Highlights: Local athletes tear up the track at Kansas state meet
On Philip Landrum's last day as a Titan, South slashed through the Kansas state record books.
South set the state record in the 400-meter relay with a blistering 41.62 seconds Saturday at the Kansas state track and field meet at Cessna Stadium. The record had stood for 32 years.
Landrum came into 2018 as the defending 100- and 200-meter champion but came up short in both events. He said to finish out his senior year in the record books is special.
"It feels pretty good, especially with this group of guys," Landrum said. "I couldn't think of anyone I'd rather be in the record book with."
Landrum was South's anchor, but the Titans got outstanding efforts from Nicomus Craig, Martin Nguyen and Class 6A 100-meter champion Deron Dudley.
"We came out here, did what we needed to do and executed the race," Dudley said. "You see the results."
Holding back the tears
At 6 p.m. Saturday, Ollie McGee was maybe the greatest athlete in Kansas without a state championship.
By 6:30, there was a different storyline.
"I could really cry right now," McGee said. "But I'm not. I'm gonna hold it in. That should tell you a lot about my emotions after this win."
McGee won the 6A 200-meter dash with ease at 21.47 seconds. He missed the Kansas record by fewer than two tenths of a second. This came a few hours after McGee lost to South's Deron Dudley in the 100 meters.
He ran 10.64 but came in with the fastest time in the state at 10.36, set on the same track he ran on for state championships Saturday.
McGee said a fire was lit in him after the 100.
"I had to fight through my emotions," he said. "And just wait on this 200 to get it."
McGee certainly has a future in track and will compete on Team Kansas in June with many of the other 6A sprinters. He has achieved a great deal since he started running for Southeast as a junior.
Now the one thing that escaped him has been reeled in, too.
To say Bryce Merriman had a rough regional meet would be an understatement.
Merriman, a Maize South senior who is signed to run at Wichita State, did not qualify in the 800 or 1,600 meters. He struggled during the 800 and collapsed after peeling off the track in the mile. He bounced back at state as the Mavericks won the 5A 3,200-meter relay at 7 minutes, 54.66 seconds.
Merriman said he had been battling a viral pulmonary infection for two weeks leading up to that meet. He only started feeling better a couple of days before state.
"I was on steroid, antiboitics and an inhaler," he said. "I said, 'It's senior year. I have to go for it.' "
To have his redeeming moment was special, he said. It meant a lot to him to wrap up his high school career with a win and transition well into WSU's Cessna Stadium, the same venue he ran at Saturday.
"I'm very excited to get here and stay local," he said. "Racing on the same track that I raced on for big state meets is going to be cool."
Jumping for joy
As Carroll senior Joseph Holthusen crossed the line, he let out a scream. He was finally a state champion.
Holthusen won the boys Class 5A 110- and 300-meter hurdles on Saturday after years of failure on the track.
As a freshman, Holthusen failed to qualify for any event at the state meet. As a sophomore, he came in ninth in the 110. And as a junior, he got up to third. That wasn't enough, he said.
"That pushed me more than anything," Holthusen said. "In my time at Carroll, all the guys have pushed me to be better."
Holthusen said he woke up Saturday feeling good. He came into the final with the fastest time in the preliminaries by one-hundredth of a second over Liberal's Austin Mullens. Although the margin was slim, Holthusen had beaten Mullens a week earlier at Carroll's regional meet.
He won Saturday by more than three-tenths of a second.
"I woke up this morning feeling good," he said. "After talking with my coaches, talking with my family, they really helped relax me."
In the 300-meter hurdles, Holthusen held off Liberal's Austin Mullens by four-tenths of a second with a 38.42.
'Where do I go now?'
Independent sophomore Miles Martin won the Class 3A 400 meters, went and shot some interviews and was lost.
"Where do I go now for the podium?" Martin said.
His inexperience in winning didn't show Saturday as he closed the race with a remarkable 100 meters. He finished at 50.40 seconds, beating Perry-Lecompton's Shane Quinlan by a hair over one-tenth of a second.
Martin said he was a wreck Saturday morning, but he came through.
"That last 100 — I knew he was seeded ahead of me and had a lot better times," he said. "But I just felt it. I just had to win that race."
Before Tayezhon Crough won the boys 6A 110- and 300-meter hurdles, a 5A hurdler watched on and knew what was coming.
"When I see him in my races, I just know I'm gonna lose," he said.
Crough won the 110 with a blistering 14.45, almost one-half a second faster than Washburn Rural's Marquel Russell, who finished second.
The 110 has been building for Crough. His only event until this year, he finished fourth at the 2017 state meet. The year before, he wasn't even in the 6A meet.
Then in the 300, he held on over Olathe South's Emmanuel Okwuone. Crough ran 38.66, and Okwuone was at 38.78.
Lakelin Conrad is living large.
A TCU track commit, Conrad won his second race in as many days Saturday in the Class 4A 1,600 meters at 4:20.13. He was just four seconds off the class record.
Conrad won the 4A 3,200 meters for the second time in his high school career Friday with a conservative start and late push. He did the same thing in the mile.
Campus' Federico Harvey won the 6A boys triple jump at 47 feet for back-to-back state championships. Harvey also came second in the 6A boys long jump at 21-feet-9. Harvey's brother, Cameron Harvey, finished third in the 6A boys long jump at 21-6.5. ... Northwest's Josh Carter came runner-up in the 6A boys shot put at 52-feet-5.75. ... Hutchinson's Hunter Degarmo finished runner-up in the 6A boys discus at 164-11. ... East's 4x100-meter relay team of Taylor Hayes, D'Ron Jacobs, CJ Bell and Blazer Snell came third in 6A at 42.14 seconds. ... South's Philip Landrum finished third in the 6A boys 200 meters at 21.74 seconds. He was the defending 6A champion.
