Taylor Eldridge looks at some of the top athletes to watch at the state track and field championships at Cessna Stadium next weekend.
• The duel between Shawnee Mission Northwest sophomore Molly Born and Free State junior Emily Venters could break records in the 1600 and 3200. Born is the defending champion in both races, while Venters won the 6A title in the 3200 in 2014. Both are already on the all-time lists in Kansas history: Born (4:50.87) is No. 5 in the 1600 and Venters (4:56.76) is No. 13, while Born (10:28.16) is No. 4 in the 3200 and Venters (10:39.92) is No. 11. The 6A record in the 1600 is 4:52.31, set by SM West’s Alli Cash in 2012, while the record in the 3200 is 10:32.40, set by SM West’s Cathy Saxon in 1979.
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• Wichita Southeast senior Breanna Eckles has won a state championship the last three years: triple jump in 2013, long jump in 2014, and long jump in 2015. Eckles will once again be in the mix for titles in both events, as her personal-best marks in the long jump (19-103/4, No. 7 all-time) and triple jump (39-61/2, No. 11 all-time) rank her among the best in Kansas history.
• A rematch of last spring’s thrilling 100 race is set between the defending champion in Olathe South senior Jacqueline Darby and Wichita East senior Kimani Evans, whose personal-best time of 11.69 this season ranks her No. 5 in Kansas history. The 6A record of 11.80, set by Great Bend’s Tisa Johnson in 1983, could be in danger. Darby has also won the last two 6A titles in the 200.
• Wichita East junior Astrid Same is the defending champion in the shot put and once again brings the top mark in 6A (42-4) this season to the state meet. Hutchinson senior Alex Rodriguez is right behind her at 42-11/2, while Rodriguez owns the top mark in discus after setting a personal-best at regionals (140-1) that stands as the fourth-best mark in Kansas this season.
• Hutchinson senior Tyjai Adams owns the fastest 6A time in the 100 hurdles after winning her regional race in 14.42, which is the 14th-fastest time in Kansas history. Adams finished runner-up by less than a tenth of a second last spring.
• Hutchinson senior Yazmine Wright owns the fastest 6A time in the 400 (58.24) entering the state meet, while Derby sophomore Jaden Taylor (58.96) isn’t far behind. Wichita Southeast sophomore Christal Mosley, who ran the fastest time in Kansas (57.79) earlier this season, did not qualify at her regional meet.
• Blue Valley Northwest senior Hannah Van Buskirk is the 2-time defending champion in the high jump and once again is tied for the best mark in the event in 6A this season. Wichita Northwest sophomore DeJanae Arnold (5-6), Wichita Southeast senior Patricia Joseph (5-6), and Wichita East senior Brittan Richey (5-5) all have season-best marks to put them in the mix for the title.
• SM North senior Jazmin Williams is the defending champion in the 300 hurdles and owns the fastest time in Kansas this season in 44.75. Williams also owns the top mark in Kansas this season in the long jump at 19-3, which ranks her No. 18 all-time in Kansas history.
• Free State senior Callie Hicks is the defending champion in the pole vault and returns with the best mark in 6A this season at 12-0.
• The 800 will have a new champion after last year’s winner, SM West’s Riley Kaiser, failed to qualify at her regional meet. SM East senior Tess Iler (2:18.53) owns the fastest time in 6A this season.
• Leavenworth sophomore Aarika Lister, the defending champion in the 100 and 200, could put on a show in the short sprints. Earlier this season Lister ran an 11.58 in the 100, which stands as the second-fastest time in Kansas history. Her season-best time of 24.64 in the 200 ranks her No. 10 all-time in Kansas history. A pair of Newton sprinters, Kalli Anderson and Savannah Simmons, also threaten in both races, which makes the 19-year-old 5A record in the 100 at 11.90 is in peril.
