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LJWorld.com weblogs The Dividing Line

Free State's boys track and field team looking to surprise

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Free State High's boys track and field team finished in fourth place at the Blue Valley Relays on Friday. Though they didn't win the meet like their girls' team did, that doesn't mean they haven't shown a lot of potential.

Free State coach Jordan Rose had an interesting take on the boys success.

“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.”

Only the 1600-meter sprint medley relay team (Ronald White, Tyler O’Dell, Elijah Harvey and Stan Skwarlo) won their event but there were some other promising finishes.

Freshman Avin Lane ranks among the top-20 in the state (from about a week ago, according to Carol Swenson's track rankings, who compiles a list of all the times, distances and heights throughout the state) in the 100-meter dash. Though not his best, he ran a 11.42 at the Blue Valley relays, taking second place.

Senior Stan Skwarlo, a Wichita State signee, is among the top runners in the 800-meters and 1600-meters. Sophomore Tanner Hockenbury has also ran well in the same events and junior Ryan Liston has been decent in the 3200-meters.

Add in top field event athletes like senior Trevor Hills (pole vault), senior Lucas Werner (javelin) and junior Nicholas Hocking (discus and shot put), and it's easy to see why Free State's boys track and field team could sneak under the radar to do some damage by the time regionals start.

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