WEEKLY WRAPUP: Mother Nature Loses Again as Kansas Athletes Scramble the State Rankings

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She tries and she tries and she tries, but Mother Nature just can't dampen the Seaman Relays.


Last year, it was a wicked downpour that forced a more than one-hour delay in the meet, causing some of the teams to check it in early and go home. This year, she sent in a chilling north wind that turned a pleasant afternoon into a sub-40 degree evening.


It didn't matter. Kansas' track and field athletes staged another assault on the rankings, and in fact, there was at least one new state leader in every classification that came out of the Seaman Relays this year.


You have to start with the sprints, where Topeka's boys and Junction City's girls stole the show. Both of those schools won the 4 X 100 relays, Topeka in a state-leading 42.37 and Junction City in 48.98, good for No. 1 in 6A and No. 2 in Kansas.


Jai'mein Berry of Topeka won the 100 in 10.81 (No. 4 in 6A) and the 200 in 22.07 (No. 2 in 6A). Junction City's Amaya Booker followed suit in the girls 100 (12.34) and 200 (25.69). Booker is already No. 1 in 6A in the 100, and now moves into No. 3 in the 200.


Kyler True treats the 800 meter run like a sprint. The Olpe senior busted out to a 54 second opening quarter before settling for a smooth 1:53.33 -- No. 1 in Class 1A and Kansas. Bishop Carroll's Jason Irwin was second in 1:57.67 (now No. 2 in 5A) and Matt Burkert of Olpe was third in 1:58.46 (No. 3 in 1A).


Evann Seratte of Lawrence won the girls 800 (she also won the 400 and anchored a winning 4 X 400 relay), helping runner-up Jackson Heights' Faith Little to a time of 2:22.96. Little's time is now No. 1 in class 2A, four seconds better than the next runner in that division.


Other performances that topped the state rankings at Seaman include:


* Sam Hankins of Manhattan won the boys javelin with a career-best 192-5 for the No. 2 spot in Kansas and No. 1 in 6A. After a brief hiatus, he's also returned to the top of the U.S. freshman rankings.


* Leavenworth finished second to Topeka in the 4 X 100 relay, but their time of 43.20 is No. 1 in 5A. And, they ran this meet without sprint superstar Clifford Robinson.


* Darian Hillebert of Hayden was third in the girls 200, but her time of 26.05 ranks No. 1 in 4A.


* Keina Newman of Junction City smoked the field in the girls 100 hurdles, clocking 15.08. She now has three times better than the second-fastest girl in class 6A.


* Lawrence's girls (4:09.94) won the 4 X 400 relay, but they pulled Silver Lake (3A) and Jackson Heights (2A) to the top times in their divisions. Silver Lake was second in 4:14.29, and Jackson Heights third in 4:14.45.


* Richard Newman of Topeka put up a career-best jump of 6-8 to win the boys high jump and take over the No. 1 ranking in 6A.


There were at least 40 performances at Seaman that ranked in the top five of the state or division lists, even with some teams choosing to rest some of their best athletes this week.


Beloit Relays


At the largest meet in the state this week (36 teams), a pair of field event competitors lit up the state rankings.


Clay Center's Peyton Lane took over sole possession of the No. 1 ranking in the boys' pole vault, clearing 15-2.75. The junior had previously held the No. 1 ranking at 15-0 with Ruben Huerta of Garden City. Lane's vault puts him in the top 100 of the most recent U.S. FloPro rankings.


Washington County's Dawson Miller also went to the top of the Kansas rankings. He won the javelin at Beloit with a throw of 194-11, which is the 20th best mark in the country this season.


Kaden Davis of Ellsworth won the 100 (10.98), 200 (22.59) and 400 (50.75). He is the class 3A defending state champ in the 200, and runner-up last year in the other two events.


Other top performances at Beloit include David Lutgen in the 3200 (9:46.82, No. 2 in 1A); Tyler Palic of Marion in the discus (165-0, No. 6 in Kansas) and the Osborne 4 X 400 relay team (3:34.67, the second best time in 1A this season).


Race of the Week?


You'd have to look pretty hard to find one better than this: Christal Mosley of Wichita Southeast dug down deep to edge class 6A defending 400 champion Yazmine Wright of Hutchinson in the finals of the 400 meters at the Hutchinson Invitational.


Mosley's winning time of 56.18 is also the best in Kansas, while Wright's 57.22 is No. 2 in 6A and in Kansas. If you missed the race in Hutchinson, you probably need not worry: these two will likely lock horns again in the homestretch at the 6A state championships in late May.


Also at that meet, Mosley won the 200 in 24.80 (second only to her own state-leading time of 24.34); and Lanecia Crosby of Wichita Southeast won the long jump with a leap of 18-2, good for No. 1 in 6A.


