Free State High’s track and field team features some of the top girls middle-distance runners in the state.
At most meets, they are their own best competition, so it can be fun to watch when they’re all running together, as they did on the distance medley relay team, Friday at the Kansas Relays at Rock Chalk Park.
The medley relay runners — Claire Sanner, Marilee Neutel, Emily Venters and Bailey Sullivan — finished in second place (12:31.82), improving their time by nearly seven seconds from last week when they won at the Blue Valley Relays. Sullivan played a large role in the quick time, running the last leg, a mile, in 5:04.28.
“It’s pretty special,” Sanner said. “It’s fun to do it in front of a home crowd.”
Before the distance medley relay, Venters and Sanner both ran in the 3200 meters. Venters, a freshman who won a Class 6A state title in cross country, placed seventh while Sanner finished right behind her in ninth. They both set personal records in the event.
“It went like I thought it would,” said Venters, who admitted she was nervous before her first career race in the KU Relays. “I knew there would be some girls that were out in front and faster than me. I was going to get pushed and I definitely did today. It didn’t feel like my best race but I think I had one of my best times so that’s good.”
Lawrence High’s 4x400 relay team featuring Myah Yoder, Kyleigh Severa, Marissa Pope and Jensen Edwards ran the fastest time in Kansas this year (4:01.26), taking second place in their prelim. It was also less than a second away from the 4:00.60 they recorded at the state prelims last season.
The 4x400 relay team still has potential to go faster, as the Lions were without junior Leah Gabler, who ran the first leg on the state title run but was out of town on Friday.
“We love running at the KU Relays,” Severa said. “Our coach always tells us that regionals and state are all that matter, but KU Relays is really exciting because teams from all over different states come and it’s fun to compete against new competition.”
Free State junior Kiara Clark took seventh in the 300-meter hurdles and qualified for the 100-meter hurdle finals today — along with junior teammate Gabbi Dabney.
Clark, who is competing in her third KU Relays, made the 100 hurdles finals for the first time. Despite her experience in the mega-meet, she doesn’t think it gives her an edge.
“No, because I feel like since I’m a junior now there’s so much more pressure and expectations,” Clark said. “I’m a lot more nervous this year.”
City athletes compete in field events
Another year of experience at the KU Relays did wonders for Lawrence High senior Erik Parrish. He finished in sixth place in the triple jump with a leap of 45 feet, 1 inch.
“Last year I was completely nervous and I went like 42 feet,” Parrish said. “I was just out of it. This year, I was more relaxed and I knew who I was going against, so it helped me a lot and it helped me prepare more for this. I was happy with how I did.”
LHS junior Matia Finley started slowly but improved with each discus throw, taking fourth place with a toss of 136 feet, 9 inches. Her twin sister, Rebecca, made her first throw of the day her best one, and she placed fifth at 135 feet, 8 inches.
The discus toss was held outside of Memorial Stadium, which is a tougher venue than other high school meets because athletes throw from the deepest ring and it creates a tunnel-like effect from the nets.
“Not too excited about (my throws),” said Matia Finley, who finished first at the 6A state tournament last year. “But I mean, I kept positive from my bad throws, so it (kept) getting better for me.”
Meanwhile, Free State senior Scout Wiebe placed ninth in the javelin toss with her best throw reaching 123 feet, 1 inch.
The Relays will continue at Rock Chalk Park today, beginning at 8 a.m.
Area High School Results
400 (prelims) — 7. Morgan Lober, Baldwin, 58.90. 15. Laura Kennard, FS, 1:00.09. 31. Emma Taylor, P-L, 1:03.47. DQ. Kacie Tripp, De Soto.
3200 — 7. Emily Venters, FS, 10:59.80. 9. Claire Sanner, FS, 11:11.69.
100 hurdles (Prelims) — 8. Gabbi Dabney, FS, 15.67. 9. Kiara Clark, FS, 15.75. 22. Holly Webb, Mill Valley, 16.21. 32. Kasey Meeks, Mill Valley, 16.81. 40. Maddie Ogle, Baldwin, 17.72.
300 hurdles — 7. Kiara Clark, FS, 47.03. 18. Kasey Meeks, Mill Valley, 48.55. 21. Emma Taylor, P-L, 49.00. 32. Maddie Ogle, Baldwin, 50.32.
4x1600 Relay — 19. Molly McCord, Marlee Yost-Wolff, Abigail Zenger, Kiran Cordes, FS, 23:38.19.
Distance Medley Relay — 2. Claire Sanner, Marilee Neutel, Emily Venters, Bailey Sullivan, FS, 12:31.82. 15. Ellie Wilson, Emma Hansen, Savannah Rudicel, Margo Wieschhaus, Mill Valley, 13:22.87.