• Newton senior Payton Roberts has won the last two 5A championships in the shot put and discus, while she was runner-up in both events as a freshman. Roberts once again owns the top marks in 5A this season in shot put (46-11¾) and discus (143-9), while her personal-best mark in the shot put this season moves her up to No. 9 on the Kansas all-time list. Roberts could also challenge the 5A record of 46-2½, set by Great Bend’s Alex Hartig in 2010.
• The Newton 400 relay team of Kalli Anderson, Taylor Antonowich, Jen Andres, and Savannah Simmons is poised to challenge the 5A record in the event, set by Heights last season in 48.20. Newton’s season-best time of 47.83 ranks as the eighth-fastest time in Kansas history. The Railers’ 1600 relay team, which consists of Maggie Remsberg, Antonowich, Anderson, and Simmons, also ran the fastest time in 5A this season at regionals to win in 4:01.18.
• Maize South junior Kassidy Johnson will chase titles in three events: the 400, 800, and 1600. Johnson, a former champion having won the 2014 title in 5A in the 400, owns the fastest time in 5A this season in the 400 (59.17) and 800 (2:16.36), while she is fourth in the 1600 (5:14.12). Johnson will have to beat the defending champion in the 400 (St. James sophomore Emma Gossman) and in the 800 (Pittsburg sophomore McKenzie Wilks) to win those races.
• Former champion Alyssa Wheeler, a junior at Kapaun Mount Carmel, returns in the pole vault field. Wheeler, who won the 5A title in 2014, has the third-best mark in the field. Salina Central’s Halie Turner (11-9), Goddard’s Hannah Buller (11-6), Maize’s Mia Magby (11-0), and Eisenhower’s Ryleigh Jackson (11-0) are all in the mix.
• St. James teammates Allie Webb and Jenna Gray have won the last two 5A titles in the javelin. Gray, the defending champion, improved her personal-best mark to 156-1 this season, which is the ninth-best throw in Kansas history and the second-best throw in the nation. Webb’s season-best throw of 146-9 ranks fourth in Kansas this season.
• After winning the 5A championship in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles in 2014, Pittsburg’s Taylor Muff finished runner-up in both races last spring. Now a junior, Muff is back with the fastest times posted this season in 5A in the 100 hurdles (14.66) and 300 hurdles (45.64).
• Emporia senior Odalis Hernandez owns the best triple jump in Kansas this season at 39-1½, which ranks her No. 20 all-time in Kansas history. A former champion also returns in the event in Mill Valley junior Taylor Corbitt, who won the 5A title in 2014.
• Girard junior Cailie Logue is a 3-time state champion already, but she will look to complete the trifecta in the distance races this season. Not only does Logue have the fastest times in 4A this season in the 800 (2:15.30), 1600 (4:44.08), and 3200 (10:41.60), but her 800 and 1600 times are the fastest in Kansas this season and her 3200 time is third-fastest. Her 1600 time is the third-fastest time ever run in Kansas history, while her 3200 time ranks her No. 13 all-time. She will also be chasing the 4A records in all three of her races, including the 24-year record in the 1600 set by Chaparral’s Cari Warden in 1992 when she won in 5:00.34.
• The pole vault competition is poised to be the best in the state with Andale junior Jewell Eck, who cleared 12-9 (the fourth-best vault in Kansas history), at regionals, Concordia sophomore Jessica Williams, who has cleared 12-3 (the 12th-best mark in Kansas history), and DeSoto senior Jannell Clampitt, the 2-time defending champion in 4A. The 4A record of 12-1, set by El Dorado’s Jaimie House in 2010, is poised to fall.
• Andover Central junior Jewell Bolden is a 4-time state champion, as she won the last two 3A titles in the 100 hurdles and long jump at Collegiate. Bolden owns the state’s fastest time in the 100 hurdles this season in 14.38, which is the 13th-fastest time in Kansas history, and the top long jump mark in 4A this season at 18-11. The 4A record of 14.30 in the 100 hurdles, which has stood for 33 years, and the long jump record of 18-7¼, which has stood for 32 years, could be in peril.
