After 12 hours at Cessna Stadium for the first day of the Pre-State track meet, Hutchinson senior Jared Page was celebrating winning the pentathlon with a school-record 3,187 points.
By noon on Friday, Page was celebrating another win, this time the 110 hurdles in the elite competition after going 14.91.
Surely, he was exhausted.
“Nah, it’s all mental,” Page said, laughing. “I came back, threw some baby powder on the chafing, got in the blocks.”
Page, who had four pins in the Class 6A wrestling tournament and finished third at 170 pounds, heads to Army basic training on June 10. He wants to become a combat medic.
He’s also planning to attend Pittsburg State where he’ll likely be a decathlete, but he hopes to run the hurdles, too.
Page picked up the hurdles on accident. A distance runner in seventh grade, he was at practice and didn’t see a hurdle in his lane until he was nearly on it. He finished fourth in the Class 6A 110 hurdles last season.
“I didn’t see it until I was a step away and just by nature, I threw my leg over it, brought my trail leg over it,” he said. “The hurdle coach walks down to the stance coach and says, ‘he’s going to be a hurdler.’ I’ve been a hurdler for 5 1/2 years.”
Looking for more
Winfield junior Courtney Griffiths had a showdown with Baldwin’s Morgan Lober in the elite 400 meters.
Lober won the Class 4A 400 in 2013, winning in 58.04 while Griffiths finished second in 58.12.
This time, though, Griffiths won the 400 with a 57.77, the state’s best time in the 400 this season.
The competition is what Griffiths was looking for.
“In my last two meets, I literally finished 20 meters ahead of anyone else,” she said. “I’m not trying to brag. but it’s hard to push yourself when no one is pushing you.”
Burnett gets one
East junior Calil Burnett has finished in the top six in the 6A 100 meters the past two years, finishing second in 2013.
For Friday’s race, Burnett was in the lane next to Northwest senior Deron Thompson, a speedster who has signed to play football at Colorado State. Burnett has been in many races with Thompson over his career, but how many times has Burnett won?
Burnett smiled, connected his thumb and pointer finger, and said “zero.”
Burnett finally beat Thompson on Friday, winning in 11.08, while Thompson finished second in 11.12. Kapaun’s Devin Dempsey was third, finishing in 11.16.
Eight days earlier at Northwest, Thompson edged Burnett by .10.
“That race, it was a lot closer,” Burnett said. “We were pushing each other a lot more. This race we kind of had a headwind, so we didn’t do as well.
“… I thought I had him in that one. It was close. Every time I run with Deron, I feel very comfortable because I love running against him.”
Setting a high standard
Wellington sprinter Jaycee Schettler is only a freshman but she knows the expectations are sky-high for what she can accomplish.
Friday, she won the elite 100 with a 13.02. Her best 100 time is a 12.7.
“I know I’m really young, and I feel like they expect a lot out of me. I have to push that much harder in practice,” she said.
It’s still early in the season with the state meet still seven weeks away. Schletter had goals for the Pre-State meet, though.
“Improve, mostly,” she said. “My starts, I’m getting better at my starts. Competition, I want to get more comfortable about things. More than anything, I want to have fun.”