City may be becoming fertile ground for talented throwers

LEAVENWORTH — San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, is known as the cradle of shortstops and has sent more than 70 players, most of them gifted with strong arms, to Major League Baseball.

Western Pennsylvania pumps out quarterbacks the way Detroit does Fords. Joe Montana and Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas and Jim Kelly, George Blanda and Dan Marino all came from the region.

Lawrence just might be in the midst of establishing itself as a fertile ground for athletes who use their strong arms to excel in another sport.

Talented young javelin throwers, boys and girls, have been popping up all over town in recent years.

Hunter Krom and Harrison King, a pair of Lawrence High seniors, finished first and second in the event at Friday’s Sunflower League track and field championships and Baylee Unruh, a junior at LHS, took second in the girls competition, breaking her personal and school record with a throw of 142 feet, 4 inches.

“She did great today,” King said of Unruh. “She broke her own record by 10 feet, which is crazy.”

Unruh placed second to Dana Baker (164-2) of Olathe North, bound for Duke on a track scholarship.

“She’s No. 1 in the nation,” Unruh said of Baker. “She’s fun to watch. I hope some day I can become as good as her.”

King broke his personal record by about 5 feet with a throw of 185-10 and Krom propelled the javelin 193-7.

Free State senior Nathan Spain placed seventh (160-6) and was grateful for the pointers he received during the competition from the Lions who placed ahead of him.

“I’m good friends with Hunter and Harrison. I’ve known them for a long time,” Spain said. “Today they were helping me because I’ve been struggling. They told me to relax and plant my left foot down. They watch me. I watch them.”

Krom, King and Spain all will attend Baker University next year and will throw the javelin there. King and Spain will be football teammates and Krom will compete for the bowling team.

Lawrence High track coach Jack Hood has a theory on why the city has become so rich in javelin throwers so quickly and Free State assistant Darrell Andrew, who has been coaching the event for the Firebirds since the school opened and at LHS before that, agrees with him.

Call it the Tye Carter effect.

Carter played baseball at Free State his first three years, picked up the javelin for the first time as a senior in 2015, placed first in the state and competed for two years before being sidelined by injury.

“Ever since that there has been a proliferation of javelin throwers,” Hood said. “We’re a baseball town in some regards. You know how serious baseball is, which means you have a lot of really good arms, especially on the boys’ side, frustrated because they can’t make it onto varsity. Our two guys are ex-baseball guys.

“My theory is you have a couple of successful baseball programs, you get big numbers, you have overflow kids that get cut and they come over and do track.”

Said Andrew: “We’ve got the tradition started now. We’re getting kids out now. We’re getting 35, 40 kids out (for javelin). Since Tye Carter came out as a rookie thrower and won state, we’ve been getting a lot of kids coming out. A lot of kids get cut from baseball and decide they want to come out and put their talent somewhere else.”

“We’ve been getting a lot of one-and-dones,” Andrew said of athletes who pick up the event as seniors. “I kind of feel like coach Calipari.”

Andrew referenced a great throw Bo Miller, a catcher for the Firebirds until picking up the javelin this season, made in practice recently.

“And he’s only been doing it for a few weeks,” Andrew said. “I hope the tradition continues.”

Not all of the night’s stars were throwers. Free State senior Cameryn Thomas finished second in the 300 hurdles (48.46) and fifth in the long jump (17-8).

The Lawrence High girls capped their evening with strong legs in the 4×400 from Ozi Ajekwu, Hannah Stewart, Asjah Harris and Evann Seratte to win the event by more than four seconds with a time of 4:05.06.

Lawrence finished fourth in the girls standings and ninth in the boys. Free State was 12th in the girls’ competition and 11th in the boys’ standings.

Sunflower League meet

Friday at Leavenworth

Girls team scores — 1. Olathe Northwest, 90; T-2. Leavenworth, 81; T-2. Olathe North, 81; 4. Lawrence High, 79; 5. Olathe South, 76; 6. Shawnee Mission East, 71; 7. Gardner Edgerton 58.5; 8. Shawnee Mission West, 42; 9. Shawnee Mission Northwest, 28.5; 10. Olathe West, 31; 11. Shawnee Mission Northwest, 28.5; 12. Free State, 27; 13. Olathe East, 26; 14. Shawnee Mission South, 9.

