Varsity Track and Field

Fifty athletes to watch at the Kansas high school state track and field meet

Class 6A boys sprinters, the Newton girls runners, Campus' jumpers and Carroll's hurdlers headline the 2018 Kansas high school state track meet
Class 6A boys sprinters, the Newton girls runners, Campus' jumpers and Carroll's hurdlers headline the 2018 Kansas high school state track meet The Wichita Eagle

It is that time of the year again as athletes turn their focus toward Cessna Stadium.

The Kansas high school state track and field meet starts Friday at Wichita State, and the regular season has certainly separated the top competitors in each classification.

With that, here are the top 50 athletes to watch from across Kansas:

50. Hayden Goodpaster - Shawnee Mission Northwest, Senior - 200 meters, 400 meters

Goodpaster finished second in the Class 6A 400 meters last year to Olathe Northwest's Julian Lacey, but this year, Goodpaster enters the state meet with the fastest 400 time in the state at 48.28 seconds. He also finished sixth in the 100 meters last year.

49. Zach Williams - Valley Center, Senior - 110-meter hurdles, long jump

Williams will have a shot at a pair of 5A titles in the 110-meter hurdles and the long jump. He enters the state meet with the top marks in both events in the class. He finished fifth and sixth in 5A in those events last year.

48. Abbee Rhodes - Augusta, Junior - Shot put

Rhodes comes into state with the top shot throw in 4A. She threw 39-1.75 at her regional meet at Chanute and will be the favorite to win in Cessna Stadium this weekend.

47. Austin Mernagh - Bishop Carroll, Senior - 100 meters, 200 meters, High jump

Few athletes had the regional Austin Mernagh had. He won the 100 meters over Liberal's Dusty Torres by two hundredths of a second, came fourth in the 200 and landed in the top three in the high jump. Mernagh will be a big source of points for the Golden Eagles.

46. Jayden Price - Mulvane, Senior - 100 meters, 200 meters

Price is one of the most versatile athletes in Kansas. Committed to North Dakota State for football, Price is also playing baseball this spring and comes into state track with the fourth-fastest 100-meter time in Kansas at 10.80 seconds.

45. Taylor Briggs - Chapman, Sophomore - 1,600 meters, 3,200 meters

Briggs is young, but she is tough. She has the top qualifying times in 4A for the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. Last year, she didn't even qualify for the state meet. She will also spearhead Chapman's relay teams.

44. Joseph Holthusen - Bishop Carroll, Senior - 300-meter hurdles, 100-meter hurdles

One of Carroll's top performers, Holthusen is looking to cash in on his senior year after finishing third and fourth in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles at state last year. He comes into state ahead of Zach Williams' 110-meter regional time and with the top 5A time in the 300-meter hurdles.

43. Asher Molina - Shawnee Mission North, Junior - 1,600 meters, 3,200 meters

No high school athlete in Kansas has ran a mile more quickly than Molina this year. At the Sunflower League meet, he topped out at 4:21.81. He took a step back at the regional meet, but Molina has the pop to show out.

42. Cale Carson - El Dorado, Senior - 800 meters

Carson competes in one individual event, but he does it better than anyone in Kansas coming into the state meet. Carson finished second in the 4A 800 meters. This year, that is unlikely. His regional time was more than a second faster than anyone in the class.

41. Savannah Simmons - Newton, Senior - 100 meters, 200 meters

Simmons has been a staple of Newton track. She won the 5A 200 meters last year and came third in the 100. Simmons is one of the top sprinters in 5A but has been overshadowed a bit by teammates Kalli Anderson and Maggie Remsberg. But she will certainly be in contention against this year.

40. Maddie Righter - Olathe Northwest, Junior - High jump, Long jump, 200 meters

Righter is one of the top competitors in each of her events. She jumped two inches above the 6A field at the regional meets. She qualified second in the long jump and sixth in the 200 meters.