• El Dorado junior Sidney Howland is the defending champion in the 400 and owns the fastest time in 4A this season at 57.93, which is also the second-fastest in the state. She qualified in her other open event, the 200, and will anchor El Dorado’s 1600 and 3200 relay teams that will vie for titles.
• McPherson senior Amy Suenram owns the top mark in 4A this season in the triple jump (37-11½). She is also a former state champion in the long jump, winning the 4A title in 2014. Suenram has the second-best mark in 4A this season in long jump after setting a personal-best mark at 18-7½.
• Baldwin has won the last two 3200 relay titles and features three of the four members from last season’s champions in Addison Dick, Fayth Peterson, and Madeline Neufeld, while Dick and Peterson have run on both championship teams. Baldwin once again owns the fastest time in 4A this season in the event in 9:56.11.
• Andover Central senior Amanda Kakoulias will chase her first state championship. She once again qualified in all four of her field events: triple jump, shot put, discus, and javelin. Kakoulias figures to be in the mix in all four of her events, while she owns the top mark in 4A this season in the shot put (41-10).
• Baldwin senior Kelsey Kehl owns the top mark in 4A in discus (143-6) and javelin (150-4). That personal-best mark for Kehl, who won the 4A title in javelin in 2014, is the 19th-best throw in Kansas history. She will have to fend off Andale senior Victoria Orth in the javelin, as Orth’s season-best throw of 148-10 is third-best in Kansas this season.
• Chanute senior Madi Rollins is a former state champion in the high jump, winning the 4A title in 2014. Rollins set a personal-best mark with her winning jump at regionals, clearing 5-6 to become one of eight girls to have cleared the best mark in the state thie season.
• Cheney senior Gabrielle Lavington is the defending champion in the shot put and her personal-best mark of 46-113/4 stands as the ninth-best throw in Kansas history. Lavington will be after the 3A record in the event, held by Northern Heights’ Jacquelyne Leffler at 45-63/4. Lavington’s season-best throw is 45-1½, which is third-best in Kansas this season.
• The discus field will included Hiawatha senior Emily Gartner, the defending champion in the event whose personal-best mark of 151-6 stands at the 19th-best throw in Kansas history. Beloit sophomore Sydney Johnson has the top mark in 3A this season at 139-9, one foot farther than Gardner’s best mark this season.
• Belle Plaine senior Jessica Heidel owns the top mark in 3A this season in the long jump at 18-3, which is the seventh-best mark in Kansas this season. Heidel also owns the top mark in the triple jump (36-81/2), which has a field that includes two former state champions in Silver Lake’s Taylor White, the defending champion, and Marion’s Marissa Jacobson, the 2014 champion.
• Sterling’s Sydney Wilson will be chasing her first state championship of her career in her senior season. She qualified in all four of her events: 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, long jump, and high jump. Her times in both of the hurdles races are among the best in 3A, while her mark of 5-6 in the high jump at regionals is tied for the best mark in Kansas this season.
• After winning the 200 title last season, but false starting in the finals of the 100, Lindsay Shupe of Minneapolis will be chasing titles in both races as a senior. She owns the fastest qualifying times in both, while Hesston senior Taylor Valdez is expected to be perhaps Shupe’s greatest challenge in both.
• Southeast of Saline senior Kylee Poague ran the second-fastest time in the 300 hurdles in the state this season at regionals, winning in personal-best time of 45.03. Chaparral’s Taylor Bergman, Cheney’s Miranda Ortiz, and Sterling’s Sydney Wilson could also factor into the race.
• The two-time defending champion in the 100 hurdles, Jewell Bolden, has vacated 3A, which leaves the title up for grabs in a field that includes Sterling’s Sydney Wilson, Hutchinson-Trinity’s Rhiannon Vieyra, and Chaparral’s Taylor Bergman.
• Garden Plain junior Emerson Tice owns the fastest time in the 400 (59.17) this season in 3A and 10th-fastest in the state. The two-time defending champion in the event, Silver Lake’s Alexandra Ferguson, is not in the field this season.
