Well, that didn't take long. A NEW ALL-CLASS STATE RECORD!! On her first attempt of the competition, Katelyn Fairchild of Andale launched the javelin 168-11 to better the record set just three years ago by Dana Baker. Andale is sitting 1-2-3 in the event with McKenzie Fairchild and Samantha Marx.
We have our first state champions of today's 3A/4A championships. Philippe Manga of Nickerson won a tight competition in the class 4A boys long jump, with a mark of 21-11.25. Nathan Seck of Andale was the runner-up at 21-9 and Jack Konrade of Hayden was third at 21-8.25.
And it looks like this one just went final. Ames Burton of Riley County won the shot put with a throw of 41-3.5. She had three throws that were better than anyone else in the competition. She'll now move on to the better of her two events -- the discus, which begins at 10 a.m. She's No. 1 in all of Kansas in that event and No. 25 in the United States.
Results of the 8 a.m. field events are coming in quickly now. Andale's girls are projected to score as much as 70 points in the fireld events today, and they're off to a great start. They go 1-2-3 in the class 4A girls javelin, led by Katelyn Fairchild, who initially set the all-class state record of 168-11 on her first throw, then pushed it to 170-0 later in the competition. McKenzie Fairchild (159-2) and Samantha Marx (145-7) complete the sweep. 24 points for the defending champions. This might not be the last time today they sweep the top three spots in a field event.
There was very nearly a shocker in the class 3A girls pole vault. Belle Peters of Smoky Valley -- No. 1 in Kansas with a best of 13-3 this season -- won the state title at 11-6 based on fewer misses. Paige Vulgamore of Scott Community equalled Peters' 11-6, but had two additional misses at earlier heights.
Peters now moves on to preliminary heats in the 100, 200 and 100 hurdles. She's ranked No. 1 in class 3A in all of those events.
Andale's boys are a strong favorite to win the class 4A state title, but an early setback. Pole vaulters Gabe Ungles and Noah Meyer are out of the competition early. Both had cleared 13-0 this season, but Ungles is out at 11-6 and Meyer at 12-6. Neither are going to score team points. Andale's Ty McPhail, the pre-meet favorite and 2019 state champion, has yet to jump. His best this season is 16-6.75.
We are just about seven minutes away from the start of running events. Jentrie Alderson of Southeast of Saline is the pre-race favorite in the 3A girls 3200, and Chapman's Taylor Briggs the favorite in 4A girls. Briggs is a four-time cross country champion, and swept the 1600 and 3200 meter races on the track in 2018 and 2019. She's 8-0 in all Kansas state meet competition during her career, and is an overwhelming favorite to win both of her specialties today, as well.
Then, we're likely to see a close race for the 3A boys 3200 title, highlighted by 2020 cross country champion Cormick Logue of Girard. The 4A boys race favorite is Tanner Lindahl of Buhler, but he'll have to fight off 2020 cross country champion Tanner Newkirk of Hayden, and Sawyer Schmidt of Augusta. These are long races, but don't be surprised if some of them come down to a final sprint.
Colby's Lara Murdock is pushing the pace in the 3A girls 3200 meter run against pre-race favorite Jentrie Alderson, who is right on Murdock's shoulder. Murdock was the state cross country champion in 2020 and runner-up in 2019, so she's got state championship experience. Gearing for an exciting finish!
Alderson surged away from Murdock on laps 6 and 7 and won easily in 11:13.05 -- a career best by 17 seconds. It's her second state title to go with the 2019 class 3A cross country championship. Murdock is the runner-up in 11:29.
Ty McPhail of Andale waited until 14-6 to get in the boys 4A pole vault competition, and went on to win the state championship with a clearance of 15-9. Luke Faulkner of Louisburg kept McPhail honest; he was the runner-up at 14-6. McPhail successfully defends the title he won in 2019.
That event was the last of the fields events that started at 8 a.m. to go final. 10 a.m. field event results are getting close to being completed.