4x100 Relay (Prelims) — 15. Myah Yoder, Kyleigh Severa, Marissa Pope, Jensen Edwards, LHS, 50.68. 18. Gabbi Dabney, Kiara Clark, Brogan Scott, Laura Kennard, FS, 51.23. 42. Holly Webb, Kameron Smith, Emily Leonard, Jasmine Cousins, Mill Valley, 54.04. DQ. Kyna Smith, Morgan Lober, Kylee Bremer, Carlyn Cole, Baldwin.
4x400 Relay (Prelims) — 2. Myah Yoder, Kyleigh Severa, Marissa Pope, Jensen Edwards, LHS, 4:01.26. 9. Kyna Smith, H Hutton, Carlyn Cole, Morgan Lober, Baldwin, 4:07.72. 28. Kiara Clark, Bailey Sullivan, Marilee Neutel, Laura Kennard, FS, 4:17.80. 35. Emma Hansen, Emily Leonard, Margo Wieschhaus, Ellie Wilson, Mill Valley, 4:21.59. 37. Lexia Jamison, Halsten Coyle, Kaylee Visser, Emma Taylor, P-L, 4:21.94.
Discus — 4. Matia Finley, LHS, 136-09. 5. Rebecca Finley, LHS, 135-08. 6. Alexia Stein, Baldwin, 133-06. 17. Kennedy O'Dell, Eudora, 111-11. 21. Jordan Hoffman, Baldwin, 99-04.
Pole Vault — t-10. Jannell Clampitt, De Soto, 10-4.
Triple Jump — 8. Kasey Meeks, Mill Valley, 35-0.25. 25. Caitlin Broadwell, LHS, 33-1. 31. Taylor Corbitt, Mill Valley, 32-4.75.
Javelin — 9. Scout Wiebe, FS, 123-1. 11. Kelsey Kehl, Baldwin, 122-10. 14. Taylor Fuller, P-L, 117-8. 24. Jordan Hoffman, Baldwin, 87-0.
100 (Prelims) — t-25. Tai Nguyen, Mill Valley, 11.34. 39. J.D. Woods, LHS, 11.51.
400 (Prelims) — 8. Colin Coleman, P-L, 50.04. 9. Luke Stenzel, De Soto, 50.07.
800 — 7. Kurt Loevenstein, Mill Valley, 1:57.26. 23. Luis Murillo, De Soto, 2:01.25. Aaron Miller, Ottawa, 2:05.16.
110 hurdles (Prelims) — 23. Ben Johnson, Tonganoxie, 15.68. 24. Hunter Thuro, Wellsville, 15.69. 27. Cody Deas, Mill Valley, 15.92.
300 hurdles — 4. Hunter Thuro, Wellsville, 39.71. 27. Cody Deas, Mill Valley, 42.10.
4x1600 Relay — 10. Joe Pierce, Ethan Hartzell, George Letner, Dakota Helm, Baldwin, 18:38.56. 11. Tanner Hockenbury, Thomas Becker, Ethan Donley, Ryan Liston, FS, 18:38.73.
Distance Medley Relay — 9. Tanner Hockenbury, Ian Sellens, Ryan Liston, Stan Skwarlo, FS, 10:52.46. 16. C.J. Meeks, Drew Nelson, Teddy Gillespie, Jakob Coacher, Mill Valley, 11:13.33.
4x100 Relay (Prelims) — 19. Cor’tae Brady, J’Mony Bryant, Nick Benton, J.D. Woods, LHS, 44.35. 22. Cody Williams, Seth Surface, Colin Coleman, Will Hinrichson, P-L, 44.43. 31. Avin Lane, Tyler Odell, Ronald White, Isaac King, FS, 45.02. 32. Joel Halford, Tim Craig, Chad Berg, Darius Johnson, Baldwin, 45.03. DNF. Chase Midyett, Andrew Hicks, Christian Jegen, Tai Nguyen, Mill Valley.
4x400 Relay (Prelims) — 4. Colin Coleman, Seth Surface, Cody Williams, Will Hinrichson, P-L, 3:24.33. 16. C.J. Meeks, Kyal Long, Jason Biesma, Kurt Loevenstein, Mill Valley, 3:29.88. 19. Dakota Helm, Joel Halford, Chad Berg, Joe Pierce, Baldwin, 3:30.77. 22. Luke Stenzel, Luis Murillo, Travis Hodge, Nick Mechler, De Soto, 3:32.60. 35. Nick Benton, Tre Moore, Cor’tae Brady, J.D. Woods, LHS, 3:37.47. 37. Ian Sellens, Stan Skwarlo, Tyler Odell, Elijah Harvey, FS, 3:38.28.
Discus — 1. Kord Ferguson, Ottawa, 189-01.
Triple Jump — 6. Erik Parrish, LHS, 45-1.