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.
It's early in the spring season for every sport, but that hasn't stopped a few athletes from rounding into midseason form. Lawrence High senior Allison Williams has already qualified for the state tournament in the one-meter dive as she's finished in first place in all three of her team's meets. Free State High senior Lucas Werner had a javelin toss of 155-4 against LHS in a dual last week, which is near his 155-01 toss that placed him 11th in state last spring.
Female Athlete of the Week: Allison Williams
School: Lawrence High
Week's accomplishment: Williams finished in first place in the one-meter dive at two meets, qualifying for state with a high score at the LHS invitational.
Favorite TV show: Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family)
Most talented opponent: Emma Roush (Blue Valley West)
Smartest teacher: Ms. Fangohr (Calculus)
Favorite pro athlete: Jake Dalton, Team USA gymnast
Most played song on iPod: I Want Crazy (Hunter Hayes)
Male Athlete of the Week: Lucas Werner
School: Free State
Sport: Track and Field
Week's accomplishment: Werner took first place in the javelin throw with a toss of 155 feet, 4 inches in a dual against Lawrence High.
Favorite TV show: The Cleveland Show (Fox)
Most talented opponent: Olathe East
Smartest teacher: Mr. Lisher (Physical Education)
Favorite pro athlete: Brian Urlacher, former Chicago Bears football player
Most played song on iPod: Threatz (Denzel Curry)