Clark, Dabney doing their part
Free State High seniors Kiara Clark and Gabbi Dabney stepped into new roles this season, and they shined in their first big meet.
In the past, there was less pressure running hurdles alongside seven-time state champion Alexa Harmon-Thomas, who would set the pace and have opponents gunning to beat her.
Now Clark and Dabney are dominating together to fill that void. Dabney took sixth place in the 100-meter hurdles, while Clark finished ninth at the Kansas Relays on Friday at Rock Chalk Park. Clark finished seventh in the 300 hurdles, her best event.
“We’re a good fit, especially when we’re doing flat work together. We’re always pushing each other,” said Dabney, who added a fourth-place finish in the high jump and was 26th in the 300 hurdles. “Whenever I’m having an off day, she always makes sure I’m giving my best. Same with if she has an off day, I always make sure I’m pushing her.”
Clark, who will run at the Academy of Arts in San Francisco next year, missed the first two meets of the season because of a hamstring injury. She said she was disappointed in her races because she knows how fast she wants to be, and her injury has slowed her down a little bit.
“I think having Alexa around was nice because they had somebody to kind of always be chasing and always be pushing them a little bit further,” FSHS coach Jordan Rose said. “We didn’t have her a lot last year anyway, so this is kind of their second year that they’ve really gotten to come into their own. I’m seeing a lot of improvement.”
After taking third place at the Kansas Relays last year, Lawrence High’s girls 4×400 relay team — seniors Jensen Edwards, Marissa Pope, Leah Gabler and sophomore Myah Yoder — took seventh place with a season-best time of 4:03.40. The ultra-competitive two-time defending state champions weren’t satisfied with their run as they work toward trying to break the state record time of 3:53.0.
“I think, honestly, it’s like a mental thing,” Gabler said. “We train hard in practice, and we do all we can. The physical part is there. Getting over that mental barrier, it’s going to put over us the hump of where we want to be.”
Edwards took 12th place in the girls 400-meters, Free State sophomore Emily Venters was 12th in the 3,200 meters and 16th in the 1,600, and FSHS senior Ryan Liston took 13th in the boys 3,200.
In a rematch of the 100-meter dash at the Free State and LHS dual two weeks ago, FSHS sophomore Avin Lane edged LHS junior JD Woods by 0.01 seconds to take 10th place, finishing in 11.25 seconds.
Lawrence High senior Rebecca Finley was disappointed with how she performed in the shot put on Friday and was determined to make up for it in the discus.
She didn’t mind the result in the discus, taking third place, but wasn’t happy with her performance. Her best toss was 144 feet, 5 inches. Her twin sister, Matia Finley, took fifth place with a throw of 142 feet, 6 inches.
“My whole form, my technique was off because I was just trying to throw it far,” said Rebecca Finley, who took 17th in the shot put and noted it was her worst marks of the season in both events. Matia Finley was slightly better in the shot put, finishing 14th.
Rebecca Finley put extra pressure on herself when her college coach from Colorado State University, where she’s orally committed, showed up to watch her compete for the first time.
“I’m trying to hit 160 (feet) this year, and it would have been nice to hit 160 with him here,” Finley said. “But I’ve got to get out of my head more.”
LHS senior Tae Shorter took ninth place in the triple jump, earning a spot in the finals when he jumped 43 feet, 10.5 inches on his third attempt. He missed a few meets early in the season due to tendinitis in his knees and a foot injury.
“I was just happy that I got into the 43’s since I’ve been out for a while,” Shorter said. “I’m just trying to get my body back into it. It’s all a process.”
Free State junior pole vaulter Callie Hicks finished seventh, clearing 10-11.75, LHS junior Amani Bledsoe set a personal-record when he took 17th in the shot put (47-11.5), and junior Kyleigh Severa took 12th in the long jump with a leap of 16-4.5.
Friday at Rock Chalk Park
100 — 38. Tori Marshall, De Soto, 13.11.
