KaLiyah Jordan returns as 100m and 200m champ for Olathe North. Delia Gregory, freshman sensation a year ago claiming runner-up in the 400, will return for Blue Valley North.
Garden City's Jerry Arteaga is a name to know in the boys' sprints. He and Alonzo Morgan of BV North are the only returning finalists in the 100, while he and Olathe North's Joe Ouellette return in the 200. Mill Valley's Nen Matlock, runner-up a year ago in 5A, looks to control the 400.
Michenainda Aritus brings a big time long/high jump combo to the table for Olathe Northwest. Manhattan's Gili Johnson counters with a long/triple combo of her own. Mill Valley brings a handful of pole vaulters to the table, while Blue Valley's Tiana Simmons scores well in each of the long/triple/high.
Wichita Heights senior John Randle is a great triple jumper, and can pair it with a solid long jump. Olathe West has a pair of high jumpers in Elijah Hakim and Tyler Jones, each of whom can score in other jumps, too.
Olathe Northwest rules the throws with Kendall Yarnell leading the discus and Adrienne Locke-Garcia leading the shot. Both score in the opposite event as well. Val Galligan is their best javelin thrower, chasing down Free State's Aubrey Duncan.
Jordan Allen is the keystone in 6A throws this year. He reigns as discus champ and also returns with the top shot put mark. Olathe South teammate Jack Bauer will push him in practice as an elite thrower in his own right. Henry Martin of BV North (Not to be confused with BV Northwest distance runner Henry Martin) is the returning champ with the spear.
Lots of seniors graduated from last year's girls distance group. The long-awaited track return of Anjali Hocker-Singh will change things, though. Paige Mullen, the only returning champ, will fight to defend her 3200 crown.
Wyatt Haughton & Micah Blomker are the big names to know. They've controlled the last 18 months of 6A Distance & XC, and this spring should be no different.
Olivia Cooper (Olathe Northwest) and Adryanna Shelby (Wichita Northwest) will be tough returners in both events. Shelby is the reigning 300-hurdle champ. Hutchinson gains a key transfer in Annalisa Cullens, though, the 4A double-champ last year.
The Parrish brothers from Olathe North are still a force to be reckoned with. Jason & Josh are 1-2 in both events this year, each winning one in 2022. Josh also adds an elite long jump to his resume.
Shawnee Mission North has a solid returning 4x100 squad for the girls, as does Wichita Heights & Olathe Northwest. Blue Valley North is the team to beat in the 4x400, while Olathe West will return everyone from their national-caliber 4x800. The Owls are in all-time state record territory with this team.
The Wichita Heights boys return a solid core in their 4x100, as does Olathe South. Olathe North's bronze medal 4x400 brings everyone back. The 4x800s could get interesting, but I like Blue Valley West's all-senior team.