It is so impressive to watch Taylor Briggs dismantle the track. She churned out the first five laps at about 1:24, then finished up at 1:23, 1:22 and 1:16 to win the girls 4A 3200 meters in 11:00.92. It's three seconds off her career best in the event, but the fastest she's run at the state meet. She's now 9-0 in her state meet career (cross country and track combined) and will seek to cap a perfect high school career when she runs in the 1600 meters later today. Darian Hudgeons of Paola ran a gutsy race to finish second in 11:54.28.
Taylor Briggs sprints down the homestretch en route to victory in the class 4A girls 3200 meter run. Briggs later also won the 1600, completing a perfect 10-0 record in state meet competition for her high school career. (Kansas MileSplit photo by Alex Walters)
More field event finals are now in. And the Fairchild Sisters did it again! Katelyn Fairchild of Andale, a senior, wins the 4A girls shot put (42-2.5) and sophomore McKenzie Fairchild is the runner-up at 40-6. Just a couple hours ago, they were 1-2 in the javelin, as well; and they will now move to the discus ring (2 p.m.) for their final event of this year's meet.
Okay, so here's the throwdown we thought we might get in the 3200 meter run. Augusta's Sawyer Schmidt and Buhler's Tanner Lindahl went toe-to-toe for 6 1/2 laps in the class 4A boys 3200 before Schmidt forged a 1 second lead at the bell lap. Then he hammered a 63 second quarter to win in 9:37.22. Lindahl -- who has had a few close calls since winning the 2018 cross country state title as a freshman -- was second in 9:44.92, finishing in 70 seconds.
A surprise from that race: 2020 cross country champion Tanner Newkirk of Hayden -- who had qualified for state in the 800, 1600 and 3200 -- did not run. So, now he's not eligible to compete in the 1600 or 800; basically, his junior season is done.
The class 3A boys 3200 meter champion is Cormick Logue of Girard, who pulled away just before the halfway mark and won easily in 9:34.97. It was a pretty awesome 12 hour stretch for the Logue family: Late Thursday, Cormick's sister Cailie qualified for the NCAA Division I national meet in the 10,000 meter run when she finished eighth at the regional meet in College Station, Texas.
Let's get caught up on the field events: Several champions have been crowed, including Matte Swartz of Chaparral in the 3A girls high jump (5-6); Delaney Wright of Louisburg in the 4A girls long jump (18-2.25); Dean Clark of Norton Community in the 3A boys triple jump (44-10.25); Riley Marx of Andale in the 4A boys javelin (194-7); and Ames Burton of Riley County in the discus (147-2).
For Burton, it's her second state title in the past two hours -- she won the shot put earlier today. She won by more than 26 feet in the discus.
No big surprises in the preliminary heats of the 100, 200 or shorter hurdling events. Belle Peters of Smoky Valley -- No. 1 in all three events for class 3A girls -- advances to this afternoon's finals. Buhler's Brother Tandem of Cameron Campbell and Diante Campbell are safely through to the finals of the 100 and 200.
Hurdle finals start in about an hour (approximately 2:26 p.m.) and 100 meter finals at 2:42 p.m.
Not seeing any final results yet in the field events that began at 12 noon, but we are witnessing a very interesting battle in the 4A girls pole vault. Andale's Annabeth Baalmann, Mary Meyer and Clarissa Rowland entered that event as the top-3 ranked competitors. But right now, they're all sitting behind Buhler's Grace Whisler, who is clean through 10-6. On the other hand, the three Andale stars each missed their first attempt at 10-6 before clearing it on their second attempts. Still a long ways to go, but we'll see if those misses keep any of the Andale vaulters out of the top three.
Okay, just as quickly as we thought the girls 4A pole vault could get dicey, we have clarity. Buhler's Whisler and Andale's Meyer and Rowland all missed their three attempts at 11-0. Andale's Annabeth Baalmann cleared 11-0 on her first attempt and is the state champion. Whisler is the runner-up based on fewer misses, while Meyer and Rowland tie for the bronze medal. 21 more points for Andale, which now puts them at 63 for the meet -- all in the field events -- and a 46-point lead over Paola.
