championship in the event.
“I came here expecting to do good, but I did better than what I expected,” Peoples said after slinging the shot 46 feet, 3 inches at Cessna Stadium on the campus of Wichita State University. “I’m just really happy.”
She exceeded personal expectations not only with the record but also with a state championship in the discus, which she won with a throw of 137 feet, 1 inch.
For the second year in a row, Tonganoxie thrower Roni Grizzle found herself standing at the No. 2 podium next to Peoples when shot put medals were handed out.
“She’s so good she makes me better,” Grizzle, a THS senior, said of Peoples. “Most of the time my game plan is to come in and win, and when she throws, I’m like, ‘All right, let’s win second.’ I feel like I won, kind of.”
The two have been going at it for the past three years. Grizzle beat Peoples in a shot-put event when the OHS thrower was a freshman, but the two have maintained a positive relationship.
“We didn’t really hold it against each other,” Peoples said of exchanging victories. “We just help each other and try to get better.”
Other area results
In Class 5A events, Mill Valley athletes finished second in three events.
Ashley Bowman earned a silver medal with a pole vault of 10 feet, 6 inches.
The Jaguars’ Matt Acree took second in two events — the boys shot put and discus.
Mill Valley’s Emma Umbarger placed third in the girls javelin.
Perry-Lecompton senior Joel Gantz finished his Kaws career with a bronze medal in the shot put. His throw was 51-11.5.
De Soto’s Lacey Erickson finished fourth in the 3,200-meter run. Jamel Townsend of DHS was fifth in the triple jump.
Tonganoxie sophomore Jake Willis tied a school record in the pole vault with a 13-6 mark and finished fourth at state.
Santa Fe Trail’s Jesse Bahner finished fourth in the high jump.
Several area runners qualified for today’s finals in track events.
Oskaloosa’s John Thurston qualified in the 300-meter hurdles and the 200-meter dash. Wellsville’s Madison Chambers qualified in the girls 200.
Baldwin and Tonganoxie sent their boys 4x400 relay teams to the finals, and BHS also qualified its girls in the event. Tonganoxie junior D.J. Lindsay had the second-best prelim time in the boys 200.