KS Athletes Stage Assault on Top Times Despite Wind, Rain

Senior Tyus Wilson of Sterling cleared 7-0 in the high jump to highlight a weekend filled with top marks. (2019 photo by Kansas MileSplit reporter Alex Walters)

Wind and rain threatened to put a damper on the third week of the Kansas high school track and field season, but it didn't seem to matter as more than half of the top marks in six classifications were set between Tuesday and Friday.

Half of the state-leading marks in the boys' division - all classifications combined -- went down in Week 3, including the first 7-foot high jump in the state this year. Sterling senior Tyus Wilson - whose previous best in a Kansas high school meet was 6-11 - topped 7-foot to win his team's home meet.

Wilson, a two-time state high jump champion who has already committed to the University of Nebraska next year, has a personal best of 7-1 that he cleared to win the AAU West Coast Junior Olympic Games in Summer, 2020.

Wilson also leaped 21-1 to win the long jump; he's No. 1 in class 2A in that event right now.

Wilson's feat was matched across the state by athletes in several other events as 15 of 36 state leading marks were set this week, which represents 42% of the top marks (all classifications). That includes six new marks by Kansas girls, and nine by Kansas boys.

Digging a little deeper, there were 115 performances by Kansas athletes that landed them in the top spot in their respective classifications. That includes 61 girls' marks, and 54 boys' marks, or a whopping 53% of classification-leading marks in Week 3.

For the guys, those moving to the top of the Kansas rankings (in addition to Sterling's Wilson) include:

* Ethan Reynolds, senior, Gardner-Edgerton, 22.07 to win the 200 meters at the Olathe Invitational.

* Quenton Walion, senior, Gardner-Edgerton, 4:19.98 to win the 1600 at the Olathe Invitational.

* Micah Blomker, freshman, Shawnee Mission North, 9:26.15 to win the 3200 at the Blue Valley Relays. Blomker is a surprise addition to class 6A this spring; he was the state runner-up for Bishop Miege in last fall's class 4A state cross country championships, missing out on a state title by less than 3 seconds.

* Myles Benefield, senior, Olathe East, 39.93 to win the 300 hurdles at the Olathe Invitational. He's the first Kansas boy to dip under 40 seconds in that event this year.

* Adrian Dimond, junior, Mill Valley, 23-1 to win the long jump at the Olathe Invitational. He's the first Kansas boy past 23 feet this season.

* Max Blaufuss, senior, Olpe, 198-8 to win the javelin at the Osage City Invitational. Blaufuss was the class 1A state runner-up in 2019.

Two boys relay teams also topped the state list: St. James Academy in the 4 X 400 (3:27.63) and St. Thomas Aquinas in the 4 X 800 (8:06.34).

For the girls, the six state-leading marks that went down include:

* Emily Ervin, senior, Blue Valley Southwest, 12.19 to win the 100 at the Blue Valley Relays.

* Chesney Peterson, sophomore, Stanton County, 5:10.63 to win her team's home meet (Peterson also ran a class 2A best 11:20.46 for 3200 meters later in that same meet). Peterson was the class 2A state cross country champ last fall.

* Gracie Allen, senior, St. Thomas Aquinas, 17-9 to win the long jump at the Blue Valley Relays.

* Lily Fleetwood, senior, Mill Valley, 12-6 to win the pole vault at the Olathe Invitational. Kendra Wait of Gardner-Edgerton, a senior, also cleared 12-6 (tying the state's top mark) but settled for second place based on misses. Wait also has the top mark in class 6A.

* Wait, threw 42-11 to win the shot put at the Olathe Invitational, the top mark in Kansas this season.

* Olathe North's girls also nabbed the state's top mark in the 4 X 100 relay, clocking 49.77.

You likely noticed a trend in those listings: The Olathe Invitational and the Blue Valley Relays were rocking this week. Counting the all-classification top marks, those two meets accounted for a combined 22 marks that hit No. 1 in either class 5A or 6A (boys and girls).

Among the highlights in Olathe, Olathe North sophomore Ka'Liyah McGinnis came up two-hundredths of a second short of Ervin's state-leading time in the 100, clocking 12.21 for No. 2 in Kansas and No. 1 in class 6A. Gardner-Edgerton's Wait was the runner-up at Olathe, clocking 12.40 (No. 5 in Kansas right now).

At the Blue Valley Relays, Blue Valley Southwest's Ervin was pushed to her state leading time by St. Thomas Aquinas' Allen, who was eight-hundredths behind in 12.27 - good for No. 4 in Kansas after three weeks. Ervin also won the 200 in 26.10, good for No. 1 in class 5A so far this season.

Blue Valley's boys gave quite a chase to St. James Academy in the 4 X 400 relay, but settled for second in 3:29.30. That time, though, lands at No. 2 in Kansas and No. 1 in class 6A.

Also around the state:

The javelin was flying in the wind this week, to the tune of eight new class records. In addition to Olpe's Blaufuss - who set the state's best mark in that event at 198-8 - classification records went down in boys class 2A (Owen Day of Trego, 161-0), 3A (Brennan Walker of Beloit, 180-0), 4A (Bo Robison of Paola, 187-5) and 5A (Jakob Casper of Mill Valley, 169-0).

Kansas girls set new marks in the javelin in class 1A (Lauren Dubbert of Beloit-St. Johns, 129-3), 2A (Emma Yungeberg of Valley Heights, 123-0), 3A (Jadyn Troutman of Wellsville, 141-8) and 4A (Alyse Moore of Louisburg, 140-9).

There were some pretty impressive pole vaulters this week, as well. The best in Kansas in week 3 was Blue Valley West's Evan Schmidt, who cleared 14-7 to win the Blue Valley Relays (there's that meet again!). Other Kansas boys winning this week - and grabbing the top spot in their respective classifications - were Tristen Porter of Wichita County (12-6, class 2A), and Loren Faurot of Scott Community (14-0, 3A).

Among girls pole vaulters, Mill Valley's Fleetwood and Gardner-Edgerton's Wait set the state's best mark at 12-6 (No. 1 in class 5A and 6A, respectively), while Beloit-St. John's Lauryn Dubbert is No. 1 in 1A (9-6), Marion senior Anne Baliel is No. 1 in 2A (10-0), and Buhler senior Grace Whisler is No. 1 in 4A (10-0).

Among individuals, Kiowa County junior Addie Heinson put on a dominating performance at the Pratt Invitational. She set class 1A leading marks in the 100 (12.43), 200 (26.87) and 400 (1:03.14) in winning all three events.

Two other Kansas sprinters swept the 100 and 200 in classification-leading times. Bennington's Jasey Downing won in 12.69 and 26.96 at the Beloit-St. Johns Invitational, and Bishop Miege junior Emijan McCallop clocked 12.61 and 26.43 to win her team's home meet.

Downing also ran a leg on Bennington's winning 4 X 100 meter relay team, which clocked the best time in class 2A this season (52.78).

Trego Community senior Wyndom Giefer took over the top spots in the class 2A distance races, winning the 1600 (4:37.84) and 3200 (10:29.92). His teammate, sophomore James Kriegh, won the 200 (23.31) and 400 (53.04) - also the best times in class 2A so far this year.

Carson Key, a senior at Bishop Miege, took over the class 4A lead with wins this week in the long jump (22-1.25) and triple jump (43-7).