Firebirds enjoy serious success at various postseason events on Saturday

Saturday was a massive day in postseason play for the Free State High fall sports teams.

One day after its football team won its fourth consecutive game by taking down previously unbeaten Olathe North, the Firebirds picked up some postseason hardware in volleyball, cross country and gymnastics.

Led by Maya Dey, who tied for second in the all-around competition, the Free State gymnastics team finished third at state and brought home a shiny new trophy for their hard work.

Dey finished first in her bars routine with a 9.2 and took second in the vault with a 9.625. She also placed fifth on the floor exercise and 11th on the balance beam.

The other Firebirds on this year’s third-place team included freshman Claire Gier, sophomore Addi Allen, juniors JoJo Warrior and Elaina Zung and seniors Kenzie Vaughn, Maya Huang and Marrah Spriggs.

The Firebirds, who won it all in 2020, finished fourth in the team standings in 2021 and improved by one spot this fall.

In substate volleyball action on Saturday, the fourth-seeded Firebirds rolled to a school-record fourth consecutive trip to the Class 6A state tournament by knocking off Wichita Southeast 25-12 and 25-8 in Round 1 and fifth-seeded Garden City 25-12 and 25-15 in the substate championship match at FSHS.

The Firebirds will take a 25-12 record to Salina next weekend for the Class 6A state tournament.

Pool play is set for 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. next Friday, with the semifinals and state title matches starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29.

Tenth-seeded Lawrence High won its first match at substate on Saturday, 23-25, 25-18 and 25-20 over No. 7 seed Wichita East before falling to No. 2 seed Wichita Northwest 25-14 and 28-26 in the sub-state championship match at Wichita Northwest.

The Lions’ 1-1 day capped their season with a 12-22 record.

At the 6A regional cross country meet in Manhattan, the Free State boys and girls teams both took first place, with Free State junior Blake Wohler winning the individual competition in 16:37.70.

Free State freshman Jonah Frye (17:10.90) and junior Zach Hansen Terry (17:13.80) finished in fifth and sixth place, respectively, while juniors Cristian Wills (17:21.90) and Ryan Whittlesey (17:25.70) also cracked the top 12.

The Firebirds won the meet with a team total of 35 points, finishing well ahead of second-place Washburn Rural’s 61 points.

The same two schools finished first and second at the girls meet, with Free State edging out WRHS by two points in the team standings.

Free State sophomore Brylee Burns (19:25.50) and senior Olivia Goeser (19:32.90) finished third and fourth in the individual race, with sophomore Cayman Barnes (20:14.40) taking ninth and sophomore Greta Barnett finishing in 15th place (21:11.90).

Free State’s Isabelle Pro (17th in 21:15.90) and Elle Cormaney (18th in 21:24.60) also cracked the top 20, while freshman Addyson Tenbrink took 24th in 21:47.70.

The Lawrence High girls finished in fifth place at the regional meet, with senior Natalie Kennedy leading the way for the Lions with an 11th-place finish (20:30.30) and senior Lucy Hardy finishing 13th in 21:01.30.

LHS juniors Emma Roman Nose (22.17.90), Cyrenity Hardy-Billy (22:57.10) and Isabel Klish (23:22.40) were the next best LHS finishers in 28th, 31st and 32nd place, respectively.

LHS sophomore Xavier Klish led the Lions with a third-place finish in the boys race in 17:06.10. LHS freshman Edward Roman Nose (17:21.20) took 10th place and seniors Jack Pfeifer (40th in 19:16.20) and Jonathan Spoula (45th in 20:00.50) added to the Lions’ sixth-place team finish on the boys side of things.

Both teams will compete at the 6A state meet at Rim Rock Farm next week.

In postseason soccer action, Free State (6-7-2) drew the No. 11 seed on the west side of the bracket and will play Topeka High (11-5) at 6 p.m. Tuesday night at Topeka-Hummer Sports Park.

Lawrence High (5-10-1) drew the No. 15 seed and was scheduled to play No. 18 Wichita South (0-16) at LHS on Monday night, with the winner advancing to Tuesday’s matchup with No. 2 seed Washburn Rural (13-3) in Topeka.


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