Venters caps FSHS career with another title; area athletes conclude state track meet
Wichita ? After winning the girls Class 6A section of the 3,200 meters on Friday night at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium, Free State senior Emily Venters added one more state title to her resume with a first-place finish in the 1,600 meters on Saturday to round out her tenure with the Firebirds.
Much like Friday, Venters was discouraged with her time after crossing the finish line at 4:59.70. Venters had hoped for a personal-best and a meet record, but as she started to reflect on her time in a Free State uniform, her mood sky-rocketed.
“It felt pretty good,” Venters said. “Not obviously the time I wanted again, but I really can’t complain with two state championships.”
Venters was right on the pace she wanted for the first 1,000 meters, but she ran into the same problem as she did Friday with no one being close to her to push her. The Boise State signee’s PR of 4:49.36 came when she was running against Girard standout Cailie Logue and Shawnee Mission Northwest junior Molly Born — who missed the state meet with a fractured foot.
“I think it just shows that racing people helps a lot,” Venters said. “It’s really hard to run alone.”
After congratulating senior Abigail Zenger on her 12th-place finish, Venters discussed how much Zenger and the other Free State distance runners have meant to her over the past four years.
“I would have never known coming in as a 13- or 14-year-old in high school and running for my first time ever that I would be here today,” Venters said. “I’m just so thankful for all of my coaches, teammates and family who have supported me. I really wouldn’t be there without them.”
Venters racked up 20 of Free State’s 35 points between her two victories to guide the Firebirds to eighth place in the 6A girls team standings.
Free State junior Avant Edwards added to the Firebirds’ success in the 1,600 meters after clocking in with a personal-best time of 4:31.32 to take sixth in the boys race.
“I felt really good,” Edwards said. “I wish I could have broke 4:30 to end my junior year, but other than that, I felt good.”
The Firebird 4×400-meter relay of Nathan Thomas, Cole Phillips, Tanner Cobb and Malachi Starr also earned a sixth-place finish with a time of 3:27.08. Phillips collected an individual medal as well when he placed seventh in the 400 meters with a time of 51.01.
Free State placed 25th in the boys team standings.
Stewart, Seratte pace Lawrence High
Lawrence High sophomores Hannah Stewart and Evann Seratte were pleased with the times they dropped in their individual events on Saturday, but they both walked off the track eager to take another step forward.
Stewart highlighted the day for the Lions with a second-place finish in the 800 meters after giving Blue Valley North junior Sophie Scott a run for her money. The Lawrence High sophomore shattered her personal-best time after clocking in at 2:17.66.
“I PR’d by three seconds thanks to that girl (Scott). She was a really good runner,” Stewart said. “It feels pretty good. I wish I would have won, but that girl is a really good runner.”
Stewart was able to execute her race strategy to perfection, as she stayed neck and neck with Scott for the first lap. The BV North junior made a move on the back stretch to pull in front by a few meters, but Stewart didn’t back down. Stewart found one last gear to pull even with Scott down the home stretch, but didn’t quite have enough left in the tank to come out on top. Scott won by 0.42 seconds.
“I had my goal in mind just to stay on her heels the whole time and pushing it at the last 100 just to give it my all,” Stewart said. “She’s a really good runner, and she was really fun to compete with.”
While Stewart was pleased with her big personal-best, the second-place finish left a bad taste in her mouth and gave her plenty of motivation to keep bettering herself in the offseason.
“It means a lot. I have to keep working, though,” Stewart said. “2:17 is still kind of up there. (I will) keep working the next two years, and keep lowering it.”
Just about an hour earlier, Seratte shared some of the same sentiments as Stewart after her fourth-place finish in the 400-meter dash. Seratte shaved nearly a half-second off her times from Friday’s prelims after clocking in at 58.12, but she knew going in that she would have to run a lot faster in order to have a chance at a state title.
Hutchinson’s Yazmine Wright and Wichita Southeast’s Christal Moseley were the only two runners to edge Seratte in prelims, so the Lawrence High sophomore did her best to stay with them as long as she could.