400 — 12. Jensen Edwards, LHS, 59.10; 17. Laura Kennard, FS, 59.89; 24. Marissa Pope, LHS, 1:00.76; 25. Ellie Wilson, MV, 1:00.80; 26. Tori Marshall, De Soto, 1:00.83.
800 — 18. Leah Gabler, LHS, 2:24.64.
1600 — 16. Emily Venters, FS, 5:15.23.
3200 — 12. Emily Venters, FS, 11:15.49.
100 hurdles — 6. Gabbi Dabney, FS, 15.30; 9. Kiara Clark, 15.73; 40. Summer Cerny, Tongie, 18.29; 41. Cami Timm, Tongie, 18.61.
300 hurdles — 7. Kiara Clark, FS, 47.53; 26. Gabbi Dabney, FS, 49.83; 27. Holly Webb, MV, 49.86.
4×100 relay — 17. Kyna Smith, Kylee Bremer, Madeline Neufeld, Carlyn Cole, BHS, 51.21; 18. Cameryn Thomas, Kiara Clark, Callie Hicks, Laura Kennard, FS, 51.22; 20. Kyleigh Severa, Myah Yoder, Marissa Pope, Jensen Edwards, LHS, 51.29; 30. Holly Webb, Taylor Corbitt, Emma Hansen, Jasmine Cousins, MV, 52.42; 41. Summer Cerny, Jackie Whitledge, Kourtni Freemyer, Jessica Minear, Tongie, 54.73.
4×400 relay — 7. Jensen Edwards, Marissa Pope, Myah Yoder, Leah Gabler, LHS, 4:03.40; 8. Kyna Smith, Abby Ogle, Madeline Neufeld, Carlyn Cole, BHS, 4:04.42; 26. Cameryn Thomas, Abigail Zenger, Emily Venters, Laura Kennard, FS, 4:18.16; 32. Tonganoxie, 4:20.23.
4×800 relay — 18. Ellie Wilson, Margo Wieschhaus, Isabella Hadden, Anna Clayborn, MV, 10:04.03; 30. Tressa Walker, Emily Chambers, Mia Bond, Emma Campbell, Tongie, 10:25.71.
4×1600 relay — 18. Kiran Cordes, Abigail Zenger, Rachel Witt, Marlee Yost-Wolff, FS, 23:33.49.
Sprint medley relay — 9. Laura Kennard, Kiara Clark, Cameryn Thomas, Emily Venters, FS, 4:29.08.
Distance medley relay — 20. Margo Wieschhaus, Isabella Hadden, Ellie Wilson, Anna Clayborn, MV, 13:29.86.
Steeplechase — 11. Morgan Darter, De Soto, 9:18.65.
Shot put — 4. Alexia Stein, BHS, 42-09.25; 14. Matia Finley, LHS, 37-05; 17. Rebecca Finley LHS, 36-10; 31. Madie Holland, MV, 33-04.5.
Discus — 3. Rebecca Finley, LHS, 144-05; 5. Matia Finley, LHS, 142-06; 6. Alexia Stein, BHS, 139-03; 17. Jordan Hoffman, BHS, 114-10; 19. Kelsey Kehl, BHS, 111-06; 20. Hannah Shoemaker, FS, 111-02.
Javelin — 3. Kelsey Kehl, BHS, 139-05; 5. Jordan Hoffman, BHS, 132-05; 18. Kylee Bremer, BHS, 107-09; 19. Caroline Dykes, LHS, 107-05.
Long jump — 12. Kyleigh Severa, LHS, 16-4.5.
Triple jump — 18. Taylor Corbitt, MV, 34-06.25; t-22. Abbi Folks, P-L, 33-11.5; t-22. Jessica Minear, Tongie, 33-11.5.
High jump — 4. Gabbi Dabney, FS, 5-02; t-5. Megan Eckman, MV, 5-02; NH. Ally Shawger, MV.