39. Jason Irwin - Bishop Carroll, Senior - 1,600 meters, 800 meters

Irwin looks like he is running on ice when he competes. His running style looks effortless, and that is reflected in his times. He comes in with the top 5A time in the 1,600 meters and the fastest of anyone at the regional meets. He won the 800 meters in 2017.

38. Clyde King Jr. - Manhattan, Senior - 200 meters, 400 meters

King enters state with the fastest 200 meter time in Kansas after a 21.61 at the 6A regional meet. The 200 is King's only individual event, but he will be one of the top contenders for the title.

37. Hannah Reynolds - Junction City - Discus, Shot put

Reynolds looks to be running away with the 6A discus title. She threw 135-7.5 at the regional meet, almost 10 feet farther than the field. Reynolds finished eighth at the 6A meet last year, but almost certainly won't in 2018.

36. Sabrina Thomas - Kiowa County, Sophomore - Shot put, Discus

Thomas qualified in three events as a freshman. She will only compete in two this year, but she will be one of the 2A favorites in each. Thomas had the top throws in the shot put and discus at the regional meets in 2A.

35. Deron Dudley - South, Junior - 100 meters

Dudley is one of the dark horses in the 6A 100 meters. He will have to overtime favorites like Ollie McGee, but Dudley has shown he can keep pace, coming into the state meet with the second-fastest 6A regional time behind only his teammate Phillip Landrum.

34. Federico Harvey - Campus, Senior - Triple jump, Long jump

Harvey is the reigning 6A triple jump champion, and he shows no signs of slowing in 2018. But he has a competitor to overcome. Shawnee Mission Northwest's Reginald Edwards comes into state with the longest leap. In fact, Harvey had the fourth-longest triple jump at the 6A regionals.

33. Samantha Van Hoecke - Paola, Senior - Pole vault, 100 meters

Van Hoecke had quite the meet last year. She finished runner-up in the 4A 100 meters and topped the leaderboard in the pole vault. This year, as a senior, she will look to win both. She qualified atop the pole vault charts, but though her time was competitive, she finished eighth in 4A for the 100.

32. Jack Durst - Shawnee Mission West, Senior - High jump

Durst came runner-up in the 6A high jump last year with a 6-foot-6 leap. This year, he holds the tops spot at 6-8, four inches higher than any other 6A competitors at the regional meets.

31. Julian Lacey - Olathe Northwest, Senior - 400 meters, 800 meters

Lacey is the defending 40-meter champion in 6A, but he will be tested mightily for that tile in 2018. Shawnee Mission Northwest's Hayden Goodpaster comes in with a faster time in the 400 meters, but Lacey still wears the crown.

30. Emma Ruddle - McPherson, Sophomore - 100-meter hurdles, 100 meters

Ruddle was excellent as a freshman. She finished fourth in the 100-meter dash and first in the 100-meter hurdles, topping Andale's Abby Smarsh. This year, expect much of the same. She has the No. 3 100-meter dash time and leads the 100-meter hurdles in 4A.

29. Bailey Turner - Olathe East, Senior - Long jump, Triple jump

The reigning 6A long jumper is back and still in the mix. Turner qualified in the top five in 6A and will be considered among the favorites in both events.

28. Megan Keil - Derby, Senior - 800 meters

Track is not Keil's first sport. Swimming is. Keil became the fastest female Kansas high school swimmer last weekend, winning the 50-yard freestyle. She will look to double down on the track.

27. Caleb Hentzen - Labette County, Junior - High jump

Hentzen enters the 4A meet with a regional mark three inches higher than any other competitor. At 6-foot-10, Hentzen's leap is good for top five in Kansas this year.

26. Sam Hankins - Manhattan, Sophomore - Javelin

There is Sam Hankins and everyone else. Cheney's Trey Patterson was the only competitor who threw more than 200 feet at the regional meets across all classes. Hankins threw 220-9. He is the reigning 6A javelin champion and looks to be leaps and bounds ahead of where he was at this time last year.