Although Seratte proved to herself that she’s in the top-tier of mid-distance runners in the state, she realized that she has some parts of her race to perfect.
“They’re just really good finishers, and I’m still working on that,” Seratte said. “I knew I had to get out hard to stay up with them because they would finish strong, so I just tried to stay with the group.”
Seratte was back on the track again in the Lions’ 4×400-meter relay, and she had no problem finishing strong on the third leg. When Seratte received the baton from Stewart, the Lions were in fourth place. Seratte bolted from fourth to first in the span of 50 meters on the back stretch to give the baton to senior Myah Yoder.
The Lions’ most experienced runner was not feeling 100 percent going into the relay, as she could barely walk just a few hours beforehand. While Yoder was unable to hold on to the lead, Lawrence coach Jack Hood gave the senior some high praise for putting it all on the line one last time.
“She was a trooper,” Lawrence High coach Jack Hood simply stated.
The Lions went on to take fifth place with a time of 4:03.13. Freshman Asjah Harris was the lead leg of the 4×400, and also joined Yoder, Courtney Fritzler and Ashley Wildeman on the Lions’ eighth-place 4×100-meter relay.
Another sophomore paced the Lions in the field events as well in Baylee Unruh. The LHS javelin thrower made her way up to the podium after placing sixth with a mark of 121 feet, 9 inches.
Unruh helped the Lions to a tie for 15th place in the 6A girls team standings. The javelin duo of Hunter Krom and Harrison King scored all of the points at the state meet on Friday for the LHS boys squad, which took 24th place.
Baldwin girls third in 4A
Abby Ogle, Natalie Beiter, Josephine Boyle and Carly Lindenmeyer put the finishing touches on a third-place finish for the Baldwin girls team after winning the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 4:04.05.
Ogle, Beiter, Boyle and Lindenmeyer gave the Bulldogs their second straight state title in the girls 4×400-meter relay. Ogle added a runner-up performance in the 300-meter hurdles, while Beiter earned medals in the 800 (fifth place) and 1,600 (eighth) meters.
The Bulldogs’ 4×100-meter relay of Pauline Sauter, Aubrey Mahaffey, Kayla Kurtz and Lindenmeyer chipped in a third-place finish, while Josephine Boyle, Alexia Nelson, Daelynn Anderson and Beiter took fifth in the 4×800-meter relay.
Sauter joined Beiter in taking home two individual medals after placing sixth in the 100 and seventh in the 200 meters.
Lindemeyer led the way for the Bulldogs in the field with a third-place finish in the long jump.
Blake Adamson garnered a third-place finish in the javelin to pace the Baldwin boys squad to a tie for 31st place.
Tonganoxie’s Johnson posts another top-three finish
One day removed from winning a state title in the discus, Tonganoxie’s LeeRoi Johnson rounded out the weekend with a third-place finish in the shot put. Johnson’s 16 points for the meet helped the Chieftains tie for 13th in the 4A boys team standings.
Corrin Searcy (400 meters, fifth place) and Emily Chambers (800, seventh) led the way for the Tongie girls team. Searcy, Chambers, Sierra Staatz and Mia Bond concluded the meet with a third-place finish in the 4×400-meter relay. Tonganoxie tied for 15th on the girls side.
Sterba, Spurling lead Eudora
Chancelor Sterba placed fifth in the shot put, and Shawn Spurling took sixth in the javelin to help the Eudora boys team tie for 27th in the 4A standings.
The Eudora girls tied for 26th after McKayla Maples’ third-place finish in the high jump on Friday.