The boys' meet at Hutchinson also had a great battle of two of the state's best. Martavius Johnson of Hutchinson edged Liberal's Austin Mullins to win the 110 hurdles in 14.11, the No. 2 time in Kansas and No. 1 in 6A. Mullins finished in 14.32, good for the third best in Kansas and No. 2 in 5A.


In the boys 1600, Jason Luft of Dodge City moved to No. 1 in class 6A with a time of 4:29.06. Kerby Depenbusch of Great Bend won the race with a career-best 4:26.46 and is now No. 2 in class 5A.


Hunter Degarmo of Hutchinson placed second in the discus, but grabbed the No. 1 ranking in the 6A boys discus with a toss of 165-11.75.


Arkansas City Invitational


Andale showed off its power on the track and in the field at the Ark City Invitational this week. Abby Smarsh lowered her own 4A leading mark in the 300 hurdles, winning in 46.28, which is also the second-best time in Kansas this season. Andale's girls also won the 4 X 100 relay in 50.63, the second best time in 4A.


In field events, Andale's Katy Commons moved to No. 1 in the 4A girls shot put with a throw of 40-2.25, and teammate Julie Archer took over No 2 in the girls javelin with a toss of 138-0.75.


Maize South had a good day, too. Kassidy Johnson, already the state leader in the girls 800, moved to No. 2 in the class 4A 400 meters, winning in 59.46. Sierra Mortensen clocked 5:07.87 in the 1600 for the No. 2 spot in 4A.


Ethan Kossover of Maize South won the boys 1600 in 4:23.68, good for the No. 1 spot in 4A and No. 2 in Kansas. Ark City's Halie Brown took over the No. 1 spot in 5A girls javelin with a throw of 144-11.75.


Vernon Ferguson Invitational (Cheney)


The 3A state rankings took a mighty blow as five division-leading marks went down during the Vernon Ferguson Invitational in Cheney.


Those new state leaders include Jared Becker of Garden Plaine in the 300 hurdles (40.28); Celia Biel of Hutchinson Trinity in the 1600 (5:27.82); Miranda Ortiz of Cheney in the 100 hurdles (15.67) and 300 hurdles (46.50); and the Halstead 4 X 800 meter relay team (8:19.05).


More No. 1 Marks


At the James Thomas Invitational in Hillsboro, Garet Johnson of Remington moved to No. 1 in the 3A boys shot put (53-9.75), and Shae Ware of Sedgwick grabbed the top spot in the 3A girls 100 (12.32). Erin Topham of Berean Academy moved into the No. 1 ranking in the 2A girls 3200, clocking 11:51.34.


Natalie Lanman of Shawnee Mission North cleared 12-0 for the first time in her career and moved to No. 1 in the 6A girls pole vault rankings.


Jaden Damon of Eisenhower soared 37-4.5 to win the triple jump at the McPherson Invitational and move to No. 1 in the 5A rankings.


St. James Academy grabbed the No. 1 ranking in the girls 4 X 800 meter relay, winning at the St. Thomas Aquinas Invitational in a time of 9:47.66. Earlier in the meet, St. James also won the 4 X 400 in 4:06.16, not far off their state-leading time of 4:05.04; and won the 4 X 100 in 50.48, currently No. 2 in 5A.


In the boys' 4 X 800, two No. 1 marks went down. St. Thomas Aquinas won the race in 8:08.56, the best in 5A right now, while Olathe South placed second in 8:10.41 -- tops in 6A. Olathe South won the 4 X 100 (42.91) and 4 X 400 (3:21.70), the latter of which earned the No. 1 spot in 6A.


At the Goldsmith Invitational in Trego, Levi Armon of Ness City put up the second best mark in Kansas and No. 1 in class 2A, winning the boys shot put at 54-10.75.


Top Performers


There were many other great efforts this week that may not have quite reached top-ranked status, but they were impressive, nonetheless.


Taylor Latimer of Valley Center won the discus (137-1.75), javelin (128-9.5) and the shot put (42-11) at the McPherson Invitational.


Kayla Smith of Valley Heights won four events (100, 200, triple jump and long jump) at the Valley Heights Invitational.


Blue Valley North's Vencent Brinkley did what very few people do -- beat St. Thomas Aquinas' Noah Green on the track. Granted, it was in the open 100 meters, but Green can flat out fly no matter what event he runs. Brinkley clocked 10.90 to Green's 11.05. Green did run one of his specialties, however, winning the 300 hurdles in 37.82 -- less than .4 off his state-leading 37.45.


Konner Swenson of Maize continues to roll on. He's already No. 1 in class 5A in the discus and shot put, and won those events at the Hutchinson Invitational this week with efforts of 173-0.75 and 55-0.75, respectively.


At the Quinter Invitational, Paige Baird of Northern Valley won four sprint events -- the 200 (27.38), 400 (1:03.32), 100 hurdles (16.05) and 300 hurdles (47.78). Baird, a sophomore, is the defending 1A state champion in the 400, and a four-time state medalist last year.


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