Loren Faurot of Scott Community keeps the 3A boys pole vault state championship in the family. He placed third two years ago when his older brother, Marshall, won the state title, and now he wins the title in this, his senior year. Faurot entered today's competition at 13-6, cleared that height on his second attempt and then cleared 14-0 on his first attempt. Thomas Moore Prep's Jeff Heimann and Burlington's Thomas Unruh both failed to clear 14-0 on three attempts. Faurot, cleared 15-0 to win league and regionals the past two weeks.
Results from the field events that began at noon are coming in -- Renee Nichol of Russell wins the 3A girls long jump (17-3.25); Emery Keebaugh of Ottawa wins the 4A girls triple jump (36-5.25); Nathan Deters of Nemaha Central wins the 3A boys shot put (55-5.5); and Riley Marx of Andale -- who earlier won the javelin -- now wins the 4A boys discus (150-3). Beau Kerschen of Andale is the runner-up in the discus as that squad continues to mount a lead in the 4A boys team standings; they're at 46 points and Eudora is in second place at 31.5.
Back to the track and what an electric moment in the class 3A girls 100 hurdles as Belle Peters of Smoky Valley leans at the tape to edge Abby Reid of Anderson County. Peters is clocked at 14.778 while Reid's time is 14.793 -- a difference of fifteen-thousandths of a second.
Peters is halfway to winning four gold medals at this meet. She'll run in the finals of the 100 meters in about 15 minutes.
Annalisa Cullens of Wellington dominated the field in the 4A girls 100 hurdles, winning in 14.65; and Chase Poague of Southeast of Saline stumbled over the last two hurdles, nearly fell before the finish line, but still managed to pull out the win in the 3A boys 110 hurdles. His time is 14.92.
Belle Peters of Smoky Valley leans to edge Abby Reid of Anderson County in the finals of the class 3A girls 100 meter hurdles. (Kansas MileSplit photo by Alex Walters)
Tremendous race by Caryn Yoder of Hesston to win the 3A girls 100 meter dash. Coming out of lane 4 -- and next to pre-race favorite Belle Peters of Smoky Valley -- Yoder beat everyone off the line and maintained her advantage through the tape in 12.32. Ashley Singhateh of Eureka was the runner (12.46) and Peters rallied in the last 20 meters for third (12.48).
Others who claimed the title as Fastest Girl or Fastest Boy in their respective divisions are Kimalee Cook of Circle (4A girls, 12.32); Zephyn Mason of Holcomb (3A boys, 10.68); and Jaylen Burch of Bishop Miege (4A boys, 11.01).
A break on the track...the schedule includes the Hall of Fame presentation and wheelchair races. The next running event is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. -- the 1600 meter run.
The 2 p.m. field events are just getting going. However, some early fireworks in the 3A boys long jump where Girard senior Gabe Muia is the early leader with a jump of 22-11.75. That's nearly 1 1/2 feet further than his career best, which was last week at regionals. He's certainly peaking at the right time. Pre-meet favorites Zephyn Mason of Holcomb and Gabe Valentine of Eureka have yet to jump in the competition.
Carson Key of Bishop Miege, a pre-meet favorite in the 4A boys triple jump, is off to a great start. He flew 45-7.5 on his first attempt, putting him in first place and nearly three feet better than anyone else in the competition so far.
Scratch that posting about a break -- they're pushing forward with running events as the 3A girls 1600 is on the track. Jentrie Alderson of Southeast of Saline just won the state championship, her second title today (she won the 3200 earlier). Alderson's time is 5:11.58. Once again, she beat Lara Murdock of Colby, who was timed in 5:14.04.
Nearly a major upset: Chapman's Taylor Briggs took the bell lap with Clearwater's Hayley Trotter and her teammate, Elyssa Frieze, right on her shoulder. But then she split 74 seconds on the last quarter to win in 5:01.74. Frieze (5:07.37), a freshman and maybe the heir apparent to Briggs, rallied in the last 200 meters to give Chapman a 1-2 finish. Trotter was clocked in 5:08.12.
For Briggs, it's the final time we'll see her in a Kansas high school track and field race. She finishes 10-0 in Kansas high school state meet competition -- with four titles in cross country, and three in each the 1600 and 3200.
