CLASS 1A STATE PREVIEW: True Leads Olpe, but South Gray is Pre-Meet Favorite

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Many of class 1A's track and field stars return this season to defend titles won a year ago. In the girls' division alone, 12 of the 15 champions in individual events are back this year in hopes of winning another one.

An additional eight of the 15 individual state champions in boys 1A return this season.

 

Particularly interesting is that four girls won state championships as freshmen last year; each has a shot to become a four-time champ in their event, though nothing comes easy at the state meet.

 

Pre-meet favorites

Boys - South Gray, Olpe, Osborne

Girls - Lakeside, Dighton, Centralia

 

Events that I'm excited to see

Quanah Gardiner of Ashland swept the state titles in the 800, 1600 and 3200 last year, but will face a stiff challenge this year from Olpe's Kyler True, who swept those same events in class 2A last year. Both athletes are great to watch, and are Division I bound next year - Gardiner to the University of Kansas and Olpe to Oklahoma State University.

 

Rachel Miller  of Lakeside is the defending state champ in the 100 hurdles, but she also has class 1A's No. 1 time in the 100, where she will go head-to-head with 2016 champion Raelee Ibarra of Central Christian.

 

Kian Coffey of Stockton is the defending state champ in the boys triple jump, and the No. 1 seed in the long jump. But he'll get a challenge in the triple jump from Hanover's Thomas Atkins and Tipton Catholic's Ty Brummer; and will have to fight off Cole Strickler of Pike Valley in the long jump.

 

Autumn Princ of Sylvan-Lucas won the state cross country title as a freshman last Fall, and now she hopes to complete a Triple Crown on the track in the800, 1600 and 3200 meter runs. She has the No. 1 ranking in 1A in the 1600 and 3200, but is somewhat of a longshot in the 800.

 

Returning state champions, not including relays (with current grade level)

 

Girls

100 hurdles - Rachel Miller, junior, Lakeside

300 hurdles - Rylee Gleason, sophomore, Kinsley

100 - Raelee Ibarra, senior, Central Christian

200 - Kali Weber, sophomore, Victoria

400 - Paige Baird, sophomore, Northern Valley

800 - Brittney Hiebert, junior, Goessel

Discus - Monica Jirak, senior, Thunder Ridge

Shot put - Jordan Speer, senior, Dighton

Javelin -- Jordan Speer, senior, Dighton

High jump - Maria Deters, junior, Axtel

Pole vault - Breanna Schmitz, sophomore, Centralia

Long jump - Taylor Regan, senior, Otis-Bison

 

Boys

800 - Quanah Gardiner, senior, Ashland (1A)

800 - Kyler True, senior, Olpe (2A)

1600 - Quanah Gardiner, senior, Ashland (1A)

1600 - Kyler True, senior, Olpe (2A)

3200 - Quanah Gardiner, senior, Ashland (1A)

3200 - Kyler True, senior, Olpe (2A)

Discus - Landon Ledford, senior, Hartford

Shot put - Trent Poe, senior, Norwich

High jump - Davis Dubbert, senior, St John-Beloit

Pole vault - Brady Ricke, senior, Attica

Triple jump - Kian Coffey, senior, Stockton

 

 

2016 Team Champions

Boys - Ashland

Girls - Centralia

 

My prediction

Olpe's boys won the 2A state championship last year, and senior standout Kyler True is likely to win three events. Even though Olpe has others who will score state points, I think South Gray's depth will win out on the boys' side.

 

Same for the girls' state title. Dighton has a superstar in senior Jordan Speer, who should win the javelin and shot put, but Lakeside will win the title based on its overall team depth. Defending champion Centralia will fight, but right now I don't see them scoring enough points to stay up with Lakeside or Dighton.


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