Lawrence’s 4×100-meter relay wins another state title before meet is postponed
WICHITA — On the surface, it looked like an easy title defense by the Lawrence High girls 4×100-meter relay.
LHS junior Asjah Harris nonchalantly crossed the finish line in first place, finishing nearly a full second faster than runner-up Olathe North. There was no celebration like last year, when the quartet broke a school record en route to a state title.
It was business as usual for the Lions’ quartet of Ashley Wildeman, Amaya Harris, Bella Kirkwood and Asjah Harris. They ran a time of 48.52 to take first place in a meet that was ultimately suspended due to rain Saturday at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium. The state track meet is slated to finish up Sunday.
“We worked very hard to become state champs again,” Asjah Harris said. “It wasn’t our best, but we still got first.”
But the moments leading up to the race put the second crown in doubt.
Not long before the 4×100-meter relay, Amaya Harris hurt herself on her third attempt in the javelin competition. The injury, which is a sprained IT band in her right leg, was originally sustained during basketball season.
At that point, Harris’ best throw was 122-01, which would have placed her outside the top-eight. Harris willed herself through her final attempt, heaving the javelin 129-11 to take second in the competition for the second year in a row. The pain got significantly worse after her final throw.
“I want my team to win, but personally I don’t throw for myself. I throw for my family and everyone that comes out to watch me,” Amaya Harris said. “I didn’t want to have all these people come watch me to not do my event. I had to do it for the people that came to watch.”
Shortly after stepping down from the podium, though, Harris had to get right back into it. She started warming up for the 4×100-meter relay, as she serves as the second leg. Harris was certain she’d be able to go, though the relay’s third leg had her doubts.
“I was scared, I’m not gonna lie,” Kirkwood said. “I trust her. If she says she can run then she can run. She is great.”
The baton transfer wasn’t the smoothest, but it proved to be enough. And that was the theme of the entire relay, as the Lions locked up another crown even though they didn’t have their best race. Their time of 48.12, which took place earlier in the year, is the No. 1 time in Kansas.
Yet, since all four competitors are sophomores or juniors, the Lions are confident that they will be able to go for the three-peat next year.
“We are very talented,” Asjah Harris said. “We are still young too and we still have another year left with each other.”
Shortly before the meet was suspended, Harris secured an individual state title by winning the 200-meter run with a mark of 24.98. Senior Josie Hickerson also took home a state crown by winning pole vault with a personal-best mark of 12-03.00.
In addition, LHS senior Hannah Stewart notched second in the 800-meter run and tallied third in the 1,600-meter run. Lawrence’s 4×800-meter relay team also finished in the top-three, taking second with a time of 9:52.85.
As a result, Lawrence was atop the 6A girls team standings with only one race remaining. LHS has 78 points, while Olathe Northwest is in second with 57. Mill Valley is in third with 53.5 points.
The remaining field events will start at 10 a.m. Sunday. The remaining 200-meter runs and 1,600-meter relays are slated to begin at 11 a.m. to close out the three-day state tournament.
Childress comes away with second runner-up finish
Another year, another silver medal for Free State junior Auna Childress.
During Saturday’s state track meet, Childress led the way for the Firebirds with a second-place finish in the triple jump. Childress recorded a leap of 39-06.75, finishing just shy of a winning-jump of 39-09.75 from Ezinne Okoro of Dodge City.
It marked the second consecutive season that Childress has finished as a runner-up in the 6A girls triple jump. But this year’s result had a different feel to it.
“I know I can do a lot better,” Childress said. “I need to work on my landing with my feet. I dropped my foot on the last one.”
Last spring, Childress established her presence by claiming second in triple jump after taking seventh in the event as a freshman. This time around, Childress knows she can do better. And she plans to use it as motivation entering her senior campaign.
In fact, Childress recorded a school-record leap of 40-foot-9 at a highly-competitive Kansas Relays earlier this season. It remains the No. 1 mark in Kansas this year, and is a reason why she was the favorite entering the state meet.
For Childress, it didn’t help that she was supposed to compete in the triple jump competition Friday afternoon before most events were postponed to Saturday. She also only had four jump, since there were no finals for any field event.
“My mindset was ready to go for the first day,” Childress said. “I wasn’t as motivated today, so I think that affected it.”
Childress followed that up with a fourth-place finish, scoring a total of 13 points for the FSHS girls. FSHS senior Malachi Starr was the highest finisher for Free State boys, placing third in the 400-meter run with a time of 50.18.