• All four members of the defending 1600 relay champions have returned this season for Russell in Samantha Wedel, Sam Ptacek, Jaclyn Schulte, and Alaina Gfeller. The group owns the best time in 3A this season (4:07.90).
• Three of the four members of the defending 400 relay champions are back this season for Silver Lake, as Mariah Cook, Taylor White, and Rachel Heiman are all seniors. But Beloit owns the fastest time in 3A this season in 49.67, while Silver Lake’s best time is 50.50.
• Atchison County senior Madison Bissell won the 3A title in 2014 in the 800, but finished fourth last season. She does own the fastest time in 3A this season in 2:25.10.
• Beloit junior Kourtni Hubert could push for the 3A record in the javelin, as her season-best throw of 145-4 is within striking distance of the record throw of 148-1 set by Rock Creek’s Elizabeth Herrs in 2012.
• Hill City junior Alyssa Miller moved into the record books this season with her personal-best mark of 158-0 in the discus, which ranks her No. 7 all-time in Kansas history and No. 8 nationally this season. Miller, the defending champion in the event, is poised to break the 2A record in the event, which is 144-2 held by Whitney Taylor of Ellis. Miller also holds the top mark in the shot put (40-0½) in 2A this season.
• Moundridge senior Peri Lange won her regional title in the 300 hurdles in 45.66, a personal-best and the third-fastest time in Kansas this season. She also vastly improved her speed in the 100 hurdles, which she has never qualified for the state finals in, and owns the fastest time in 1A this season in the event.
• The short sprints will likely be decided by a pair of defending state champions. Maranatha Academy junior Brooke Brownlee won the 100 and 200 titles in 2A last season, while Pratt Skyline senior Jessica DeWeese won the 100 and 200 titles in 1A last season. Moundridge freshman Jamya O’Quinn also appears to be a contender in both races.
• The pole vault field features two defending state champions in Hillsboro senior Marah Franz, who won the 3A title last season, and Republic County junior Madison Scott, who won the 2A title last season. Both are tied this season for the best vault in 2A at 10-6.
• Berean Academy freshman Erin Topham has posted the fastest times in 1A this season in the 1600 (5:25.78) and the 3200 (11:35.52). Bennington sophomore Halle Johnson is expected to push her in both races, while Herington’s McKenzie Shippy should also be involved in the 1600 race.
• An injury last season took Valley Heights’ Brandi Roepke out of the sprints, where she was a 3-time state champion, but she has still found success in the long jump. She won the 1A long jump title in 2014 and Roepke, a senior, owns the best mark in 2A this season after jumping a season-best mark of 17-8½ at regionals.
• To win another long jump title, Roepke will have to beat her teammate, Valley Heights sophomore Kayla Smith, who won the 1A long jump title last season. Smith also won the 1A triple jump title last season and owns the best mark in the event (37-6) in 2A this season.
• Sacred Heart junior Grace Ivey is the defending champion in the high jump and is one of seven girls to clear 5-6 this season, the top mark in Kansas this season. Ellis junior Ashley Mattheyer is also a former state champion, winning the event in 2014.
• St. Paul junior Jenny O’Bryan will be chasing the 33-year-old record in the 3200, held by Wheatland-Grinnell’s Jacque Struckhoff in 10:57.30. O’Bryan, the two-time defending champion in the race, has the fifth-fastest time in Kansas this season in 11:03.32, which is 75 seconds faster than the next-best time in 1A. O’Bryan also won the 1600 title last season and owns the fastest time in 1A this season (5:22.99) by 20 seconds.
• The 100 hurdles field will include the last two state champions in Beloit St. John’s junior Clara Eilert, who won in 2014, and Flinthills senior Lauren Doll, who unseated Eilert as champion last season. Lakeside sophomore Rachel Miller, a converted sprinter, has also become a contender after posting a hand-timed 15.00 victory in early April.