Carroll's Austin Mernagh came runner-up in the 5A boys 100 meters at 10.94 seconds behind Liberal's Dusty Torres. Mernagh beat Torres at the Eagles' 5A regional meet. ... Valley Center's Larry Wilson finished behind Mernagh in third in the 5A boys 100 meters at 10.97 seconds. Wilson also finished second in the 5A boys 200 meters with a time of 22.33 seconds. ... Heights' Joseph Porter came third in the 5A boys 110-meter hurdles at 15.02 seconds. ... Carroll's Jason Irwin won the 5A boys 800 meters at 1:55.38. He came last in the 5A boys 1,600 meters earlier. ... Andover's Asher Moen finished as the runner-up in the 5A boys 3,200 meters at 9:26.57. ... Carroll's Skylar Hampton, Joseph Holthusen, Paul Eck and Austin Mernagh came thrid in the 5A boys 4x100-meter relay at 43.57. The Eagles' Matthew Harding, Conner Klausmeyer, Wayne Hesse and Jason Irwin finished second in the 5A boys 4x800-meter relay at 7:56.58. ... Kapaun's Jacob Schmitz won the 5A boys discus at 165-9. ... Carroll's Austin Mernagh finsihed second in the 5A boys high jump at 6-4. Maize's Caleb Grill was a spot behind at 6-2. ... Eisenhowere's Cauy Lindsay finished runner-up in the 5A boys javelin at 184-8. ... Carroll's Joseph Holthusen finished third in the 5A boys long jump at 21-4. ... Carroll's Ethan Hull won the 5A boys polevault at 15-1, and teammate Augustine McCormick was second at 13-6. ... Newton's Damarius Peterson was second in the 5A boys shot put at 53-3.5, and Carroll's Sam Garrison came third at 52-9.5. ... Carroll's Jack Ebright finished second in the 5A boys triple jump at 44-4 and was the starting pitcher that afternoon in the 5A baseball state championship game.
Smoky Valley's Timothy Lambert won the 4A boys 100, 200 and 300-meter hurdles with times of 10.82, 22.11 and 37.95 seconds. ... Mulvane's Jayden Price finished runner-up in the 4A boys 100 and 200 meters at 10.91 and 22.57 seconds. ... Buhler's Clay Eckert won the boys 4A 110-meter hurdles at 14.8 seconds. McPherson's Tyson Stites came second at 14.87 seconds. ... Pratt's Brett Winsor finished third in the boys 4A 300-meter hurdles at 39.83 seconds. ... Arkansas City's Andrew Wilson won the 4A boys 400 meters at 49.37 seconds. ... El Dorado's Cale Carson won the boys 4A 800 meters at 1:56.18. Circle's Avery Stuever finished third at 1:57.61. Carson was also part of El Dorado's winning 4x800 team, Christian Price, Ezekiel Kemboi, Dylan WIttum and Carson. ... Mulvane's Drew Ellis, Cayleb CJ Johnson, Cole Diffenbaugh and Jayden Price finished third in the 4A boys 4x100-meter relay at 43.32. ... Buhler's Colton Popkey, Dylan Morrell, Hunter Popkey and Ryan Neill finished third in the 4A boys 4x800-meter relay at 8:10.67. ... Winfield's Matt Everett finished runner-up in the 4A boys discus at 189-2, and Buhler's Braden Rose finished third at 172-8. ... Nickerson's Hunter Jones finished second in the 4A boys high jump at J6-8. ... Buhler's Braden Rose won the 4A boys javelin at 194-4. He also won the 4A boys shot put at 54-2.75. ... McPherson's Devin Cape came third in the 4A boys triple jump at 44-6.75.
Hesston's Parker Rother finished second in the 3A boys 100 meters at 10.91 seconds. ... Cheney's Riley Petz came second in the 3A boys 300-meter hurdles at 39.65 seconds. ... Kingman's Owen Pearce came third in the 3A boys 1,600 meters at 4:38.60 and won the boys 3A 3,200 meters at 9:35.45. Kingman's Teagan Flanagan came third at 9:39.18. ... Halstead's Dakota Blaylock, Andrew O'Brien, Braden Gerber and Joshua Talbott finsihed second in the 3A boys 4x800-meter relay at 8:15.27, and Kingman's Treagan Flanagan, Teagan Flanagan, Dakota Hansard and Owen Pearce came third at 8:15.99. ... Garden Plain's Sam Thimmesch won the 3A boys shot put at 56-0.5. ... Garden Plain's Nicholas Dooley finished third in the 3A boys discus at 146-4. Sterling's Tyus Wilson won the 3A boys high jump at 6-6, and Medicine Lodge's Drew Honas came tied-second at 6-4. Conway Springs' Jonathan Wright finished third at J6-4. Garden Plain's Jonny Becker was runner-up in the 3A boys javelin at 187-8.
Hillsboro's Wes Shaw set a Kansas state record in the 2A boys shot put at 60-11.5. The old record was 59-10.25. Shaw also took second in the 2A boys discus at 178-1. ... Berean Academy's Toby Penner won the 2A boys 110 and 300-meter hurdles at 15.08 and 39.56 seconds.