Entering the month of May, St. James Academy track and field coach Greg Bomhoff didn’t have any expectations for his girls relay teams.
He could have never imagined that St. James would win the Kansas Class 5A titles in the 1,600-meter relay and 3,200-meter relay, break the state meet record in both, and run the fastest 3,200 relay time in Kansas history at the Kansas state track and field championships in Wichita on Saturday.
“They did some stuff this season that I’ve never seen girls do before,” Bomhoff said. “One of them would decide to do something and they all just went after it. They definitely fed off each other.
“I’ll never forget this group.”
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The day started with the 3,200 relay team of Hannah Robinson, Jill Jones, Mary Goetz, and Katie Moore running the fastest time in Kansas history, winning the Class 5A title in 9 minutes, 19.60 seconds.
The record-setting performance was punctuated by Moore, the sophomore anchor who registered a 2:15 split — a time that would be top-20 all-time in Kansas history in the open 800.
“I definitely did hear the announcer, and that did help,” Moore said. “Coming in we didn’t have expectations, just possibilities. We just made a vow to each other we were going to run our best, and I just wanted to do that for my teammates.”
Moore, who would later win the open 400 state title in a season-best time of 56.80, teamed up with Ashley Wurtenberger, Jones, and Emma Gossman to cap off the night with a title-winning performance in the 1,600 relay. Moore once again anchored the team and led them to a state meet record of 3:56.56.
“Katie went berserk today,” Gossman said. “She literally annihilated it.”
Moore said her inspiration were senior teammates like Gossman.
“It’s all so exciting to me, it still feels unreal,” Moore said. “I wouldn’t have done it without the seniors. They’re the reason I run. We’re all so close, like a family.”
Other Kansas City state title winners
- Leavenworth senior Aarika Lister shattered the 5A state meet record in the 100 meters, winning her third state title of her career with a time of 11.64 seconds. Lister was slated to go for her third career title in the 200, but a leg injury prevented her from sprinting. She lined up and still finished the race in 47.27.
- SM Northwest senior Molly Born ended her career as a three-time state champion in two events. After collecting her third title in the 3,200 on Friday, Born added title No. 3 in the 1,600 on Saturday with a time of 4:54.57. Born, who missed the 2017 state track meet due to injury, owns the Kansas Class 6A state meet record in the 1,600 and 3,200. She owns the fastest 3,200 time (10:07.96) in Kansas history and the fifth-fastest 1,600 time (4:48.87).
- SM East senior Toni Englund tacked on 6 inches to her personal-best mark in the high jump to win the 6A high jump title at 5 feet, 8 inches. She entered with the eighth-best mark in the competition..
- Olathe East senior Bailey Turner won her second straight 6A long jump title, as her first jump of the day was her winning jump in 19-0. Her personal record of 19-6.25 ranked No. 10 all-time in Kansas history.
- SM Northwest senior Hayden Goodpaster won the Class 6A 400 meters on the lean at the finish line. Goodpaster (47.76) edged Manhattan’s Clyde King (47.77) with the top time in Kansas this season. Goodpaster then anchored SM Northwest’s gold-winning 1,600 relay, teaming up with Josh Sherfy, Payton Carder, and Julian Gutierrez to win the 6A title in 3:20.24. SM Northwest finished second in the 6A team total with 66 points.
- Tonganoxie senior LeeRoi Johnson won his second straight 5A discus title with a personal-record throw of 192 feet, 11 inches, which moved him up to No. 17 all-time in Kansas.
- A day after breaking the meet record to win her third straight 6A title in the javelin, Olathe North senior Dana Baker added one last state title to her collection with a winning throw of 123-7 in the 6A discus.
- Gardner-Edgerton freshman Kendra Wait slashed nearly two-tenths of a second off her personal-best time in the 100 to win the 6A title in 12.15.
- Lawrence junior Evann Seratte won the 6A 800 in a season-best time of 2:16.09, barely edging defending champion Sophie Scott of BV North (2:16.19) at the finish line.
- The Lawrence 400 relay team of Ashley Wildeman, Amaya Harris, Isabella Kirkwood, and Asjah Harris won the 6A title in a season-best time of 47.90, which is the 12th-fastest time in Kansas history.
- Miege senior Cameron Key won his second straight 4A triple jump title with a personal-best mark of 46-7.5, which was the fifth-best mark in Kansas this season.
- Mill Valley senior Mitchell Dervin became a first-time state champion, winning the Class 5A 1,600 meters in 4:19.66. His season personal best of 4:19.02 was the fastest time in Kansas this season.
- The DeSoto 400-relay team of Brayden Brummer, Exavier Jackson, Trevor Watts, and Ethan Rodriguez won the 4A title in a season-best time of 42.29.
- SM North junior Asher Molina won his first state title, taking home the gold in the 6A boys 1,600 in 4:23.10.
- Schlagle senior Brayden Soza ran a season-best time of 22.06 to win the 5A 200 meters.
- BV Southwest freshman Emily Ervin completed a dazzling comeback down the straightaway to win the 5A 200 meters in a season-best 25.06.
- Olathe Northwest senior Julian Lacey won the 6A title in the 800, winning a close race in 1:58.25.
- Spring Hill senior Nathan Ewing won his first state title with a personal-best jump, clearing 6-8 to win the 4A high jump after having finished runner-up last season.
- Although the Piper boys did not have a state champion, the team still finished runner-up in Class 4A with 40 points.