• Doll qualified in all four of her events: 200, 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, and triple jump. She is also the defending champion in the 300 hurdles, but four qualifiers have posted faster times than her this season. Doll’s season-best mark in the triple jump (37-5) is nine inches better than second in 1A, while her 200 times has her poised for a four-medal performance.
• Beloit St. John’s Gabriel Smith has become an elite javelin thrower in her senior season, as she owns the top mark (140-3) in 1A this season after qualifying for state for the first time in her career. She has the eighth-best throw in Kansas this season. Smith is also part of the defending championship 1600 relay team for Beloit St. John’s, which returns all four members: Clara Eilert, Elizabeth Walter, Smith, and Brenna Eilert.
• Dighton junior Jordan Speer, the defending champion, is just one of six throwers in Kansas this season with a mark (43-0½) better than 43 feet in the shot put this season. She is also tied for the best mark in the discus this season in 1A, setting a personal-best mark (120-9) to win her regional.
• Axtell senior Bradie Schmidt is the defending champion in the 400. She has improved her personal-best time to 58.99, the sixth-fastest time in Kansas this season and the best in 1A. Schmidt is also qualified in the 200, where she owns a tie for the fastest time (26.21) in 1A.
• With the defending 800 champion bumped up to 2A, the title could be decided by a pair of sophomores in Goessel’s Brittney Hiebert (2:26.34) and Hanover’s Claire Zarybnicky (2:27.18).
• Derby senior Trent Allen has skyrocketed up the all-time list in the javelin this season, as his personal-best throw of 221-3 is the fifth-best in Kansas history. It is also nearly 11 feet better than the next-best throw in Kansas this season and the second-best throw in the nation. Allen finished fourth in 6A last season.
• Olathe North senior Isaiah Simmons is the 2-time defending champion in the long jump and his personal-best mark this season of 24-5 is the top mark in Kansas and the 15th-best leap all-time. Wichita Southeast senior Ira Hines (23-11), No. 2 in Kansas this season, could play spoiler. Hines also owns the state’s top mark in triple jump (48-1).
• With the defending champion in the 100 not in the field, Lawrence senior J.D. Woods, last year’s runner-up, appears to be the favorite with his season-best time of 10.66 tied for the fastest time posted in Kansas this season. Wichita South sophomore Phillip Landrum (10.74) could contend for the title. Woods (21.87) is also expected to be in contention in the 200, as well.
• Wichita Northwest senior Nick French owns the top discus throw in 6A this season with a personal-best mark of 165-7, which is the ninth-best throw in the state this season. Derby senior Peerlus Walker also moved into contention with his personal-best throw of 158-01/2, third-best in 6A this season, coming at regionals.
• Lawrence Free State senior Ethan Donley is the defending champion in the 800 and returns with the top time in 6A (1:53.53) and second-fastest in Kansas. Donley and Olathe East’s Nicholas Skinner (1:53.97) could challenge the 6A record of 1:52.34, set by Topeka West’s Winston Tidwell in 1993.
• Hutchinson senior Martavius Johnson was the only competitor to break 15 seconds at regionals in the 110 hurdles. Johnson ran the third-fastest time this season (14.29) in Kansas, which is eight-tenths faster than the next fastest in 6A.
• Wichita East senior Canien Burnett has the top high jump in 6A this season (6-8) and the third-best mark in Kansas. Burnett is the only jumper in 6A that has gone above 6-6 this season.
• Derby sophomore Adrian Brown owns the fastest time in 6A this season in the 300 hurdles (40.16) with Wichita North senior Jaylen Dixon (40.18) right behind him.
• The two fastest 3200 relays in Kansas will duel for the 6A title in Shawnee Mission North (7:56.55) and Olathe East (7:57.67), the only teams this season to break 8:03 in the event.
• Shawnee Mission North’s Belisti Akalu owns the fastest time in the state this season in the 3200 (9:16.68) and the second-fastest time in 6A in the 1600 (4:18.54).
• Olathe South sophomore Cameron Waldo owns the fastest time in the state this season in the 400 (48.11).