Boys team scores — 1. Shawnee Mission Northwest, 153; 2. Gardner Edgerton 74; 3. Olathe East, 67.5; 4. Olathe South, 65.5; 5. Olathe Northwest, 56; T-6. Shawnee Mission North, 53; T-6. Shawnee Mission West, 53; 8. Olathe North, 44; 9. Lawrence High, 34.5; 10. Leavenworth, 33; 11. Free State, 30.5; 12. Olathe West, 29; 13. Shawnee Mission East, 26; 14. Shawnee Mission South, 22.

Girls results

Lawrence High

100 — 9. Bella Kirkwood, 13.03; 14. Ashley Wildeman, 13.15; 19. Amaya Harris, 13.44.

200 – 2. Asjah Harris, 25.34; 12. Bella Kirkwood, 27.00; 15. Ashley Wildeman, 27.39.

400 — 2. Evann Seratte, 58.84; 10. Ozi Ajekwu, 1:04.25.

800 — 4. Hannah Stewart, 2:21.04; 14. Jayden Wilson, 2:35.45.

1600 — 19. Layne Prescott, 5:55.66.

3200 — 16. Layne Prescott, 13:05.46; 18. Lacey Greenfield, 13:51.24.

4×100 — 6. Ashley Wildeman, Amaya Harris, Bella Kirkwood, Asjah Harris, 49.09.

4×400 — 1. Ozi Ajekwu, Hannah Stewart, Asjah Harris, Evann Seratte, 4:05.06.

4×800 — 2. Hannah Stewart, Layne Prescott, Jayden Wilson, Evann Seratte, 9:51.79.

Shot put — 3. Krissy Howard, 36-11; 4. Chisom Ajekwu, 36-04.25; 8. Abby La Tessa, 34-03.

Discus — 7. Ella Stewart, 100-04; 21. Abby La Tessa, 80-05; 25. Destiny Vonghachanh, 71-06.

Javelin — 2. Baylee Unruh, 142-04; 5. Michaela Cordova, 116-05; 116-05; 14. Amaya Harris, 99-06.

High jump — 11. Cassidy Johnson, 4-08; T-11. Mariah Reed, 4-08.

Pole vault — T-2. Josie Hickerson, 11-03; 6. Caroline Dunlap, 9-03.

Long jump — 8. Bella Kirkwood, 17-04; 17. Marlee Coleman, 16-02.5; 22. Cassidy Johnson, 15-07.75.

Triple jump — 9. Josie Hickerson, 35-03.25.

Free State

100 — 22. Ana Holladay, 13.65.

200 — 21. Ana Holladay, 28.51.

400 — 15. Ana Holladay, 1:05.68.

800 — 11. Julia Larkin, 2:31.14; 25. Bella Stull, 2:44.39.

1600 — 22. Bella Stull, 6:00.55.

3200 — 5. Erin Fagan, 12:04.07; 14. Maddie Day, 12:57.19; 15. Anna Riley, 12:58.93.

100 hurdles — T-10. Liliana King-Wilson, 18.00; T-10 Cameryn Thomas, 18.00; 16. Caitlin McAndrew-Beckman, 18.67.

300 hurdles — 2. Cameryn Thomas, 48.46; 7. Liliana King-Wilson, 50.02; 16. Caitlin McAndrew-Beckman, 54.36.

4×100 — 11. Haylee Kern, Destiny Downing, Auna Childress, Ana Holladay, 52.96.

4×400 — 8. Haylee Kern, Cameryn Thomas Emma Hertig, Destiny Downing, 4:18.89.

4×800 — 4. Julia Larkin, Emma Hertig, Erin Fagan, Anna Riley, 10:13.35.

Shot put — 27. Katelin Hollinshed, 26-10; 28. Hope Wheeler-Halsted, 25-07.25; 30. Sydnie Martins, 25-02.5.

Discus — 22. Hope Wheeler-Halsted, 79-00; 27. Katelin Hollinshed, 65-05.

Javelin — 9. Erin Cushing, 105-02; 20. Haylee Kern, 89-02; 24. Lauren Hoppe, 85-02.

High jump — T-11. Liliana King-Wilson, 4-08.

Pole vault — T-11. Brooke Wright, 7-09; T-13. Nia Hughes, 7-03; NH. Liliana King-Wilson.

