Stilwell — After two meets in Lawrence to begin the season, Free State High’s boys and girls track teams were itching to prove themselves to some of the other top teams in Kansas on Friday at the Blue Valley Relays.
The FSHS girls team, the defending 6A state champion, did that and then some, winning the meet with 117 points over second-place St. Thomas Aquinas.
The Firebird girls won seven events, including the 1,600-meter sprint medley, distance medley and the 4x200 relay.
“Two of the races that I think have done really well that we are excited to see are the distance medley and the sprint medley,” Free State coach Jordan Rose said. “Both of those races are kind of fun to see the sprint squad and the distance squad come together and perform really well.”
Freshman Emily Venters anchored both relays as the mile leg and helped FSHS set the meet record in the distance medley in 12:38.43.
“I was kind of nervous about the sprint one, but it ended up turning out pretty well,” Venters said. “In the distance one, I ended up getting a PR, too, so it was pretty good. The adrenaline kept me going.”
The PR for Venters, 5:08, was matched by Bailey Sullivan, who set a meet record and won the girls 1,600. Sullivan earned Girls Athlete of the Meet honors for her performances in the 1,600, distance medley relay and 4x400 relay.
“We are pushing each other to go faster,” Venters said. “It’s definitely good to have a teammate who you are close to in times.”
Claire Sanner followed Sullivan’s win in the 1,600 with a victory in the girls 3,200 in 11:17.59.
Scout Wiebe placed first overall in the girls javelin with a mark of 123 feet, 2 inches, and Kiara Clark won the 300 hurdles and helped the Firebirds win the 4x200 relay.
FSHS boys place fourth
Free State’s boys squad scored 66 points to place fourth.
The Firebirds sprint medley relay team of Ronald White, Tyler O’Dell, Elijah Harvey and Stan Skwarlo matched the FSHS girls with a first-place finish. Free State also had three runners-up: Avin Lane in the 100, Trevor Hillis in the pole vault and the 4x200 relay team.
“I think a lot of people focus on the girls because of how we did last year, so I think it takes a little bit of the pressure off of the boys team,” Rose said. “We keep encouraging them a lot about how good they really are. Today, we’ve seen them step out and build some confidence, which has been exciting.”
Hillis, a senior, is pleased to see the young Free State squad battling with some of the top competition in the state.
“It is a lot of fun seeing a lot of new people,” Hillis said, “especially this (meet) because we don’t really compete against a lot of these guys during the season.”
The Firebirds’ top pole vaulter hit a mark of 13 feet, 9 inches.
“I felt pretty good getting on to the pole,” Hillis said. “I’m just kind of working and getting ready for KU Relays and the later meets. I’m at a good spot, slowly increasing my height.”
Rose is excited about the opportunity for her athletes to compete at Rock Chalk Park for the first time and thinks that several Firebirds will qualify for the meet.
“I think the kids are looking forward to be out there in that new venue,” Rose said. “I’m not really sure how it is going to pan out yet with the throwing in one area and running in a different area. It’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out.”
Team scores: Free State 117, St. Thomas Aquinas 91, Shawnee Mission North 78, Shawnee Mission South 60, Blue Valley Southwest 56, Blue Valley West 53, Blue Valley 49.5, Shawnee Mission East 35.5, Shawnee Mission Northwest 30, Blue Valley North 21, Blue Valley Northwest 9.
Free State results
4x800-meter relay — 4. Molly McCord, Abigail Zenger, Kiran Cordes, Claire Sanner, 10.16.94.
1,600-meter run — 1. Bailey Sullivan, 5:08.22.
1,600-meter sprint medley — 1. Brogan Scott, Marilee Neutel, Laura Kennard, Emily Venters, 4:20.93.
300-meter hurdles — 1. Kiara Clark, 46.72.
Distance medley relay — 1. Claire Sanner, Abigail Zenger, Bailey Sullivan, Emily Venters, 12:38.43.
4x200-meter relay — 1. Kiara Clark, Brogan Scott, Marilee Neutel, Laura Kennard, 1:50.77.
3,200-meter run — 1. Claire Sanner, 11:17.59. 8. Kiran Cordes, 12:17.34.
4x400-meter relay — 3. Kiara Clark, Bailey Sullivan, Marilee Neutel, Laura Kennard, 4:11.80.
Pole vault — 2. Alyssa Hicks, 8-03. 3. Callie Hicks, 8-03.
Long jump — 5. Callie Hicks, 16-00.25. 10. Bri Martin, 14-10.
Triple jump — 4. Bri Martin, 32-00.
Discus — 3. Hannah Shoemaker, 109-06. 5. Kahler Wiebe, 92-04.
Javelin — 1. Scout Wiebe, 123-02. 11. Kahler Wiebe, 87-00. 13. Hannah Shoemaker, 84-08.
Shot put — 4. Hannah Shoemaker, 32-04.5. 5. Hannah Walter, 31-10. 11. Caylee Irving, 27-06.5.
Team scores: Blue Valley Northwest 88, Blue Valley 87, St. Thomas Aquinas 72, Free State 66, Shawnee Mission North 57, Shawnee Mission Northwest 49, Shawnee Mission East 46.5, Shawnee Mission South 44.5, Blue Valley North 36, Blue Valley Southwest 32, Blue Valley West 18.
Free State results
4x800-meter relay — 6. Cole Stallard, Owen Heffernan, Thomas Becker, Ryan Liston, 8:36.04.
100-meter dash — 2. Avin Lane, 11.42. 4. Ronald White, 11.80. 15. Ahmad Moukaddem, 12.12.
1,600-meter run — 10. Tanner Hockenbury, 4:42.72. 22. Curtis Zicker, 5:07.15.
1,600-meter sprint medley — 1. Ronald White, Tyler O’Dell, Elijah Harvey, Stan Skwarlo, 3:39.06.
300-meter hurdles — 5. Rueben Wesley, 44.11.
4x100-meter relay — 3. Avin Lane, Tyler O’Dell, Ahmad Moukaddem, Isaac King, 44.90.
Distance medley relay — 3. Tanner Hockenbury, Ian Sellens, Cole Stallard, Stan Skwarlo, 11:08.70.
4x200-meter relay — 2. Avin Lane, Tyler O’Dell, Ronald White, Isaac King, 1:33.18.
3,200-meter run — 6. Ryan Liston, 10:00.33. 7. Thomas Becker, 10:01.43. 22. Owen Heffernan 11:07.76.
4x400-meter relay — 8. Ian Sellens, Reuben Wesley, Stan Skwarlo, Elijah Harvey, 3:38.12.
High jump — T-11. Taylor Krejci, 5-07. T-11. Drew Tochtrop, 5-07.
Pole vault — 2. Trevor Hillis, 13-09.
Long jump — 11. Drew Tochtrop, 19-03.5. 19. Taylor Krejci, 18-05. 22. Avin Lane, 15-04.75.
Triple jump — 11. Azariah LeBrun, 39-05. Taylor Krejci, 39-00. Drew Tochtrop, 38-09.
Discus — 7. Nick Hocking, 133-03.12. Andrew Krejci, 100-11.
Javelin — 3. Lucas Werner, 156-06. 7. Sam Franshier, 133-11. 21. Simeon Windibriziri, 95-03.
Shot put — 11. Nick Hocking, 38-04. 18. Evan Bangalan 35-04. 21. Sam Franshier, 28-02.