Vath, Oswalt Notch Wins Before State Meet Delayed

She had to wait an additional three hours, but Jaycee Vath didn't seem to mind.

The sophomore from Lincoln became the first Kansas athlete to win a state title at this year's track and field championships, waiting out a three-hour rain delay to win the class 1A girls 3200 meter run in 11:27.53.

She was one of the lucky ones on Friday. Most of the first day's schedule was wiped out due to the morning rains, and then heavy lightning, storms and more rain in the afternoon. After delaying the meet's start from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., the 3200 meter runs hit the track and several field events got underway.

But just before 1 p.m., lightning strikes nearby forced the Kansas State High School Activities Association to sound the alarms again. Just after 4 p.m., KSHSAA decided the looming storm was too bad and made the call to postpone the remaining running events and field events on Friday to Saturday morning.

All track events will be held as timed finals. Most field events -- not counting the pole vault and high jump -- will be limited to four attempts.

For a while, it appeared as though the class 4A-6A 3200 meter runs would be he run Friday evening, but they, too, were cancelled and re-scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

Vath's win backs up the state cross country title she won last fall. It's also a big win toward her team's chances to capture the 1A girls team title. Lincoln is one of the contenders capable of knocking off pre-meet favorite Kiowa County, and they've got a good start: Raegan Stewart was fifth in the 3200, and Shelbie Ford was seventh as Lincoln picked up 17 points in the first event of the meet.

Collin Oswalt of Central Christian was the first boy to win a state title, leading from start to finish in the class 1A boys 3200 meter run. Oswalt, whose time was 9:53.80, also was the class 1A state cross country champion last fall.

The other 3200 meter state champs in Friday's morning session were:

Class 2A: Alysia Wagner, Kansas City Christian (11:31.49) and Hadley Splechter, Yates Center (9:45.06)

Class 3A: Lara Murdock, Colby (11:56.38) and Joshua Rutledge, Riverton (9:32.83)

Before the second delay, a handful of field event winners had also started pouring in, with very few surprises. Two of Kansas' best - Madison Lueger of Centralia (javelin) and Wesley Shaw of Hillsboro (shot put) - nabbed state titles, but they weren't without a little drama.

Lueger's title caps a season in which she has the No. 1 throw in Kansas (157-2) and is ranked No. 6 in the United States. Shade Torres of South Gray gave the Centralia senior a little scare when she uncorked a throw of 137-11 on her final throw Friday, but it was just a little short of pulling the upset.

Shaw's win is hardly a surprise as he is ranked No. 17 in the United States, but he did get a good challenge from Jared Casey of Plainville, who led the event when he threw 54-4 on this third attempt. Shaw was next, and he launched the shot put 54-8.5 -- his only mark of the event -- to thwart the upset.

Jacy Dalinghaus of Nemaha Central, also a well-known name in Kansas, saved her best for last in winning the class 3A girls discus. Dalinghaus launched the discus 139-6, a career best by six inches. She needed every bit of it to edge Riley County's Ames Burton, who threw 136-11. Burton had thrown 145-10 earlier this season, which is the No. 1 throw in Kansas.

Brady Palen of Beloit-St. Johns put a thrill in the Friday morning crowd, clearing 6-10.5 on his third attempt to win the class 1A boys high jump. Palen took three shots at 7-0.25, but was unable to clear the bar. Palen, a junior, was third last year and second in 2017.


See Live Results and a list of 2019 state champions, updated as each event is completed, at https://live.athletic.net/meets/3650/winners


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