• Blue Valley Southwest sophomore Noah Green has already registered on the Kansas all-time best list in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles. He moved into the No. 8 spot all-time in Kansas history in the 110 hurdles with his winning time of 13.94 at regionals. Green also ran a personal-best in the 300 hurdles in 37.04, which is the seventh-fastest time in state history and the top time in Kansas this season.
• Eisenhower senior Garrett Kennedy is the defending champion in the pole vault and has the top mark in Kansas this season with his personal-best vault of 15-7, which is 19 inches higher than the next-best mark in 5A.
• The discus title is sure to involve Newton senior Josh Fulmer (170-11), Maize junior Konner Swenson (170-9), and Arkansas City senior Brock Blubaugh (169-9), who are all in the Top-10 marks in Kansas this season with their season-best throws. Fulmer (55-51/2) and Swenson (52-10) also are the top two throwers in 5A this season in the shot put.
• Maize senior Kameron Swenson has the third-best throw in Kansas this season in the javelin (200-10). But Eisenhower junior Matt Pile, in his first year of throwing javelin, has become a contender after his personal-best mark of 195-5 moved him up to No. 5 in the state this season. Heights senior Creighton Sanders (192-5) is the defending champion in the event.
• St. Thomas Aquinas owns the top 5A times in all of the distance races, as Matthew Malir (1:55.36) has the fastest 800 time this season, Alex Gill (4:21.29) has the fastest 1600 time this season, and Michael Shanahan (9:28.50) has the fastest 3200 time this season.
• Shawnee Heights sophomore Michael Hoffer tied the best mark in Kansas this season in the high jump at regionals, winning with a personal-best jump of 6-10.
• The Leavenworth 400 relay team won the 5A title last season and ran the second-fastest time in Kansas this season (42.44) to win regionals, although anchor Clifford Robinson is the only returner from that squad.
• The Blue Valley Southwest 1600 relay team of Colin Webber, Andrew Lawrence, Konrad Marshall, and Noah Green have posted the fastest time in Kansas this season (3:21.24).
• Newton junior Kade Remsberg, who won the 5A titles in the 100 and 200 last season, did not at regionals and will not defend his titles in the short sprints.
• Osawatomie senior Jacoby Greenwood and Andover Central senior Jordan Birch are two of the best hurdlers in Kansas and the pair of state champions are set to battle for the 4A titles this spring. Greenwood won the 4A titles in the 200, 110 hurdles, and 300 hurdles last season, while Birch has won titles in the 110 hurdles the last two seasons (4A in 2014, 5A in 2015). Greenwood (14.20) and Birch (14.23) are near identical in the 110 hurdles with Greenwood (39.04) slightly ahead of Birch (39.79) in the 300 hurdles. Andale’s Jake Horsch (39.40) could play spoiler in the 300 hurdles.
• Ulysses senior Ian Rudzik improved his personal-best marks in the shot put (61-4) and discus (186-0) at regionals, as both stand as the No. 1 throw in their respective event this season in Kansas. Rudzik is the defending champion in the shot put, while he will be looking to revenge a 13th-place finish in the discus last spring.
• The high jump competition will be loaded with Girard senior Drew Davied, who has the top mark in Kansas this season at 6-10 and is a 2-time champion in the event, Collegiate senior Jacob Newlin (6-6), who won the 3A title last season, and Basehor-Linwood’s Eric Scott (6-8) and Hugoton’s Tony Kinser (6-8).
• Two state champions will be in the field in the 3200, in Winfield senior Riley Osen, who is the 2-time defending champion in 4A, and Collegiate sophomore Lakelin Conrad, who won the 3A title last season. Osen is qualified, but is still recovering from a knee injury suffered in December. Topeka Hayden’s Jacob Klemz (9:34.93), Brenneman (9:38.78), and Smoky Valley’s Calvin Shannon (9:39.99) own the top times in 4A this season.
• Andale senior Jeff Ast is the defending champion in the javelin and his personal-best throw of 226-2 still stands as the third-best mark in Kansas history. But a shoulder injury has prevented Ast from returning to throws like that, as his season-best throw of 182-8 is second-best in 4A to Fort Scott’s Josh Hudiburg (186-6).