25. Sophie Scott - Blue Valley North, Senior - 800 meters, 1,600 meters, 3,200 meters

Scott may be the most consistent runner in Kansas. She enters the 6A meet with the top qualifying times in the 800, 1,00 and 3,200 meters. Scott is the defending 6A 800 meter champion and will look to add to her resume.

24. Reginald Edwards - Shawnee Mission West, Senior - Long jump, Triple jump

Edwards has taken his craft to the next level. After finishing sixth in the 6A triple jump and long jump last year, he comes into state with the top triple jump and second-best long jump in the class.

23. McKenzie Wilks - Pittsburg - 800 meters, 1,600 meters, 3,200 meters

One of the top runners in Kansas, Wilks will compete for state titles in each of the distance races. She qualified in the top four of the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters, including a top finish in the 1,600. She is the defending 5A state champion in the 800 and 1,600 meters.

22. Destiny Ray - Shawnee Mission East - 100 meters, 200 meters

Ray will have perhaps the best odds to win the 6A 100-meter dash. She comes into state with the top qualifying time. But she will have something to prove at this year's meet, after losing to Jada Davis in the final in 2017.

21. Matt Everett - Winfield - Discus, Shot put

Winfield's best shot at an individual title comes in the 4A discus. Everett had the second-best throw at the 4A regionals, behind Tonganoxie's LeeRoi Johnson, but Everett threw 195'1 at the AVCTL III meet, the top mark in Kansas.

20. Aarika Lister - Leavenworth, Senior - 100 meters, 200 meters

The fastest girl in Kansas is cruising before the state meet. Lister finished second and third in the 100 and 200 meters last year but comes into state with the fastest 5A times in both events.

19. Jada Davis - Blue Valley West, Junior - 100 meters, 200 meters

Last year's 6A 100-meter champion and 200-meter runner-up is back for more. Davis is a top two qualifier in each of her events again this year. She will be the Jaguars' headliner at the state meet.

18. Ethan Marshall - St. Thomas Aquinas, Junior - 1,600 meters, 3,200 meters

There is no one better at the 2-mile run. Marshall comes into the state meet with the top 3,200 meter time by two seconds. He finished sixth in the 3,200 meters last year in 5A, but this year, he looks to be running away with the title.

17. Alexandra Hart - Rolla, Sophomore - High jump, triple jump, 100-meter hurdles

Hart was one of the top freshman in Kansas last year, finishing runner-up in the 1A high jump, sixth in the triple jump, 10th in the long jump and eighth in the 100-meter hurdles. This year, she is a top five qualifier in all of her events.

16. Marshall Faurot - Scott City, Junior - Pole vault, High jump, 100-meter hurdles

One of the most well-rounded athletes in 3A, Faurot will come into the state meet as one of the top competitors in the pole vault at 14-feet. One from his own family and team, Loren Faurot, might be one of his top contenders though.

15. Tayezhan Crough - Hutchinson, Sophomore - 110-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles

Crough is going to be a force in Kansas for a while. Only a sophomore, he is the top qualifier in 6A in the 110-meter hurdles and the No. 2 in the 300. Crough finished fourth in the 110 last year as a freshman.

14. Shelby Ohlde - Linn, Senior - 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, High jump

Ohlde might be the athlete to watch from 1A. Competing in a handful of events, she puts on a show in the high jump. At her regional meeet, Ohlde leaped six inches higher than anyone else in he class and two inches more than only in the state. She is the defending state champion.

13. Dana Baker - Olathe North, Senior - Javelin, Discus, Shot put

Baker knows how to throw. One of the top qualifiers in the shot put and sidiscus, Baker excells with the javelin. She has the state's top throw at 175'6. She is a top 10 finisher in each event from last year and won the 6A javelin.

