As Rayvon Allen rounded the last corner of the men’s 1,600-meter relay on Saturday at the Kansas Relays and the first of 12 fireworks went off signaling the final 100 meters of the 2019 Relays, the Wichita State sophomore had a solid lead over the rest of the field.
But by the time Allen crossed the finish line and the final firework shot off into the sky over Rock Chalk Park, a definite winner could not be immediately determined as KU’s Bryce Hoppel had kicked into gear on the home stretch.
But it only took a couple of seconds for the finish-line technology to determine Allen had held onto his slender lead, claiming the victory for the Shockers by .07 seconds as the team clocked in with a time of 3 minutes, 10.51 seconds.
The final victory of the 2019 KU Relays rounded out a solid showing from the Shockers over the course of the weekend, as they picked up three event titles on the day and five for the weekend.
Redshirt sophomore Kendra Henry claimed gold in the javelin, while the men’s 3,200 relay team also took first on Friday; then the 1,600 relay team anchored by Allen, 400-meter hurdler Austin Corley and javelin thrower Aaron True all won on Saturday.
Several other Shockers performed well at the meet, including senior pole vaulter Hayden Bugner.
Bugner claimed fourth in the men’s pole vault and second out of collegiate athletes with a vault of 16 feet, 8.75 inches.
“I feel pretty good,” Bugner said. “We’re always trying to rehearse for a conference meet and we did a good job of that today.”
Wichita State also saw a second-place finish from the women’s 400-relay team (45.97), a second-place from Zach Penrod in the men’s 800-meter race (1:52.12) and a third-place finish in men’s high jump by Mason Buckmaster (6-7).
High school results at KU Relays
Wichita-area high schools had a quiet day on Saturday, with a trio of Andale students making the most waves.
Pole vaulting pair Jayden Cates and Jaden Eck both vaulted 11 feet, 0 inches, finishing seventh and ninth, respectively in the girls competition.
“We competed very well today, very well,” said Andale coach Mark Schmidt. “A great group of kids out there, we were in the middle of it, so we’re very happy with this performance.”
Yet while Schmidt was high on his athletes, the pair was more grounded in what they had expected and wanted out of the KU Relays.
“Could have been better,” Cates said. “I was going for an inch below my PR (personal best).”
“I think it’s just tweaking the little things and just this week at practice we definitely have some stuff to work on,” Eck said. “But we’re excited for the rest of the season.”
Andale shot putter Mason Fairchild also made the finals on Saturday, finishing ninth overall. Fairchild’s best result, 54-6, came on his first throw and put him in fifth. But after a pair of fouls and three more throws that just scraped past the 52-meter mark, Fairchild eventually fell to his final position of ninth.
Other notable results
One of the oldest records at the KU Relays was broken Saturday. In 1965, Wichita North boy’s sprint medley ran a time of 3:30.60, a record that stood for 54 years. But early Saturday, Ames (Iowa) High School recorded a time of 3:30.42, beating the previous record by .18 seconds.