Preps notebook: LHS, FSHS take on Sunflower League track meet; Seabury duo places 7th at state tennis

photo by: Chance Parker/Special to the Journal-World

Free State senior Jake Loos competes in the boys 4x800-meter relay during the Sunflower League track meet at Mill Valley on Friday, May 10, 2024, in Shawnee.

The Free State boys track and field team continued a successful season in the 4×800-meter relay, claiming the latest in a series of first-place finishes this year when Ryan Whittlesey, Cristian Wills, Jonah Frye and Jake Loos combined to win the event at the Sunflower League track meet Friday night at Mill Valley High School.

The Firebirds’ time of 8:05.94 was more than four seconds faster than that of the runners-up from Shawnee Mission South, and also exceeded FSHS’ previous winning times from events like the Free State Early Bird Invite (8:29.85) and Leitel Legacy Invite (8:08.51).

The FSHS relay runners weren’t the only local athletes to experience continued success at the meet in Shawnee.

Paige Platt jumped 5 feet, 5 inches in the high jump, yielding a first-place finish for the LHS senior, on a day when she also took bronze in the javelin throw with a mark of 124-9.

Free State freshman Parker Jones set a personal record by jumping 17-6.50 for third place in the girls’ long jump, with fellow first-year competitor Sienna Wesley of LHS not far behind in fifth at 17-0.50.

Free State senior Jameson Carter completed the boys’ 110-meter hurdles in 15.44 and the 300-meter hurdles in 39.98 (a PR) for a pair of third-place finishes.

Loos also came in third as a solo competitor in the 800-meter run with a personal-best 1:53.39.

LHS senior Rai’Onna Helm posted a time of 12.62 seconds, just short of her personal best, to earn a third-place showing of her own in the 100-meter dash.

Here are some more highlights from Friday’s action:

• The LHS girls’ 4×100-meter relay team of Helm, Yamirra Woods, LaKeyshia Woods and Wesley came in fourth with a time of 49.67. The 4×400-meter relay group of Ginny Besson, Wesley, Jaylie Hohman and LaKeyshia Woods nearly matched that showing, earning fifth place at 4:04.28, with Free State’s group of Beatrice Essman, Peyton Moore, Cayman Barnes and Gretchen Weinkauf a few seconds behind (4:09.78) and coming in seventh.

• FSHS freshman Sadie Reynolds threw the discus 111 feet and came in fifth place, as the only competitor in the top eight who was not a senior.

• LHS junior Josephine Platt scored 35-2 in the triple jump for sixth place.

• Three Firebirds in a row set PRs in the boys’ 1,600-meter run, with Blake Wohler finishing seventh at 4:27.95, a fraction of a second ahead of teammate Zach Hansen Terry (4:28.13), who was followed by Grant Lichauer (4:30.14).

• LHS sophomore Besson earned two PRs of her own by completing the 400-meter dash in 1:01.38, which was good for eighth place among 25 finishers, and the 200-meter dash in 26.83 (seventh of 30).

• FSHS sophomore Julia Velasco earned a couple more points for her team with another seventh-place finish and a PR of 12:13.04 in the 3,200-meter run.

• The Firebirds’ Parker Moore had a similar showing, with a boys’ shot-put mark of 49-2 that was good for seventh and a PR.

• FSHS sophomore Harper Graham finished seventh in the girls’ 300 hurdles at 50.28.

• The Firebirds’ boys 4×400-meter relay team came in seventh as well, with Braden Henry, Roman Jasso, Carter and Cameron Stutler completing the race in 3:28.97.

• LHS sophomore Tyler Dye’s triple-jump mark of 40-11 was good for seventh and a PR. He also came in eighth in the javelin at 160-4.

• FSHS senior Thomas Henderson completed the 300 hurdles a little over two seconds behind his teammate Carter to come in eighth place at 42.15.

In all, LHS’ 46 points as a team on the girls’ side were good for sixth place and Free State (16) came in tenth, while in the boys’ competition, Free State finished eighth (36) and LHS 14th (3).

photo by: Chance Parker/Special to the Journal-World

Lawrence High junior Josephine Platt competes in the girls triple jump during the Sunflower League track meet at Mill Valley on Friday, May 10, 2024, in Shawnee.

Local tennis players follow winding paths through state tournaments

Junior Sebastian Borjas and senior Cole Shumaker of Bishop Seabury earned seventh place at the 3-1A state tournament in Prairie Village on Saturday to cap off a busy two days of action for a few local tennis players.

On Friday, Borjas and Shumaker had fallen to Joseph Luke and Chase Blaser of Topeka-Hayden, but beaten Meade’s Orvin Dyck and Samuel Lynn (8-6) and freshmen Lucas Dreher and Mason Yingling from WaKeeney-Trego Community (8-1) to make it to Saturday.

They opened the second day by continuing their good form in an 8-5 win over Nethan Cauthon and Alden Metro of Claflin-Central Plains to set up a rematch with Luke and Blaser for a spot in the fifth-place match. However, the second contest with the Hayden pair went much the same way as the first, and Borjas and Shumaker dropped to the seventh-place matchup.

There, they faced Paxton and Peyton Dody, another pairing from Central Plains that had entered the day as the No. 7 seed, and eventually emerged victorious in a lengthy match with a final score of 9-8 (7-4).

Meanwhile, Free State senior Jake Hedges, who entered as a No. 10 seed in 6A competition in Wichita, started his state tournament in promising fashion on Friday with another win over Blue Valley’s Collin Jeffries, the same player he beat in his final match of regional play.

However, he soon got sent to the second bracket by a 6-2, 6-1 loss to Luca Ospino of Blue Valley Northwest. Hedges had a strong run of consolation action through the rest of Friday, topping Eli Blankinship from Maize 8-2 and then outlasting Tyler Bradt of Derby 9-7 to continue his run into Saturday.

His momentum was halted after he dropped an 8-4 result to Christopher Long of Shawnee Mission East and another 8-5 match to Nolan Fosha of Olathe South. However, he rebounded by beating Oscar Alvarado Martinez of Dodge City to claim 11th place.

Josh Lavin and Logan Daniels of LHS, playing in the doubles bracket in Wichita, did not last as long, entering as the No. 23 seed and losing 6-4, 4-6 (10-5) to No. 10 Michael Hwang and Jack Spiegel of Manhattan. They beat a pair of sophomores, Cale Deutscher and Brayden Kohls from Washburn Rural, in an 8-5 result to prolong their run, but missed out on the chance to make it to Saturday by losing to Olathe Northwest’s Bryan Branstrom and Aidan Messerly.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.