Sample secures state crown for THS
It was all just a formality for Tonganoxie junior Cole Sample.
After last year’s runner-up finish in the Class 4A boys shot put, Sample knew he was going to take home a title in the same event this spring. He put in the work last offseason after a short sophomore campaign, and came back better than ever.
Sample then fulfilled his promise with a winning-throw of 59-06.25 to notch a state crown.
“I came out last year and got second after having knee surgery,” Sample said. “I threw a lot throughout the summer, and just worked at it.”
Sample finished over five feet further than runner-up Mason Fairchild of Andale. But it wasn’t even Sample’s best toss, which took place in regionals. That — and a new goal — will allow Sample to come back motivated next spring when he attempts to defend his crown.
“I’m hoping to get the state record next year,” Sample said.
PLHS senior wins state title
Perry-Lecompton’s Shane Quinlan got a signature win for his last trip to the state track meet.
Entering the meet, Quinlan was considered the favorite for the 400-meter run and had the fastest time in Class 3A. He lived up to the hype, running a 49.52 to notch a first-place finish in the event. He later added a bronze medal in the 200-meter run with a time of 22.37.
Eudora’s Riley Hiebert hauls in two medals
It was a day later than expected, but Eudora junior Riley Hiebert eventually earned some hardware.
Hiebert stayed in a running mindset before Friday’s events, including her 3,200-meter run, were postponed to the following day. As a result, Hiebert came out on a mission in her first event Saturday morning. It led to a silver medal in the 3,200-meter run, which marked Hiebert’s highest finish of her career.
The EHS junior ran a time of 11:42.50 to take second in the Class 4A girls 3,200-meter run.
“It was a whole pack of us that were like six seconds apart,” Hiebert said. “I started the race slow, but I started to pick people off which is kind of like my routine.”
Hiebert followed that up with a seventh-place finish in the 1,600-meter run and she helped the 4×800-meter relay team take seventh as well.
Nelson nets another medal
Bishop Seabury junior Henry Nelson returned to the podium during the second day of the state track meet.
Nelson, who was one of the two area athletes to medal during Friday’s rain-shortened meet, claimed another medal Saturday afternoon. Nelson notched fourth in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:36.79. It came one day after his third-place finish in the 3,200-meter run.
To close out his state debut, Nelson placed 10th in the 800-meter run with a mark of 2:05.48.
Baldwin thrower takes home bronze
Kayla Kurtz posted the highest finish for the Bulldogs, launching a throw of 136-04 to take third in the Class 4A girls javelin competition.
The launch came on her third attempt, locking up her third top-three finish in the event of her career. Kurtz took second last year and won the event in 2017. Kurtz also added a fourth-place finish in the shot put competition on Saturday.
2019 state track meet
Saturday at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium
Free State girls
Triple jump — 2. Auna Childress, 39-06.75
High jump — 4. Laila Robinson, 5-02.00
Long jump — 4. Auna Childress, 17-03.75
Discus — 9. Haley Hippe, 112-03
300 hurdles — 13. Liliana King-Wilson, 49.61
3200 — 12. Julia Larkin, 12:10.11
4×800 — 9. FSHS (Emma Hertig, Mackenzie Thomas, Erin Fagan, Ella Marshall), 10:13.15
Free State boys
110 hurdles — 14. Cole Wenger, 16.97
400-meter — 3. Malachi Starr, 50.18
3200 — 6. Charlie Johnson, 9:50.22
4×100 — 5. FSHS (Cole Phillips, Ja’Brandion Douglas, Tyler Bowden, Malachi Starr), 43.06
4×800 — 8. FSHS (Brock Cordova, Ben Shryock, Ethan Sharp, Jack Keathley-Helms), 8:19.66
Javelin — 2. Amaya Harris, 129-11
Pole vault — 1. Josie Hickerson, 12-03.00
Discus — 16. Tracy Allen, 77-06
Triple jump — 8. Josie Hickerson, 36-07.00
High jump — 14. Mariah Reed, 4-10.00
Long jump — 6. Bella Kirkwood, 17-01.00; 9. Brenna Schwada, 16-08.75.
100 meter — 4. Asjah Harris, 12.27; 7. Bella Kirkwood, 12.34; 14. Ashley Wildeman, 12.98.