Day Two of Two
Saturday at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium
6A boys team scores — 1. Hutchinson, 65; 2. Manhattan, 50; 3. Wichita South, 48; 4. Garden City, 38; T-5. Blue Valley, 37; T-5. Shawnee Mission Northwest, 37; T-7. Derby, 35; T-7. Olathe South, 35; 9. Topeka, 34; 10. Gardner-Edgerton, 30; 11. Dodge City, 25; 12. Olathe Northwest, 24; T-13. Haysville-Campus, 23; T-13. Shawnee Mission North, 23; T-13. Shawnee Mission West, 23; 16. Olathe North, 21; T-17. Wichita East, 20; T-17. Wichita Northwest, 20; T-19. Washburn Rural, 15; T-19. Wichita Southeast, 15; 21. Blue Valley North, 13; T-22. Shawnee Mission East, 12; T-22. Shawnee Mission South, 12; 24. Lawrence High, 11; 25. Free State, 10; 26. Olathe East, 9; 27. Junction City, 8; 28. Blue Valley West, 5; 29. Wichita West, 3.
Free State results
100 — 11. Zachery Wilson, 11.03.
400 — 7. Cole Phillips, 51.01.
1,600 — 6. Avant Edwards, 4:31.32.
4×400 relay — 6. Nathan Thomas, Cole Phillips, Tanner Cobb, Malachi Starr, 3:27.08.
4×800 relay — 16. Joachim Case, Aidan Goertz, Landon Sloan, William Benkelman, 8:37.13.
6A girls team scores — 1. Junction City, 68; 2. Olathe Northwest, 66; 3. Hutchinson, 57; T-4. Garden City, 39; T-4. Olathe South, 39; T-4. Blue Valley North, 39; 7. Shawnee Mission East, 38. 8. Free State, 35; 9. Manhattan, 32; T-10. Olathe North, 26; T-10. Shawnee Mission North, 26; T-10. Wichita Southeast, 26; 13. Olathe East, 24; 14. Shawnee Mission South, 22; T-15. Lawrence High, 21; T-15. Blue Valley West, 21; 17. Gardner-Edgerton, 20; 18. Wichita East, 19; 19. Washburn-Rural, 18; 20. Shawnee Mission West, 14; 21. Shawnee Mission Northwest, 13; 22. Dodge City, 10; T-23. Haysville-Campus, 8; T-23. Blue Valley Northwest, 8; 25. Blue Valley, 7; 26. Wichita Northwest, 4; 27. Wichita North, 2.
Free State results
800 — 13. Emma Hertig, 2:27.32; 14. Abigail Zenger, 2:28.24.
1,600 — 1. Emily Venters, 4:59.70; 12. Abigail Zenger, 5:33.93.
4×800 relay — 14. Erin Fagan, Emma Hertig, Kiran Cordes, Isabella Crawford-Parker, 10:51.30.
Javelin — 12. Kahler Wiebe, 109-11; 16. Erin Cushing, 98-11.
Lawrence High results
100 — 13. Courtney Fritzler, 12.84.
400 — 4. Evann Seratte, 58.12.
800 — 2. Hannah Stewart, 2:17.66
4×100 relay — 8. Asjah Harris, Courtney Fritzler, Myah Yoder, Ashley Wildeman, 55.57.
4×400 relay — 5. Asjah Harris, Hannah Stewart, Myah Yoder, Evann Seratte, 4:03.13.
High jump — 14. Cassidy Johnson, 4-08.
Javelin — 6. Baylee Unruh, 121-09.
4A boys team scores — 1. Andale, 59.5; 2. Maize South, 54; 3. Scott Community, 46; T-4. Buhler, 43; T-4. Bishop Miege, 43; 6. Paola, 38; 7. Piper, 35.5; 8. Holcomb, 30.5; 9. Pratt, 27; 10. Abilene, 26.5; 11. Clearwater, 23; 12. Ottawa, 22; T-13. Holton, 16; T-13. Tonganoxie, 16; T-13. Winfield, 16; T-16. El Dorado, 12; T-16. Independence, 12; 18. Chapman, 11; T-19. Clay Center Community, 10; T-19. Mulvane, 10; T-19. Hayden, 10; T-19; Towanda-Circle, 10; T-23. Frontenac, 9; T-23. Hays, 9; T-23. Spring Hill, 9; T-23. Wichita-Collegiate, 9; T-27. Eudora, 8; T-27. Wichita-Trinity, 8; T-29. Rose Hill, 7; T-29. Ulysses, 7; T-31. Andover Central, 6; T-31. Atchison, 6; T-31. Augusta, 6; T-31. Baldwin, 6; T-35. Bonner Springs, 5; T-35. Lindsborg-Smoky-Valley, 5; T-35. Wellington, 5; T-38. Coffeyville-Field Kindley, 4; T-38. Colby, 4; T-38. Fort Scott, 4; T-41. Larned, 2; T-41. Burlington, 2; T-41. LaCygne-Prairie View, 2; T-41. McPherson, 2; T-41. Basehor-Linwood, 2; T-46. Lousiburg, 1; T-46. Santa Fe Trail, 1; T-46. Wamego, 1.