• Bishop Miege senior Denvoir Griffin is the defending champion in the 100 and owns the second-fastest time in Kansas this season at 10.66. Griffin also owns one of the top times (22.19) in the 200, although Pratt junior Hunter Kaufman ran the second-fastest time in Kansas at regionals in 22.04. The defending champion in the 200, Osawatomie’s Jacoby Greenwood, is also in the field.
• DeSoto senior Travis Hodge is the defending champion in the 800 and owns the fastest time in 4A this season in 1:54.63, which is the fourth-best time in Kansas this season. Hodge will be up against one of the best fields in the state, which includes Abilene’s Andrew Schwarting (1:55.79), Girard’s Laike Dammon (1:56.55), and Spring Hill’s Dylan Brenneman (1:56.77).
• Bishop Miege won the 400 relay title last season and returns three members from that relay this season in Jaden Johnson, T.J. Goodwin, and Denvoir Griffin. Miege owns the fastest time in 4A this season (42.60) and could challenge the 4A record of 42.30, set by Mulvane in 1998.
• Colby senior Matthew Pieper is the defending champion in the triple jump, but Basehor-Linwood’s Eric Scott (45-113/4) and Kansas City Piper’s Emmett Lockridge (45-71/4) delivered top-5 performances in the state this season at regionals.
• With the defending champion in the 1600, Winfield’s Riley Osen, not in the field this season, Hodge (4:15.42) and Brenneman (4:14.86) are expected to battle for the title. They are ranked second and third in Kansas this season with their personal-best times.
• Silver Lake senior Logan Wolfley has become one of the premier javelin throwers in the nation, as his personal-best mark of 210-6 this season is second-best in Kansas and the fifth-best throw in the country. The 3A record is 193-4, set by Cheney’s John Goldsmith in 2004.
• Nemeha Central junior Jacob Koelzer is the defending champion in the long jump and once again owns the top mark in 3A this season at 22-103/4, which is the fifth-best mark in Kansas this season. Koelzer finished runner-up in the 100 and 200 last season, but will have to fend off the emergence of Ellsworth junior Kaden Davis, who owns the top times in 3A in the 100 (10.80) and 200 (22.20).
• Wellsville senior Zach Strawn will chase a title in the 100, 200, and 400. His times in the short sprints are among the best in 3A, while his personal-best time of 49.31 in the 400 is the third-fastest time in Kansas this season. Although Eureka’s De’Allen Nelson beat Strawn in the 400 at regionals.
• Norton sophomore Jace Ruder has become one of the top 300 hurdlers in the state this season, as his personal-best time of 39.61 is the sixth-fastest time in Kansas this season. He has also joined Norton’s 400 relay team, the defending 3A champions, and has paired with returners Tevin Petrie, Gavin Lively, and Tevin Brown for the fastest time in 2A (43.42) this season.
• Cheney senior Calvin Schell is just one of three pole vaulters in Kansas this season to clear over 15 feet. Schell’s personal-best mark (15-4) is second-best in the state this season and nine inches higher than the next-closest in 3A.
• The high jump competition features some of the best in Kansas in Conway Springs senior Lucas Shaffer (6-7), Garden Plain freshman Dylan Dreiling (6-6), Hutchinson-Trinity senior Zach Fesen (6-6), and Royal Valley junior Lucas Broxterman (6-6). All are among the 10-best marks in Kansas this season with their season-best jumps.
• The Hesston 3200 relay team of Jonathan Weber, Zach Esau, Javen Schmucker, and Austin Bollinger have posted the fastest time in 3A (8:09.64) this season. Bollinger (1:59.47) is among the title contenders in the 800 with his season-best time.
• Remington junior Garet Johnson has the top 3A mark in the shot put this season at 53-11/2, which is the ninth-best throw in Kansas this season.
