McPherson senior Adam Porter has faith in his final kick in the 3200 meters. He knows no matter the situation, no matter how gut-wrenching a race, that he will be able to count on his kick.
"I know it's my strength," Porter said. "It's always there."
That kick was the difference on Friday when Porter outsprinted Hays' Josh Munsch in a thrilling race to win the Class 5A 3200 meters for the second straight year. Porter won in 9 minutes, 38.96 seconds, while Munsch finished in 9:39.22.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The race featured Porter and Munsch for the majority, although Lansing's Pete Lamoe made a charge at the lead, as did St. Thomas Aquinas' Alex Weitkamp.
Weitkamp entered the meet with 5A's top time in the 3200 (9:45.33) with Munsch right behind at 9:46.06 and Porter at 9:47.4.
"I like to sit and kick on the last curve," said Porter, who swept the 800, 1600 and 3200 in 2009. "I got to the front today and I was comfortable there."
In the last 200 meters, Porter and Munsch pulled away, and in the final 100 it was an all-out sprint.
"I wanted to see what he had," Porter said. "I felt him coming on me, I saw his shadow. I knew I could do it. Losing at the end is terrible."
Shot put sweep
Paola senior Luke Wilson finished second in the 4A shot in 2009 and was so focused on getting his title that he changed his technique from the glide to the spin. Already a strong discus thrower using the spin, he figured he added four feet by doing the same in the shot.
"It took me a couple weeks, and it's still uncomfortable," Wilson said.
And Wilson had some ups and downs, losing in league and regionals to teammate Garrett Appier.
"I was pretty upset, actually. I felt like I'd been waiting for it for so long, so I knew I needed to get out there and practice hard, and it paid off," Wilson said.
He got the title, throwing 57 feet, 6 1/4 inches. And right behind him were Appier and teammate Cale Karigan, in his first season throwing shot put.
"I really wanted him to get it," Appier said. "Secretly, in my head, I really did. He's got the discus and the shot record, but I'm taking the shot record next year."
Wilson won the 4A discus with a throw of 165-10.
Paola athletes were awarded medals by their coach, Frank Perbeck, a javelin champ in 4A in 1973 and '74 for Manhattan.
Shawnee Mission South senior Johannes Swanepoel's most consistent competition comes from within.
"My goal is to compete against myself and break my records," Swanepoel said.
Swanepoel won his third straight 6A title, throwing a state-record 238-4 that ranks second nationally. The previous 6A record, set by Swanepoel in 2008, was 221-2.
Swanepoel's winning throw was more than 45 feet farther than second-place finisher Phillip Besler of SM West. Campus' Garrett Cantrell took third with a 182-4.
"All the technique on that throw was perfect," said Swanepoel, who has signed with Kansas. "It didn't feel like a big throw, but it was 238, and I was happy with it. It came on my last throw, and I just decided to put all my energy into one throw, and the wind carried it well."
At regionals, Chaparral junior John Siale threw the shot put 51-6, which was just outside the top 25 of the state's top throws. On his second throw Friday, he went 54-10 to win the 3A title.
"When it happened, it just came out of my hand right," said Siale, who finished eighth as a sophomore, throwing 47-7 1/4. "We have a different coach (this season), Eric Kerschen. He was a thrower back in high school and he helped me with my gliding technique."
Second, on attempts
Pretty Prairie's Cody Howell finished second in the 1A high jump at 6-6. He finished second because on missed jumps.
Andale's Andrew Rowland finished second on jumps, too. He cleared 14-0 in the pole vault.
Best for last
Hutchinson Trinity junior Brandon Koenigsman won the Class 2A discus with a throw of 149-4, which came on his final attempt. Berean Academy junior Karlin Wiebe finished second at 148-2.