Performances of the Week - April 14-20
Kicking things off is Nemaha Central senior Jacy Dalinghaus,
who had a busy morning on Friday. In the highly-touted javelin battle, she took
the lead early with a commanding first throw of 144' 11". That mark would only
be topped by two throwers the rest of the contest. She would finish with a
bronze medal, as her next five throws weren't able to retake the lead. The
javelin wasn't her only Friday morning event, as Dalinghaus was also making her
presence felt in the shot put ring. Her best throw was her second of the
preliminaries, where she launched herself into 3rd place with a 40'
6.25" throw. She nearly equaled that mark in the finals and went on to finish 7th
after the dust settled. Two Kansas Relays medals are impressive enough, but she
came back on Saturday to compete in the discus. After 12 throws the day before and
competing in her second meet of the week, you'd wonder how much she had left. Apparently,
it was enough to beat 15 of the region's best, as she flung the disc over 125
feet en route to a 13th place finish. Dalinghaus may not have won,
but she sure showed that she can compete with the best and can dig into that
well to perform when she's tired.
Many would say that Kansas distance runners underperformed in Lawrence this week. Owen Pearce would beg to differ. The Kingman senior ran the 1600m on Saturday, putting up the best time in his impressive career. The race looked to be getting out of hand early in the second lap, with two out of state runners starting to pull away. Pearce and the pack would come back into contention before the bell lap, and it became a dogfight on the final backstretch. With 200 meters to go, Pearce was boxed in with runners in front, behind, and to his right. A shimmer of hope opened up as the 2nd place runner in front of him started to swing into lane two. As Owen moved up on the inside, another window opened, as the 2nd place runner began to fade. He moved alongside the leader halfway through the final turn, and it was a neck-and-neck battle to the finish. Pearce finished behind his competitor but over five seconds ahead of his previous best. The elite runner had been right around 4:30 since his sophomore year, but the breakthrough finally came in a big-time meet. He is now 2nd in all classes behind fellow 3A runner Jack Thomas, who went a few seconds faster earlier in the week.
You're probably sick of hearing about the Kansas Relays by now, but there's just one more and then we'll move around the state. There were a couple jumpers from around the state that could have earned their spot here this week, but Auna Childress just had a ridiculous triple jump performance at KU. The Free State junior got right down to business on her first attempt, flying 40 feet, 9 inches through the air to bury anyone's hopes of beating her. Freak outlier, maybe? Nope. Her other 4 jumps could have won the meet and been #1 in Kansas too. This is the best Kansas has seen since 2003, the first year of Milesplit's recorded history in Kansas. The 6A state record is 40' 1.75", so a good day in Wichita next month could see her capture that record. The all-class record of 41' 5.5" isn't out of the question yet, either.
Moving South to Buhler, we have a seasoned speedster in
Jordan Hawkins. The senior had his best day of the season so far at his home
invitational on Thursday. In the 100 and 200 prelims, he quietly moved on,
grabbing the 4th and 3rd best times respectively. He
must've been saving his energy, because he exploded to a 10.79 in the 100
finals, taking the gold by a quarter-second with his best time of the season.
He now holds the top time in class 4A. The 200 was a similar story, as his
22.85 was good for a quarter-second victory.
Our last two spots go to a pair of hurdlers that split in head-to-head competition at the Campus Invitational. In the prelims of the 100 hurdles, Newton's Maggie Remsberg and Bishop Carroll's Kindel Nordhus destroyed the competition, setting up a clash of titans in the finals. Both would set top-5 Kansas marks and break 15 seconds, but it was Remsberg that emerged victorious in 14.84. Round two was even bigger. The two became the first 300 hurdlers to break 45 seconds in the state this year, and finished nearly 4 seconds ahead of the field. This time it was Kindel Nordhus that pulled away in 43.75, with Maggie Remsberg coming in at 44.86. Both were able to pull each other to career bests in the 300, and Nordhus was able to come away with a second PR in the 100 hurdles.