Class 3A Contenders Marked by Individual Stars

'There are many means to an end.'

If ever there was a division in Kansas Track and Field that typified that saying, it would be Class 3A.


Ah, yes, in track and field, there are many ways to earn the big gold trophy on the last weekend of May. Sprint, jump, throw, or run! It's the beauty of the sport...


Scott Community's boys remain a powerhouse in Class 3A, returning senior standout Marshall Faurot, who has the chops to win four events at state this year. He's possibly the division's top contender in the high jump and pole vault, and is ranked among the top four in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles.


Scott Community's Wyatt Hayes is another preseason favorite, entering the 2019 season with the top time in the 800 meters. Scott County is the defending champions on the boys' side, and their depth and strength in the relays very well could lead to a runaway win again this year.


But that's where it gets interesting.


Smoky Valley and sprint superstar Timmy Lambert head up the rest of the contenders. Lambert won three state titles in class 4A a year ago (100, 200 and 300 hurdles). He enters as the top dog in the class 3A 100 and 200 this year, and a solid bet in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles.

If not for the fact that they are likely to go head-to-head in the 300 hurdles, Faurot and Lambert would both be very likely to win four state titles this season. The state finals of the 300 hurdles could feature a great battle between those two and defending class 3A champion Jose Perez of Lakin.


Kingman brings a stable of distance runners to the party. Senior Owen Pearce is the defending state champion in the 3200 meters, while junior teammate Teagan Flanagan gives that squad a solid 1-2 punch when state rolls around in May.


Jordan Schippers of Colby is a top three contender in three sprint events - the 100, 200 and 400 - where he could score enough points to keep his team in the mix. And Cheney's Trey Patterson is among the best in the javelin and discus, as is his teammate Riley Petz in the 300 hurdles.


For each of those contenders, their stars will put them in position, but developing state meet-caliber depth over the course of the season will be the key to winning trophies in late May.


The class 3A girls division has a similar story, though there does not seem to be a clear favorite for the state title heading into the 2019 season.


Nemaha Central scored 77 points to win by more than 30 at last year's meet, but graduation has brought the squad back to the rest of the field. They will still be strong with senior Jacy Dalinghaus back to defend her state title in the javelin. She's also likely to challenge for titles in the shot put and discus.


Cheney has one of the division's best athletes, if not one of the best in the entire state. Layne Needham could win four titles in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 200 and 400. She won both hurdling events in dominating fashion last year, but pulling off the tough afternoon of four finals - after running prelims on Friday -- can take its toll. If Needham can handle the workload, her team would certainly be in the mix for a state title.


Council Grove's sprint strength puts that squad into the state title picture. Senior Lauren Carlson won the 200 last year, and enters the 2019 season with a good shot at state titles in the 100 and 200. Teammate Sanaia Palmquist could be right on her heels in both events, not to mention the power those two speedsters give to potential relays. Abigail Good should score at state for Council Grove in both hurdle events.


Smoky Valley's Belle Peters is the division's best pole vaulter entering the 2019 season, and a pretty good 100 meter hurdler. Smoky Valley should also get points from Ellise Peterson in the 1600 and Kerington Haxton in the hurdles.


Beloit graduated one of the best throwers Kansas has ever seen in Sydney Johnson, but the squad should still have plenty of strength with Sydney Barrett in the javelin and shot put. Distance runners - and sisters - Hannah Burks and Hayley Burks are state title contenders; Hannah Burks was the 3200 meter champ a year ago and the state cross country champion in the fall.


Two class 3A athletes return this year having won two state titles a year ago, including Wellsville's Paige McDaniel (800 and 1600), and Cheney's Needham (100 hurdles and 300 hurdles). Sterling's Grace Rowland also won two events a year ago (long jump and triple jump), but her school now competes in class 2A.


Many teams, many stars...all trying to get the big gold trophy in their own way.


Class 3A at a glance




Returning Individual State Champions

200 - Lauren Carlson, senior, Council Grove

800 - Paige McDaniel, senior, Wellsville

1600 - McDaniel, senior, Wellsville

3200 - Hannah Burks, junior, Beloit

100 hurdles - Layne Needham, senior, Cheney

300 hurdles - Needham, senior, Cheney

High jump - Sophia Rohling, senior, Neodesha

Long jump - Grace Rowland, senior, Sterling*

Triple jump - Rowland, senior, Sterling*

Javelin - Jacy Dalinghaus, senior, Nemaha Central


* Sterling has moved to class 2A


2018 Top Five Teams

1)   Nemaha Central 77

2)   Sterling 46.5

3)   Beloit 40.5

4)   Cheney 39

5)   Wellsville 37


Milesplit Projection for 2019 (does not include potential relay scoring)

1)   Nemaha Central 43

2)   Cheney 41

3)   Smoky Valley 38

4)   Council Grove 36

5)   Beloit 35




Returning Individual State Champions

100 -- Timmy Lambert, senior, Smoky Valley

200 - Jordan Schippers, senior, Colby; Timmy Lambert, senior, Smoky Valley

400 - Miles Martin, junior, Wichita Independent

800 - Wyatt Hayes, senior, Scott Community

3200 - Owen Pearce, senior, Kingman

300 hurdles - Jose Perez, junior, Lakin; Timmy Lambert, senior, Smoky Valley

High jump - Tyus Wilson, sophomore, Sterling*


NOTE: Smoky Valley's Timmy Lambert won his state titles in class 4A last year.

* Sterling has moved to class 2A


2018 Top Five Teams

1)   Scott Community 74

2)   Garden Plain 45

3)   Kingman 42

4)   Colby 34

5)   Riverton 34


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

1)   Scott Community 60.5

2)   Smoky Valley 39

3)   Kingman 37

4)   Colby 34

5)   Cheney 33