Long jump — 5. Cameryn Thomas, 17-08.25; T-12. Auna Childress, 16-08.

Triple jump — 7. Auna Childress, 36-05.

Boys results

Lawrence High

100 — T-12. Reggie Clemons, 11.63; T-12. Graham Hough, 11.63.

200 — 11. Graham Hough, 23.37; 14. Dre Bridges, 23.58; 17. Reggie Clemons, 23.79.

400 — 19. Colby Otting, 55.09; 25. Jakoby Masters, 56.70.

800 — 20. Kendrik Hobson, 2:08.10; 23. Carson Jumping Eagle, 2:09.49; 29. Pierce Saturday, 2:13.96.

1600 — 35. Keifer Smith, 5:08.54; 36. Aaron Reed, 5:13.28.

3200 — 31. Keifer Smith, 11:14.12.

4×100 — 7. Dre Bridges, Reggie Clemons, Chris Mumford, Graham Hough, 43.62.

4×400 — 12. Trey Hulse, Kendrik Hobson, Graham Hough, Colby Otting, 3:36.66.

Shot put — 4. Bryce Tibke, 48-03; 23. Adonis Stanwix, 38-09; 25. Brayden Laikos, 38-03.

Discus — 6. Bryce Tibke, 136-05; 10. Adonis Stanwix, 126-09.

Javelin — 1. Hunter Krom, 193-07; 2. Harrison King, 185-10; 20. AJ Powell, 139-10.

Pole vault — T-6. Declan Oberzan, 12-06; NH. Relle Dye; NH. Aiden Hunt.

Long jump — 5. Van Dave Jacob, 21-05.5; 8. Chris Mumford, 21-01.5; 12. Reggie Clemons, 19-11.

Triple jump — 11. Kendrik Hobson, 40-09; 16. Chris Mumford, 39-03.5; 21. Van Dave Jacob, 38-04.5.

Free State

100 — 2. JaBrandion Douglas, 11.39; 7. Tyler Bowden, 11.53; 25. Zach Wilson, 12.07.

200 — 7. Tanner Cobb, 23.15; 9. JaBrandion Douglas, 22.23; 18. Malachi Starr, 23.89.

400 — 8. Malachi Starr, 51.86; 9. Cole Phillips, 51.87; 17. Jaxon Malone, 54.41.

800 — 7. Aidan Goertz, 2:03.75; 27. Charlie Johnson, 2:10.52; 30. Christopher Stone, 2:17.71.

1600 — 14. Ethan Sharp, 4:39.89; 17. Landon Sloan, 4:42.30; 31. Christopher Stone, 4:58.21.

3200 — 9. Brock Cordova, 10:19.52; 10. John Loos, 10:19.62; 23. Dash Spears, 10:41.13.

110 hurdles — 15. Cole Wenger, 16.98; 17. KaiyShawn King-Wilson, 17.04; 22. Bryce Cough, 17.61.

300 hurdles — 11. KaiyShawn King-Wilson, 43.02; 17. Cole Wenger, 44.44; 18. Bryce Crough, 44.51.

4×100 — 5. Zach Wilson, JaBrandion Douglas, Tanner Cobb, Tyler Bowden, 43.52.

4×400 — 7. Tyler Bowden, Cole Phillips, Tanner Cobb, Malachi Starr, 3:31.66.

4×800 — 9. Aidan Goertz, Charles Johnson, Ethan Goldstein, John Loos, 8:42.34.

Shot put — 18. Spencer Roe, 39-09; 32. Gabe Clark, 36-08; 34. Matt Georgie, 35-05.

Discus — 11. Trystan Harris, 125-01; 25. Adam Roecker, 105-02; 29. Spencer Roe, 102-01.

Javelin — 7. Nathan Spain, 160-06; 10. Gabe del Valle, 157-04; 21. Bo Miller, 138-10.

High jump — 3. Michael Pettit, 6-02.

Pole vault — NH. Gabe Kennard; NH. Sun Rolf; NH. Carnell Douglass.

Long jump — 13. Jaxon Malone, 19-09; 21. Tanner Cobb, 18-11.5.

Triple jump — 17. Michael Pettit, 39-01.5; T-19. Mario Chacon-Falcon, 38-05.5.

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