4A girls team scores — 1. Andale, 72; 2. Maize South, 61; 3. Baldwin, 57; 4. Paola, 55; 5. McPherson, 45; 6. Girard, 35; T-7. Andover Central, 24; T-7. Jefferson West, 34; 9. Concordia, 30; 10. Pratt, 27; 11. Chanute, 19; 12. Santa Fe Trail, 18; 13. Independence, 16; 14. Chapman, 13; T-15. Clay Center Community, 12; T-15. Tonganoxie, 12; T-17. Augusta, 11; T-17. Spring Hill, 11; T-19. Abilene, 10; T-19. Labette County, 10; T-19. Towanda-Circle, 10; T-19. Wichita-Trinity, 10; T-23. Larned, 8; T-23. Hayden, 8; 25. Scott Community, 7; T-26. El Dorado, 6; T-26. Eudora, 6; T-26. Piper, 6; T-29. Bonner Springs, 5; T-29. Rose Hill, 5; T-29. St. George-Rock Creek, 5; T-29. Wamego, 5; T-29. Wichita-Collegiate, 5; T-34. Anderson County, 4; T-34. Buhler, 4; T-34. Buhler, 4; T-34. Wellington, 4; T-37. Coffeyville-Field Kindley, 3; T-37. Goodland, 3; T-37. Lindsborg-Smoky Valley, 3; T-37. Nickerson, 3; T-41. Burlington, 2.5; T-41. Hays, 2.5; T-43. Louisburg, 2; T-43. Bishop Miege, 2.
800 — 13. Parker Wilson, 2:07.01.
4×800 relay — 14. Parker Wilson, Jacob Bailey, Henry Letner, Max Tuckfield, 8:43.24.
Javelin — 3. Blake Adamson, 178-01.
100 — 6. Pauline Sauter, 12.82.
200 — 7. Pauline Sauter, 26.41.
300 hurdles — 2. Abby Ogle, 46.08.
800 — 5. Natalie Beiter, 2:23.61.
1,600 — 8. Natalie Beiter, 5:29.13.
4×100 relay — 3. Pauline Sauter, Aubrey Mahaffey, Kayla Kurtz, Carly Lindenmeyer, 49.95.
4×400 relay — 1. Abby Ogle, Natalie Beiter, Josephine Boyle, Carly Lindenmeyer, 4:04.05.
4×800 relay — 5. Josephine Boyle, Alexia Nelson, Daelynn Anderson, Natalie Beiter, 10:05.33.
Long jump — 3. Carly Lindenmeyer, 17-01.50.
4×800 relay — 15. Samuel Campbell, Noah Katzenmeier, Brian Lousnbury, Jaeger Rokey, 8:45.80.
Javelin — 6. Shawn Spurling, 174-04.
Shot put — 5. Chancelor Sterba, 51-11.50.
4×800 relay — 11. Emma Campbell, Riley Foltz, Reagan Hiebert, Kayla Maples, 10:28.79.
Pole vault — 15. Mia Manley, 8-06.
800 — 9. Drew Cook, 2:01.66.
Shot put — 3. LeeRoi Johnson, 54-00.50.
400 — 5. Corrin Searcy, 59.82.
800 — 7. Emily Chambers, 2:24.02.
4×400 relay — 3. Sierra Staatz, Corrin Searcy, Emily Chambers, Mia Bond, 4:07.03.