McPherson senior Adam Porter and Garden Plain senior Kurt Pauly had unique pressures on them. While each has signed to run track at Division I schools _ Porter at Kansas State, Pauly at Nebraska _ each was trying to repeat in three individual races.
They did it.
Porter swept the Class 5A 800, 1600 and 3200 meters again, while Pauly swept the 4A 100, 200 and 400. Pauly, a three-time 400 champ, also was part of the 1600 relay team that defended its title. Garden Plain also defended its 3A team title.
"It's tough," Pauly said of repeating. "But going into it, that's what I wanted to do, repeat my three, defend my championship. I'm pretty happy."
Pauly handled his races with little problem, even giving Garden Plain the 1600 relay win by taking the lead on the final curve.
Porter had extremely tough competition in all three races, most of it coming from Hays' Josh Munsch and Bishop Carroll's David Thor. Porter used his kick in all three to pull out victories.
"I take some things personal and people talking about other guys and how they were going to beat me, and stuff," Porter said. "I wanted to prove everyone wrong and that I could do it."
Northwest senior Daniel Herbert looked around, smiled and said, "did I just win that?"
While Herbert's best race is the 1600, he finished ninth.
But in the 800, Herbert won in 1:55.39.
"I sucked it up in the mile," Herbert said."... The 1600, that's my race, and I did terrible. Terrible. It was that far back. I went back (to a friend's house) and got in some air conditioning, laid on the couch."
Down the homestretch of the 800, he ran up the inside lane trying to catch Olathe East's Ryan Hocker. As Herbert moved past, Hocker drifted in and bumped into him, and Herbert ran off the track for a few steps.
Hocker was later disqualified.
Herbert shook his head.
"I still don't believe I won that," he said.
Maize senior Miles Ukaoma, who has signed with Nebraska, was gracious after losing the 110 hurdles to Northwest senior Andrew Etheridge.
"He's really a hard worker; I'm glad he was able to get his first state championship," Ukaoma said.
Ukaoma got his own title, repeating in the 400 in 47.94.
"I ran a better time than last year," Ukaoma said."... I knew that I had to go up there and run the same race that I did last year. That helped a lot. But right now, I can't really feel my legs."
Ukaoma ran the 300 hurdles later and fell. He finished eighth. He also ran the anchor leg of the 1600 relay.
Heights' 400 relay team has had some close finishes at state, but finally got its first 400 title in Class 6A, finishing in 41.82.
"I was able to take off and give my buddy, Aaron (Logan), the lead," Skylarr Gatson said.
"I ate that curve up," Logan said. "I just handed it off to my boy, Dream team (Dreamius Smith), and he finished it off for us."
Class 4A showdown
Valley Center junior Joe Fisher won his first state title, taking the Class 4A 100 in 10.67, a state meet record. Wichita Trinity's Morgan Burns finished second in 10.74.
"It was very special for me," Fisher said."... I got out of the blocks and felt smooth the whole race. I knew I was going to have a pretty good time."
Fisher finished second in the 200 to DeSoto's Jordan Riffel (21.86). Burns finished third.
It was a disappointing day for Burns.
"I felt coming out I'd get a gold medal or so," said Burns, who finished second in the 400 and the 400 relay."... I gave it my all. That's what I'm proud of. I'm happy. Track is done, I've done my best."
A better finish
Wichita Trinity's Seth Kaye failed to advance to the finals of the 300 hurdles the past two years, so his goal this year was to finish in the top five.
He won the 4A title, finishing in 39.25.
"I really peaked at the right time," Kaye said. "It was real encouraging."
The first individual title
Newton's Miguel Johns was part of the Railers' 400 relay championship team in 2009. He got his first individual title when he won the 5A 300 hurdles in 39.08.
"When you win and it's an individual event, it's just way better," Johns said.
In 2009, Caldwell's Braden Lebeda won the 110 hurdles in Class 1A. This year, he hit the first hurdle with his knee and couldn't get his lead leg up, so he kept hitting hurdles and finishing fifth. He came back in the 300 hurdles, winning in 40.32.
The El Dorado 3200 relay team expected to finish in the top two, hoped to win. Casey Nightengale, who ran the anchor leg, made sure the Wildcats got the championship with an amazing kick in the final 150 meters.
"He was about 50 meters behind, and he outkicked him with 15 meters left, I bet," teammate Dale Nuckolls said.
El Dorado won in 8:06.04, while Wamego finished second in 8:07.06.
Wichita Independent's Chris Speed qualified in four events as a junior, but a hamstring injury kept him from competing. He made up for it by winning the 3A long jump at 21-6 1/2.
Lyons' Jake Craig started running the hurdles shortly before regionals in 2009. He didn't fair well, finishing 14th overall.
This season he didn't lose a race and won the Class 3A 300 hurdles in 40.28.
* Hillsboro's Nathan Vogel ran his best time by four seconds in the 800, winning the Class 3A title in 1:58.76. He finished second in the 400.
* Conway Springs won the Class 3A 400 relay in 44.04, while Lyons was second in 44.10.
* Madison's Henry Ott won the Class 1A javelin, throwing 178-10 on his second-to-last throw. He bettered his throw from 2009 when he threw 166-02 to finish fourth. *Marion's Nick Klenda defended his Class 3A discus with a throw of 178-0.
* Chaparral junior John Siale, who won the shot put on Friday, added a second title when he threw a 177-1 to win the 3A javelin. Garden Plain sophomore Joey Capul took second, throwing a 173-7.
* Flinthills' Garrett Breech defending his triple jump championship in Class 1A, going 44-1.