Varsity Kansas

Wellington's Wiley running solo now

Second place was something that Wellington's Cassie Wiley learned to accept when it came to track and field season.

The gold usually was reserved for Wiley's teammate, J'Lynn Ledesma, now on scholarship at Wichita State. But the relationship never turned sour, which led to each thriving off the other.

"We're really good friends," Wiley said. "Me and her were pretty tight. She always got first. I always got second. I just kind of got used to it."

That might change this spring, as Wiley returns for her senior season as one of the more versatile athletes in the area. At the first meet of the season, April 1 at Clearwater, Wiley won the high jump, long jump and 100 meters.

Now Wiley is the hunted.

"I think I'm ready for it," Wiley said. "I'll probably just go out there and try to do my best. Hopefully it all turns out all right."

Early involvement in nearly every sport might explain Wiley's athleticism, which has led to success in volleyball and basketball. She said she hopes to attend Wichita State for volleyball next fall.

But she still has some goals to accomplish before leaving Wellington — namely re-setting the school record in the 400 relay and breaking the 100 record of 12.20.

"I like setting records," Wiley said. "I really enjoy beating those."

Pre-State Challenge — The first big meet of the high school season began Thursday night at Cessna Stadium.

Today's remainder of the meet, which features three high school divisions, provides the state-like setting that attracts some of the top talent in the area, regardless of class.

"I think we make it into a big deal because it is the big early meet," Andover coach Mike Lee said. "Right now it's the first test to find out where you stand early in the season."

How long can you go? —Southeast's Jamillah Bonner joined elite company with her triple jump of 40 feet, 3 inches at the North/East Classic on March 30.

It was only the third time a girl had jumped farther than 40 feet and it ranks Bonner second in the nation during outdoor track and field season.

"It's very awesome," Bonner said. "I was surprised that I jumped that. I think this year I am more focused and prepared. I had my mind ready to go before the season."

Know my name — Few people knew of Heights' Skylarr Gatson last season, and even fewer knew how to spell his name correctly.

Gatson, a sophomore, is starting to change that this season in the 100. His first two times of the season, 11.22 and 11.11, put him in contention for the City League title.

"I think everybody will know me in my junior year when I really come up," Gatson said. "But I feel like I can come up this year, too, and make a name for myself."