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
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.
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.
champions, not including relays (with current grade level)
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
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
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.