KANSAS RELAYS: The Stars Were Bright in Saturday's High School Events

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The stars were out and, oh boy, did they ever shine brightly during the second day of high school competition at the 90th Annual Kansas Relays at Rock Chalk Park.

Kansas high school athletes put up nine state-leading marks on the day, and 15 marks that rank in the top 5 of the state's rankings. Two stars of the track put up times that rank in the top 10 in the United States right now.

That would be Noah Green and Kyler True.

Green, a junior from St. Thomas Aquinas, smashed the Kansas Relays record and the field in the 110 meter hurdles, clocking 13.71 for the tenth best time in the U.S. right now. He beat a 12-year-old record set in 2005 by Highland Park's Jared Huske, who went on to run at the University of Oregon.

Green said his record effort came because he had been working on getting out of the starting blocks better.

"That was a key component to running a fast time," he said. "I just had to maintain that start over the first hurdles and hold it to the end."

The start normally isn't so crucial in the distance races, but Olpe's True shot out from the gun and took immediate control of the boys' 1600 meter run. With Kansas legend Jim Ryun looking on - Ryun, in fact was the honorary starter for the 1600 meter races Saturday - True blazed to 2:03 for the first 800 meters and for a while it looked as though Ryun's meet record of 4:04 could be challenged.

But the stiff northerly wind was a bit tough on the distance runners Saturday, as even the ultra-smooth True slowed to a 2:10 over the last half of the race. Still, the 4:13.85 finish is the ninth best mark in the country, though True does have a faster 1600 of 4:12.52 that he ran just last Tuesday.

St. Thomas Aquinas' Alex Gill, who ran 4:20 to post a come-from-behind win for the Saint's in the 4 X 1600 meter relay a day earlier, finished fourth in Saturday's open 1600, posting the state's second-best time of 4:19.

Andover Central's Jewel Bolden won two events on Saturday, clocking a state-best of 14.59 to win the 100 meter hurdles - she improved on her own state-leading time - and then won the long jump later in the day with a mark of 18-10.75.

Molly Born of Shawnee Mission Northwest experienced a bit of déjà vu in the girls 1600 meter run. She led for most of three laps Saturday, but then was caught by Assumption High School's Joy Ripslinger at the tape. It was similar to her second place finish in the 3200 meters on Friday, when she was nipped by Girard's Cailie Logue.

Even so, it was a great weekend for Born, whose time of 4:56.72 took over the state's top spot from Logue.

In the open 400 meters, Sidney Howland of El Dorado posted the No. 3 time in Kansas this season, placing fourth in a time of 58.92.

In the 100 meters, Leavenworth's Clifford Robinson was third at 10.80.

Maize South's girls and boys lowered their own-state times in the 4 X 800 meter relay. The ladies won their race in 9:36.92 and the guys finished third at 8:06.07. St. James Academy's girls won the Sunflower 4 X 400 in a state-best of 4:05.04. In the boys' 4 X 400 final, St. Thomas Aquinas lowered their own state-leading mark with a time of 3:24.23.

Leavenworth's boys' won the Sunflower 4 X 400 with the state's fourth best mark this season, 43.21.

Olathe Northwest's Maddie Righter, already the state leader in the high jump at 5-9, also now owns the state's second best mark. She placed second with a jump of 5-8 Saturday.

Jordan Berry of Leavenworth flew to a win in the boys long jump, posting the No. 2 jump in Kansas at 23-0.75. Topeka's Stephaun Cater was fifth in the same event, posting the state's fifth best mark at 22-6.5.

The boys' pole vault featured one of the nation's best, KC Lightfoot of Lee's Summit, but Clay Center's Peyton Lane wasn't too bad, either. Lightfoot won with a vault of 17-0, but Lane was fourth in the event at 15-0 - tied for the best mark in Kansas this year.

Anthony Gallardo of Bishop Carroll moved to No. 2 in Class 5A, winning the javelin with a throw of 184-7.

In an event that is not regularly competed in Kansas, Jack Young of Shawnee Mission East recorded the best time in the 2000 meter steeplechase, finishing fourth in 6:35.73. Victoria Robinson of Lansing (No. 2) and Abby Stewart of Emporia (No. 3) scored top 3 marks in Kansas with times of 7:50.49 and 7:50.86, respectively.

An athlete that I was particularly impressed with on Saturday was Chapman's Ninti Little, who not many folks have probably heard about. The junior ran with the Big Girls quite nicely this week, placing fourth in the 100 meters in 12.20 - the top Kansas finisher in that event. She was also fifth in the long jump with a mark of 17-11.5.

Live results of all high school and college events at the Kansas Relays are available online at www.KansasRelays.com. You can also watch all track events live on Flotrack.

The race video, as well as the live stream from the meet, may be viewed on FloTrack for all FloTrack and MileSplit Universal subscribers.  All race videos from the meet will be available on MileSplit on Sunday.  


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