The 1600 meter races have wrapped up with a couple strong efforts. Southeast of Saline's Dylan Sprecker gave the class 3A record a pretty good score but came up a couple seconds short. But he did win the state title by 11 seconds with a time of 4:17.74.
Alright, let's get updated on the team scores: Andale is doing what most expected, running away with the 4A girls team race. They've got 80 points through 10 events scored, and still have the discus and several track events filled. We know the old saying, "It's never over until it's over," (Thank you, Yogi Berra), but...well, it kind of seems like this one's over.
With 12 events scored in the 3A girls meet, Smoky Valley is ahead with 47 points, but they're getting pushed by Eureka, which has 37. Southeast of Saline is in third at 26. Smoky Valley has a lot of strength still to perform, including Belle Peters in the 200, Gracie Lambert in the 800 and its 4 X 400 relay squad -- all ranked No. 1 in class 3A.
Southeast of Saline is starting to pull away in the class 3A boys team race, now with 49 points to second place Osage City's 23. Silver Lake is in third at 22 and Beloit has 20. They've finished 11 events in class 3A boys.
Andale is also starting to pull away in class 4A boys; they just got a 2-3-5 finish in the shot put from Jackson Kraus (52-5.75), Beau Kerschen (52-1.75) and Noah Bruce (50-7.75) to boost its team total to 64. Louisburg is in second place with 47.5 and Buhler holds down third with 42. 11 of 18 events have been scored so far.
Kerschen's finish came with a little anxiety. After scratching on his second attempt in the prelims, he was on the outside looking in to the finals. But he managed to grab one of the last qualifying spots, then was more like himself in the finals.
The class 4A girls high jump went down to the wire with three girls clearing 5-4. But Ava Jones of Nickerson won the state title with fewer misses, making that height on her second attempt. Chloe Thakker of Eudora and Sophia Cavanaugh of Chapman needed a third attempt to clear 5-4, and settled for a tie for second place.
Jones' win gave Nickerson both high jump titles. Earlier today, Brayden Miller won the class 4A boys high jump.
And another sweep for the Fairchild family from Andale. But this time, sophomore McKenzie Fairchild is the state champion over her sister, Katelyn Fairchild. McKenzie won the 4A girls discus with a throw of 140-0, while Katelyn was the runner-up at 132-10. The duo had earlier posted 1-2 finishes in the javelin and shot put. Teammate Samantha Marx was fifth in the discus.
Other results we're getting now from the 2 p.m. field events: Jace Peerman of Russell won the 3A boys high jump at 6-4; and Carson Key of Bishop Miege won the 4A boys triple jump with an effort of 45-7.5.
That 400 is a tough, tough race. You've got to have speed and endurance and a whole lot of guts. We saw some great finishes. In the 4A boys race, El Dorado's Tylen Ashihi barely held off a hard charging Rawley Chard of Chanute. Ashihi got the state title in a time of 49.59 and Chard finished in 49.63.
Other winners: Heather Schemper of Phillipsburg (59.18) fought off Abby Rose of Smoky Valley (59.66) and Hailey Nordhus of Nemaha Central (59.94) in class 3A girls; Aiden Damman of Girard (50.31) won over Hunter Hess of Perry LeCompton (50.80); and Delaney Wright of Louisburg (58.30) won by more than a second over Nijah White of Independence (59.47) in 4A girls.
Okay, here's the biggest tremor we've had at the class 4A championships today. Louisburg has caught and passed Andale for the lead in the team standings. Tom Koontz placed second in the 300 meter hurdles (40.53), and his 8 points gives Louisburg 68.5 points. Andale is now in second place with 66. 15 of 18 events have been scored, including all of the field events (where Andale traditionally racks up the points).
* Neither team has anyone in the 200 meter finals
* Louisburg is No. 4 in the 4 X 400 relay and Andale is No. 6.
Just caught a shot on the livestream of Gracie Lambert's dad (I think) giving people around him a high five shortly after his daughter won the class 3A girls 800 meter run. Pretty cool!! Lambert, from Smoky Valley, was a pre-meet favorite and she came through with a time of 2:18.74. Lara Murdock of Colby picked up her third silver medal of the meet, finishing in 2:22.55 -- just three-hundredths of a second ahead of Jenna Elliott of Trinity Academy.
