Splechter's Farewell Highlights Class 2A T&F

The 2019 track and field season marks a farewell tour of sorts for one of Kansas' most decorated champions.

Hadley Splechter of Yates Center will wrap up a spectacular prep career in which he has won eight state titles and helped his school capture its first-ever state championship in cross country.


He's pretty darn good on the track, too, as witnessed at last year's state championships when he won individual titles in the 800, 1600 and 3200; and rescued his team from fourth place on the anchor leg to win the 4 X 800 meter relay.


His four titles gave Yates Center 40 points, just two short of snagging the third place trophy at last year's championships.


Splechter, who will run at Kansas State University next year, is an overwhelming favorite to win three more titles this season. Meade's Ethan Thompson is a solid threat to Splechter, having finished second to the Yates Center star at the cross country championships last fall, as well as in the 1600 and 3200 on the track last year.


Bennington and Stanton County are likely to fight it out for the class 2A boys' state championship again this year. Bennington won the team title last year by 6.5 points.


But Bennington seems to have been hit a bit harder by graduation, and Stanton County appears to be the preseason favorite for the boys' 2A crown.


Stanton County's greatest strength is in the field events, where senior Creed Puyear is a state title contender in the triple jump and long jump. Senior pole vaulters Trey Summers and Duane Jones could prove to be the best in class 2A this season.


Bennington's Daniel Watson is also pretty good in the pole vault, and the squad has one of the division's top sprinters in Javon Allen (100 and 200). But the big question with Bennington is will the squad be able to re-load enough to successfully defend its state title.


Ellis could be the darkhorse in the class 2A boys' race. Sprinters Antonio Jones, Trey Hudson and Logan Shaw could provide the firepower and versatility needed to put up a big number at the state meet.


Aside from Splechter, the only individual state champ returning in class 2A boys this season is Hillsboro's Wes Shaw in the shot put.


For the first time in many years, the class 2A girls team title is a wide-open affair. Bennington and Valley Heights have been dominating forces in the division for the past four years, each capturing the team title twice during that span.


Bennington dominated the field a year ago, scoring 73 points to Valley Heights' 48.


But the stars that drove those schools for four years are now gone, and it's opened the door for newcomers Bluestem, Plainville and Trego Community.


Destiny Masters of Bluestem is a strong contender to win individual titles in the high jump and long jump, while triple jumpers Addyson Emmons and Torrance Lovesee are among the best in that event.


Plainville is a bit stronger on the track, with state title contenders Ambree Dewey (200 and 400) and Jersey Kaiser (100 hurdles and 300 hurdles). Discus thrower Brooklyn Staab should be in the mix for a state title, as well.


Trego Community's Helen Giefer, now a senior, pulled off one of the big upsets of last year's meet when she won the 3200 meter run over the pre-meet favorite, Halle Johnson of Bennington. She followed that up by winning the state cross country title in the fall, and could be in line for a dominating season.


Sedgwick's girls are a darkhorse in class 2A, led by Grace Thompson in the discus and shot put. However, Kiowa County's Sabrina Thomas, now a junior, is the defending class 2A state champion in the discus and shot put.



Class 2A at a glance




Returning Individual State Champions

3200 - Helen Giefer, senior, Trego Community

100 hurdles - Kloie McIntyre, senior, Herington

300 hurdles - Rylee Gleason, senior, Kinsley

Pole vault - Bree Frieling, junior, Smith Center

Shot put - Sabrina Thomas, junior, Kiowa County

Discus - Thomas, junior, Kiowa County

Long jump - Grace Rowland, senior, Sterling

Triple jump - Rowland, senior, Sterling


Note: 2018 Class 2A state championship Jamya O'Quinn (100 and 200) of Moundridge, and Aubry Donley (400 and 800) of Lincoln are now in class 1A. Grace Rowland of Sterling won 2018 state titles in class 3A, but Sterling will be competing in class 2A this year.


2018 Top Five Teams

1)   Bennington 73.5

2)   Valley Heights 48

3)   Kiowa County 39

4)   Moundridge 37

5)   Kinsley 36


Milesplit Projection for 2019 (does not include potential points for relays)

1)   Bluestem 44.5

2)   Plainville 30

3)   Trego Community 30

4)   Sedgwick 29.5

5)   Sterling 27.5




Returning Individual State Champions

800 - Hadley Splechter, senior, Yates Center

1600 - Splechter, senior, Yates Center

3200 - Splechter, senior, Yates Center

Shot put - Wes Shaw, senior, Hillsboro

High jump - Tyus Wilson, sophomore, Sterling

Note: Tyus Wilson was the class 3A high jump champion in 2018. Sterling has moved to class 2A for the current season.

2018 Top Five Teams

1)   Bennington 59.5

2)   Stanton County 53

3)   Smith Center 42

4)   Yates Center 40

5)   St. Francis 36.5


MileSplit Projection for 2019 (does not include potential points for relays)

1)   Stanton County 46

2)   Bennington 34

3)   Ellis 34

4)   Yates Center 31.5

5)   Smith Center 28