200 meter — 1. Asjah Harris, 24.98; 5. Bella Kirkwood, 25.85.
400 meter — 7. Evann Seratte, 59.50; 15. Ozi Ajekwu, 1:02.24.
800 meter — 2. Hannah Stewart, 2:16.87; 8. Evann Seratte, 2:19.72.
1,600-meter — 3. Hannah Stewart, 5:08.62
4×100 — 1. LHS (Ashley Wildeman, Amaya Harris, Bella Kirkwood, Asjah Harris), 48.52
4×800 — 2. LHS (Sophie DeWitt, Hannah Stewart, Jayden Wilson, Evann Seratte), 9:52.85
Discus — 12. Bryce Tibke, 140-08
Javelin — 6. AJ Powell, 167-02
Shot put — 9. Bryce Tibke, 47-00.50
Long jump — 8. Avion Nelson, 20-02.00
100 meter — 5. Graham Hough, 10.92; 8. Dre Bridges, 10.98
Shot put — 4. Kayla Kurtz, 37-03.25
Long jump — 4. Carly Lindenmeyer, 16-02.75
Discus — 12. Kayla Kurtz, 98-02.
Javelin — 3. Kayla Kurtz, 136-04.
100 hurdles — 5. Carly Lindenmeyer, 16.21
300 hurdles — 7. Anna Burnett, 48.24
400 meter — 6. Carly Lindenmeyer, 1:01.15; 7. Josephine Boyle, 1:01.67.
800 meter — 16. Ambrynn Stewart, 2:42.27
4×800 — 3. Baldwin, 10:02.26
Long jump — 7. Devin Owings, 20-01.25
Triple jump — 7. Devin Owings, 42-09.00
100 meter — 6. Matthew Jackson, 11.23
200 meter — 5. Matthew Jackson, 22.86
800 meter — 12. Grady McCune, 2:07.46
1,600-meter — 12. Jacob Bailey, 4:56.60
4×800 — 9. Baldwin, 8:40.37
High jump — 6. Chloe Thakker, J5-00.00
Pole vault — 4. Mia Manley, 10-06.00
100 meter — 6. Keagan Shockley, 12.53
1,600 meter — 7. Riley Hiebert, 5:36.51
3,200 meter — 2. Riley Hiebert, 1:42.50
4×100 — 11. Eudora, 51.11
4×800 — 7. Eudora, 10:13.77
High jump — 11. Kale Breedlove, J5-10.00
110 hurdles — 6. Caleb Zimmerman, 15.35
400 meter — 11. Daniel Grosdidier, 53.18; 12. Colby Lawhorn, 53.33.
800 meter — 6. Bobby Lounsbury, 2:02.64
4×100 — 13. Eudora, 45.83
4×800 — 6. EHS, 8:30.38
3200 — 12. Cody Loganbill, 10:55.47
Shot put — 13. Layce McCoy, 31-08.75
Discus — 7. Layce McCoy, 106-04; 15. Sydney Padfield, 93-06
High jump: 10. Merkaia Khanthaboury, 4-10.00
100 hurdles — 7. Trinity Touchton, 16.46
400 meter — 5. Corrin Searcy, 1:00.83
200 meter — 13. Corrin Searcy, 27.49
Shot put — 1. Cole Sample, 59-06.25
Discus — 3. Cole Sample, 163-00
110 hurdles — 15. Dallas Bond, 16.76
3200 — 11. Calvin Morgan, 10:48.21
4×800 — 12. Tonganoxie, 8:46.14
High jump — 5. Talisa Stone, J5-00.00
Long jump — 13. Cali Coleman, J15-00.00
100 meter — 14. Cali Coleman, 13-03
200 meter — 14. Allyson Baker, 27.48
4×100 — 9. PLHS, 51.19
Long jump — 10. Benjamin Stone, 20-01.00
Triple jump — 4. Colton Mallonee, 43-04.75
100 meter — 9. Dalton Kellum, 11.30
200 meter — 3. Shane Quinlan, 22.37
400 meter — 1. Shane Quinlan, 49.52
800 meter — 15. James Bartlett, 2:08.00
4×100 — DNF
4×800 — 5. PLHS, 8:22.55
Bishop Seabury boys
3200 — 3. Henry Nelson, 9:56.96.
1,600 — 4. Henry Nelson, 4:36.79
800 — 10. Henry Nelson, 2:05.48.