Lambert's win puts Smoky Valley at 65 points, and clinches the 3A girls state championship. Mathematically, there's no one that can catch them now. Eureka is in second place with 43 points, Riley County has 28, Anderson County is at 28 and Southeast of Saline has 26.
Dylan Sprecker of Southeast of Saline has just won his third state championship of the day. He crushed the field in the class 3A boys 800 meters, winning in 1:55.34 (six seconds over Gavin Doubrava of Girard, 2:01.25). Earlier, he won the 1600 in 4:17.74, and split a 1:59 to anchor the Southeast of Saline boys to the 4 X 800 state crown.
His win -- and teammate Luke Gleason's third place in the same event (2:02.58) -- also sews up the 3A state title for his team. They now have 76 points, while second place Girard is at 49. Perry LeCompton, in third with 37 points, has potential for 20 points, which wouldn't be enough.
We've seen a lot of family connections on the track in this year's 3A/4A state meet -- here's another one. The class 4A 800 meter champions are siblings from Clearwater: Hayley Trotter, a sophomore, (2:18.84) and Zach Trotter, a senior (1:57.27).
More celebrating at Smoky Valley. They've already won the 3A girls team title, but Belle Peters put another 10 points on the board when she won the 200 meter dash. That's Peters' third gold medal of the day, and a great ending for one of the great all-around athletes we've seen in Kansas in recent years. Her time was 25.94, about a half-second better than runner-up Sophie Francis of Chaparral (26.45).
Delany Wright of Louisburg added the 200 meter crown to the 400 title she won earlier. She ran a dominant curve, leading by close to 10 meters on the homestretch, and winning in 25.53. Kimalee Cook was the runner-up in 26.01.
Okay, the 4A boys team race is super-tight. Zachary Winter of Andale finished fourth in the 800 (2:01.83) and Jaden Vohs of Louisburg -- seeded 14th -- finished sixth (2:03.58). That means with one event remaining the score is Louisburg 71.5, Andale 71. So, it's all about the 4 X 400 relay where Louisburg is seeded fourth and Andale is sixth. Louisburg just has to beat Andale, no matter where they place; Andale not only has to beat Louisburg, but has to finish at least eighth place to get the extra point needed for the title.
This is how every team race should go, right!?
The 200s are done -- the best race was in class 3A boys where Rossville's Woodrow Rezac won a photo-finish against Hunter Hess of Perry-Lecompton. Rezac gets the gold medal with a time of 22.148 and Hess gets the silver at 22.152 -- just four-thousandths of a second separating the two. Gotta love those high speed digital cameras to sort out those close finishes.
By the time the 4 X 400 relays are being run, Smoky Valley (3A girls), Andale (4A girls) and Southeast of Saline (3A boys) had all wrapped up team state championships -- and all three had the No. 1 ranked 4 X 400 relay in their division. Smoky Valley and Andale put an exclamation mark on their team titles with wins in the 4 X 400 relay, while Southeast of Saline was second in their race.
Which now brings us to that deciding race for the class 4A boys team title...
Andale (lane 6) and Louisburg (lane 7) are both running in the second heat. Remember that Andale has to beat Louisburg and finish at least eighth overall to win the state championship. Otherwise, Louisburg is the class 4A boys state champs.
This is like when you were a kid and you dreamed of having the ball in your hands as the clock is winding down....or, maybe it's two outs, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth Game 7 of the World Series and you're at bat...?
Whatever it is, this is a cool way to end a state championship meet.
The time to beat from the first heat is 3:34.22 (El Dorado).
Here we go...
1st leg -- Louisburg in the early lead; Andale in second, two seconds behind
2nd leg -- Louisburg is in second place, Andale three seconds behind in sixth
3rd leg -- Louisburg in second; Andale in seventh
4th leg -- Louisburg places third in 3:29.13; Andale is seventh in 3:33.48.
Louisburg is your class 4A boys state champions.