12. Ian Sanchez - Junction City, Senior - 100-meters, 200 meters

Wichita may have the most depth in the 6A 100-meter dash, but watch for Sanchez. He qualified in the top five in the 100 and 200 meters. He is committed to run at Barton College.

11. Abby Smarsh - Andale, Senior - 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles

Smarsh has been one of the keys to Andale's success recently. Her dad and coach, Greg Smarsh, said Abby is the hardest workers he has ever coached. That shows. She comes in the with top 300-meter time in 4A and is the defending champion in that event.

10. Kindel Nordhus - Bishop Carroll, Junior - 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles, Long jump

Nordhus is the Carroll girls' headliner. Coming in with the top regional time in the 300-meter hurdles in all classes and one of the top competitors in the long jump and 100-meter hurdles, Nordhus will likely be the Eagles' main source of points.

9. Katie Moore - St. James Academy, Sophomore - 400 meters, 1,600 meters

Moore has been dominant this season in the middle distances. With the top times in 5A in the 400 and 800 meters, she is a good choice to bring home a medal. She finished third in the 800 last year as a freshman.

8. Tim Lambert - Smoky Valley, Junior - 100 meters, 200 meters, 300-meter hurdles

Lambert is almost a guarantee to come home a champion. He has the top qualifying times in each of his three individual events. He is one of only two Smoky Valley athletes to qualify for state, but he will certainly pack a punch in 4A after not even qualifying for the finals in any event last year.

7. Layne Needham - Cheney, Junior - 100 meters, 200 meters, 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles

Few have qualified for as many events, and none come in with the qualifying marsks Needham has. She is first in the 3A 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles. She is ninth in the 100 meters and fifth in the 200. Needham's most outstanding event is the 300 hurdles. She has the top state qualifying time in 3A by almost a whole second.

6. Wes Shaw - Hillsboro, Junior - Shot put, Discus

If a state record is to be broken this weekend, Shaw is the most likely candidate. The 2A record in the shot put is 59-1.25, set last year by Ness City's Levi Armon. Shaw's best throw is 60-0, and he did it at his regional meet, beating the field by almost seven feet. He finished third in 2A last year. He won't this year.

5. Michael Hoffer - Shawnee Heights, Senior - High jump, Long jump, Triple jump

Hoffer could come home as a five-time state champion. After winning the 5A high jump each of the past two years, Hoffer has the top marks in the long jump and triple jump this year, too. No one has jumped higher than him this year, posting a 7-foot mark in the high jump.

4. Phillip Landrum - South, Senior - 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters

Landrum's times took a dip during the regular season this year, giving way to Southeast's Ollie McGee. But at his 6A regional, he hinted that he miht have been saving something for state. Landrum threw out a blazing 10.6-second time to top all of 6A. Landrum is the defending champion in the 100 and 200 meters.

3. Maggie Remsberg - Newton, Junior - 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles, long jump

Finding a more complete track athlete in Kansas than Remsberg is challenging. She comes into 5A state with the No. 1 time in the 100-meter hurdles, No. 2 in the long jump and No. 2 in the 300-meter hurdles. She finished in the top five in all of her events last yeare as a sophomore.

2. Kalli Anderson - Newton, Junior - 100 meters, 200 meters

One of the staples of the Newton girls' success, Anderson will be toward the top of the deepest girls sprints class again this year. Anderson blitzed the field last year to win the 100 meters, and though her times have improved dramatically, so, too, have the field's. Anderson qualified in the 200 meters as well this year.

1. Ollie McGee - Southeast, Senior - 100 meters, 200 meters

McGee has only been running track for a year and is arguably the fastest kid in Kansas. At the City League meet, he ran a 10.36, the fastest mark this year. The ball is in Landrum's court, but McGee is right there. In the 200 meters at the City League meet, McGee lost to Landrum by two hundreths of a second. McGee did not win an event last year, but with the times he has put up this season, he most certainly could.

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