Just in case you wondered what that rumble was coming from
south-central Kansas, don't be alarmed: it was just Andale staking its claim as
the best girls' track and field team in Kansas.
The Lady Indians put up five state-leading marks en route to a dominating team win at their home meet, the Paul 'Bear' Schmidt Invitational on Friday. In all, there were 10 marks from this meet that rose to the top of the Kansas rankings in Week 2.
Andale, a class 4A school, went to work early, getting wins and state-leading marks from Jayden Cates in the pole vault (10-6), Ellee Eck in the long jump (17-0.75), and Katelyn Fairchild in the discus (134-2) and javelin (149-10). Andale also won the 4 X 100 meter relay in a state-leading time of 50.42.
It's one thing to dominate your home meet, but it's altogether different to do it against very good competition with marks that hit the top of the state rankings list.
But spectator's heads may have been spinning at that meet, because there were several other state-leading marks. Drum roll, please...
* Ethan Hull of Bishop Carroll soared 15-0 to win the boys' pole vault. He leads the state, and won a competition in which six athletes cleared 13-6 or better, including teammate Brian Simon, who cleared 14-0 for second place. Andale's Ty McPhail also cleared 14-0 for third, followed by Aj McCormick of Bishop Carroll, and Andale's Brayden Meyer and Joseph Spexarth, who tied for fourth at 13-6.
* Mason Fairchild of Andale won the boys' shot put with a toss of 54-1, a career best for the senior.
* Emma Ruddle of McPherson led the onslaught on the track, notching a state-best time of 14.71 to win the 100 hurdles. Not to be outdone, Bishop Carroll hurdler Kindel Nordhus later won the 300 hurdles in 45.64, best in Kansas so far.
* For good measure, the Paul 'Bear' Schmidt meet also saw a great finish in the boys' 400, where Hayden Albright of Kingman clocked 51.61 to edge teammate Seth Siemens (51.96). And Zach Williams of Valley Center had a pair of impressive wins, clocking 15.09 in the 110 hurdles, and 21-9 in the long jump. Cody Stufflebeam of McPherson won the javelin with a toss of 181-7.
Elsewhere around the state:
Smoky Valley's Timmy Lambert had a monster day, winning four events at the Republic County Invitational. All four wins came with times that put him in the top 4 of the state in those respective events.
He started with a win in the 110 hurdles, clocking 15.10, then ripped 10.76 in the 100 meters to take over the state's top spot in that event. He followed up with a time of 39.85 in the 300 hurdles and 22.88 in the 200. All four times are tops in class 3A this season.
Lambert is clearly electricity on the track, and it will be fun to watch how his senior year unfolds over the next couple months.
Another of Kansas' biggest stars traveled just a little less than 500 miles this week, and upped his U.S.-leading mark in the javelin. Sam Hankins of Manhattan won the boys' javelin at the Texas Relays in Austin, throwing a season-best of 207-7. He is currently the No. 1 ranked thrower in the country.
Hankins had four throws that were better than the runner-up in the event. He won by a little over 10 feet.
Brendan Hudson of Ulysses notched the state's top mark in the 400, winning in 50.81 at the Ulysses Max Heibert Invitational. At the same meet, Wyatt Hayes of Scott Community became the first Kansas boy under 2 minutes in the 800 this season, clocking 1:59.06.
Some other highlights around Kansas this week:
* Isaiah Armstrong of Holcomb grabbed the No. 1 spot in the class 3A 400 meters, winning the Cimarron Invitational in 51.11. Also at that meet, Seth Ridenour of Cimarron edged ever so close to a sub-11 for the 100 meters, winning that event in 11.02.
* Matti Price of Riverton took over the No. 1 spot in Kansas class 3A, winning the 400 meters at the Galena Bulldog Relays in a time of 1:00.69. She's also No. 2 in Kansas. Also in Galena, Trey White of Baxter Springs won the high jump with a mark of 6-4, winning over a field that now includes the top four marks in class 3A.
* At the Saline County Invitational, Isaac Mitchell of Salina South won the javelin with an impressive throw of 189-2. The throw puts Mitchell at No. 8 in the U.S. rankings currently.
* Another double-winner this week was Layne Needham of Cheney. The defending state champion cruised to victory in the 100 hurdles (15.47) and 300 hurdles (47.67) - both of which currently lead in class 3A.
* At the Circle Early Bird Meet, Kayli Duncan of Circle won a good battle in the girls' high jump, winning with a jump of 5-5. Nataleigh Cantu of Augusta was second at 5-3, and Grace Jacobs of Circle was third, also at 5-3.