Pole vault — 7. Callie Hicks, 10-11.75; 15. Jannell Clampitt, De Soto, 10-00.
100 — 10. Avin Lane, FS, 11.25; 11. JD Woods, LHS, 11.26; 14. Tai Nguyen, MV, 11.30; 23. Ronald White, FS, 11.40.
800 — 3. Kurt Loevenstein, MV, 1:54.98; 6. Travis Hodge, De Soto, 1:56.11; 19. Ethan Donley, FS, 2:01.69; 20. Luis Murillo, De Soto, 2:01.90.
3200 — 13. Ryan Liston, FS, 9:34.38.
110 hurdles — 15. Zack Sanders, FS, 15.39; 20. Trey Moore, LHS, 15.52; 29. Dearion Cooper, LHS, 15.93; 30. Cody Deas, MV, 15.94.
300 hurdles — 18. Trey Moore, LHS, 41.16; 22. Cody Deas, MV, 41.46; 28. Zack Sanders, FS, 41.99.
4×100 relay — 15. Nate Thomas, Khaury El-Amin, Avin Lane, Ronald White, FS, 43.69; 20. Christian Jegen, Cole Morris, Chase Midyett, Andrew Hicks, MV, 43.93; 28. Noah Watson, Caden Carmack, Joel Halford, Darius Johnson, BHS, 44.41; DQ. JD Woods, Jalen Dudley, Trey Moore, J’Mony Bryant, LHS.
4×200 relay — 13. Nate Thomas, Avin Lane, Tyler Odell, Ronald White, FS, 1:31.48; 19. Christian Jegen, Cole Morris, Tai Nguyen, Andrew Hicks, MV, 1:32.69; 25. Jalen Dudley, Ekow Boye-Doe, J’Mony Bryant, JD Woods, LHS, 1:33.71;
4×400 relay — 14. Caden Carmack, Joel Halford, Dakota Helm, Barth Jackson, BHS, 3:31.21; 32. Ekow Boye-Doe, Trey Moore, Jalen Dudley, JD Woods, LHS, 3:42.25.
4×800 relay — 4. Derek Meeks, Teddy Gillespie, Jakob Coacher, Kurt Loevenstein, MV, 8:03.96; 21. Ryan Liston, Owen Heffernan, Thomas Becker, Tanner Hockenbury, FS, 8:27.07.
4×1600 relay — 5. Derek Meeks, Teddy Gillespie, Jakob Coacher, Kurt Loevenstein, MV, 18:38.28; 10. Tanner Hockenbury, Avant Edwards, Owen Heffernan, Thomas Becker, FS, 18:54.23; 13. Joe Pierce, George Letner, Parker Wilson, Nevin Dunn, BHS, 19:09.03.
Sprint medley relay — 12. Avin Lane, Ronald White, Tanner Hockenbury, Tyler Odell, FS, 3:46.48
Distance medley relay — 9. Joe Pierce, Barth Jackson, Dakota Helm, George Letner, BHS, 10:58.43; 11. Ryan Liston, Cole Stallard, Avant Edwards, Ethan Donley, FS, 11:03.61.
Steeplechase — 8. Nevin Dunn, BHS, 6:43.99; 13. Teddy Gillespie, MV, 7:08.76.
Long jump — 25. Khaury El-Amin, FS, 17-11.75.
Triple jump — 9. Tae Shorter, LHS, 43-10.5; 33. Azariah LeBrun, FS, 37-03.25.
High jump — t-9. Devan Smith, Tongie, 6-02; t-16. Logan Shields, LHS, 6-00.
Discus — 7. Christian Gaylord, BHS, 162-00; 25. Nicholas Hocking, FS, 120-10.
Shot put — 17. Amani Bledsoe, LHS, 47-11.5; 22. Christian Gaylord, BHS, 47-00.5.
Javelin — 12. Austin Kurtz, P-L, 169-07; 22. Tye Carter, FS, 138-01.
Pole vault — t-10. Colton Bray, MV, 14-00.