Advertisement

High School Sports

High School Sports

Free State Firebirds ready for grueling 4x800 relay at state championships

May 27, 2011

Advertisement

Members of the Free State boys 4x800 relay team, from left, Preston Newsome, Stan Skwarlo, Logan Sloan and Kain Anderson will participate in the 2011 Class 6A state meet, which starts Friday in Wichita.

Members of the Free State boys 4x800 relay team, from left, Preston Newsome, Stan Skwarlo, Logan Sloan and Kain Anderson will participate in the 2011 Class 6A state meet, which starts Friday in Wichita.

Members of the Free State girls 4x800 relay team, from left, Lynn Robinson, Rachael Schaffer, Hayley Francis and Bailey Sullivan will be participating in the Class 6A state meet, which starts today in Wichita.

Members of the Free State girls 4x800 relay team, from left, Lynn Robinson, Rachael Schaffer, Hayley Francis and Bailey Sullivan will be participating in the Class 6A state meet, which starts today in Wichita.

The 4x800 relay is by far one of the most demanding track and field events. Each two-lap, 800-meter leg takes considerable stamina, but requires an almost sprint-like pace to achieve a solid time.

After running in coach Steve Heffernan’s grueling “six-four-two” workout, though, the Free State High runners consider the 4x800 relay a breeze.

In fact, it’s the unanimous favorite among the eight Firebirds who will run it at the state track and field championships this weekend at Wichita State University’s Cessna Stadium.

The fourth-seeded Firebird girls relay team (9:56.27) — Bailey Sullivan, Hayley Francis, Rachel Schaffer and Lynn Robinson — runs at 11:05 a.m. Saturday.

The top-seeded boys team (8:05.20) — Stan Skwarlo, Logan Sloan, Preston Newsome, Kain Anderson — follows at 12:10 p.m.

“You just have to go out for the first 200 fast and settle in and then hang on, and then most of the second lap you’re sprinting,” said Francis, who also will compete in the 3,200 (two mile).

“It’s so much easier to run on a 4x800 team because you get to run for someone else,” Schaffer said.

It’s also much easier when compared to running the “six-four-two” workout — runs of 600, 400 and 200 meters, followed immediately by a 200, 400 and 600 — in preparation for state.

“It’s pretty awful,” said Robinson, who will also compete in the 800 and 1,600. “It might be one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done.”

“I think we need ‘We survived the six-four-two’ T-shirts or something,” Francis quipped.

While the girls called the brutal track workout coach Heffernan’s “specialty,” Heffernan himself called it a vital part of the process to running the 4x800.

“It helps the kids understand the kind of pace and effort they can give,” Heffernan said.

While seniors Sloan and Newsome on the boys side said their only objective is to win the state championship, the girls — led by seniors Francis and Schaffer — were hoping to improve on last year’s second-place finish.

Both teams will rely on talented freshmen, Sullivan and Skwarlo, running the leadoff leg of the relay. That’s not to say the upperclassmen are shouldering the entire load, though, as both Sullivan and Skwarlo will also compete in the 800 as individuals.

Sullivan is seeded fourth (2:21.80), two slots behind Robinson (2:20.57), while Skwarlo is seeded third (1:57.55).

“It’s atypical to run freshmen on the leadoff leg, but these two have been outstanding,” Heffernan said.

Heffernan added that the leadoff leg is often the most important, because a good time there gives the remaining three runners enough space and distance required to run their race and trust Free State’s strategy.

“We can’t wait for the relay,” Sloan said. “We love it.”

Free State and LHS participants

Friday

Track

Girls 100 hurdles prelims, 2:12 p.m. — 5. Alexa Harmon-Thomas, FSHS, 14.50; 10. TaMiya Green, LHS, 15.48.

Girls 300 hurdles prelims, 4:16 p.m. — 1. Alexa Harmon-Thomas, FSHS, 45.45; 12. TaMiya Green, LHS, 48.22.

Boys 300 hurdles prelims, 4:41 p.m. — 7. Danny Lee, FSHS, 41.41.

Girls 4x400 relay prelims, 5:50 p.m. — 12. LHS (Alexis Scheibler, Emily Davidson, Kelsey Broadwell, TaMiya Green), 4:11.38.

Girls 3,200, 7:20 p.m. — 2. Hayley Francis, FSHS, 11:37.83.

Boys 3,200, 7:33 p.m. — 4. Kain Anderson, FSHS, 9:43.67; 5. Ari Pelli-Nilsen, LHS, 9:45.84.

Field

Girls high jump, 3 p.m. — 1. Alexa Harmon-Thomas, FSHS, 5-07.25.

Girls javelin, 3 p.m. — 10. Scout Wiebe, FSHS, 107-08.

Boys long jump, 4:45 p.m. — 14. Demarco Bobo, FSHS, 20-10.25.

Boys shot put, 4:45 p.m. — 1. Blake Hocking, LHS, 58-10.50.

Saturday

Field

Boys high jump, 8 a.m. — 2. Austin Hoag, FSHS, 6-05.00; 10. Scott Dunlap, LHS, 6-00.00.

Girls long jump, 9:45 a.m. — 5. Alexa Harmon-Thomas, FSHS, 17-09.50.

Boys discus, 11:30 a.m. — 9. Blake Hocking, LHS, 140-02.

Boys triple jump, 11:30 a.m. — 8. Austin Flory, LHS, 43-05.25; 15. Steven Hill, LHS, 42-03.25.

Girls shot put, 3 p.m. — 16. Brie Mingus, FSHS, 33-04.00

Track

Girls 100 hurdles finals, 9:45 a.m.

Girls 4x800 relay, 11:05 a.m. — 4. FSHS (Bailey Sullivan, Hayley Francis, Rachel Schaffer, Lynn Robinson), 9:57.96; 14. LHS (Emily Davidson, Michala Ruder, Alexis Scheibler, Payton Covert), 10:13.95.

Boys 4x800 relay, 12:10 p.m. — 1. FSHS (Stan Skwarlo, Logan Sloan, Preston Newsome, Kain Anderson), 8:05.20.

Girls 1,600, 1:37 p.m. — 8. Lynn Robinson, FSHS, 5:26.54.

Boys 1,600, 2:20 p.m. — 3. Kain Anderson, FSHS, 4:28.98; 10. Preston Newsome, FSHS, 4:35.85.

Girls 300 hurdles final, 4:35 p.m.

Boys 300 hurdles final, 4:55 p.m.

Girls 800, 5:20 p.m. — 2. Lynn Robinson, FSHS, 2:20.57; 4. Bailey Sullivan, FSHS, 2:21.80.

Boys 800, 5:38 p.m. — 3. Stan Skwarlo, FSHS, 1:57.55.

Girls 4x400 final, 6:29 p.m.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.