• Halstead senior Patrick Porch owns the top 3A time in the 1600 this season in 4:39.01, while Halstead junior Steven Cline has the top 3A time in the 3200 in 10:12.08.
• Olpe junior Kyler True is poised for a four-gold performance. He is the defending champion in the 800 and 1600 and was runner-up in the 3200 last season. True has run the fastest time in Kansas in the 800 in 1:52.64, which is the 11th-fastest time in Kansas history, and in the 1600 in 4:14.17. He is the only runner in 2A to break 10 minutes in the 3200 (9:35.02), and True will anchor the Olpe 3200 relay team that won the championship last season and owns the top 2A time this season (8:06.69) and fourth-fastest in the state.
• Salina Sacred Heart senior Jerod Toogood is the defending champion in the javelin and owns the sixth-best throw in Kansas this season (194-9). The 2A record in the event is 193-5, set in 2006 by Washington County’s Garett Edgar.
• Berean Academy senior David Ladwig won both hurdles races last season and is the 2-time defending champion in the 300 hurdles. He once again is the favorite, as Ladwig owns the top times in 2A this season in the 110 hurdles (14.74) and 300 hurdles (39.86).
• Plainville has won the last three 2A titles in the 400 relay and returns three members from last year’s title-winning squad in Samuel Kaup, Anthony Ventura, and Hayden Friend. But Plainville owns just the third-fastest time in 2A this season, behind St. Mary’s-Colgan and Burlingame.
• The discus competition should be competitive with South Gray sophomore Gilbert Peters (164-2), Kiowa County senior Erik Torres (163-8), and Washington County junior Hunter Krier (155-2) all among the state-best this season with their season-best marks.
• Ness City junior Chandler Stiawalt owns the top marks in 2A this season in the long jump (21-81/4) and triple jump (44-6).
• Hanover swept all three relays last season and is qualified in all three again this spring with several athletes back that helped win those titles. Matthew White and Devin Jueneman were on the 400 relay last season, while Trey Lohse and Will Bruna have joined to help Hanover to the top 1A time (44.64) this season. White, Jueneman, and Lohse return on the 1600 relay, with Bruna joining, and they also have the top 1A time (3:33.31) this season. Lohse, Paden Pralle, and Michael Jueneman are back on the 3200 relay, which has added Daikan Stallbaumer, but rank fifth in 1A with their season-best time.
• Ashland senior Kole Konrade won the 1A high jump title in 2014, then finished runner-up in the event last season. Konrade is back again, with the third-best jump in Kansas this season at 6-8, but will have to fend off Beloit-St. John’s David Dubbert (6-6) to win anothe championship.
• Josh Irsik of Ingalls, Matthew White of Hanover, and Austin Rietechek of Hoxie, all seniors, created a photo finish last spring in the 100 with Irsik winning. All three return for their senior seasons, while Cedar Vale-Dexter’s Demetrieus Adkins has run some of the fastest times, all hand-timed, in 1A this season.
• Ashland junior Quanah Gardiner will try to keep the string of excellent distance runners in 1A going this spring. After finishing just behind the pack of standout runners who have now graduated last year, Gardiner has risen to post the No. 1 times in 1A this season in the 800 (1:58.20), 1600 (4:22.60), and 3200 (10:07.56).
• Bucklin senior Isaiah Warnke has elevated himself to elite status in the hurdles this season. He ran the fastest eletronic time in 1A this season at regionals, winning in 15.09, while he also owns the 10th-fastest time in Kansas this season and the top 1A time in the 300 hurdles (40.00). He also owns the fourth-best long jump in 1A this season.
• Stockton junior Kian Coffey is one of just six boys to clear 45 feet in the triple jump this season in Kansas. Now Elijah Smith has graduated from Valley Heights, whom Coffey finished runner-up to his first two seasons, the path is clear for a first title (his season-best mark of 45-2 is the top mark in 1A this season by over two feet).
• Norwich junior Trent Poe, who finished eighth in 1A last season, owns the top 1A throw in the shot put this season at 49-43/4.