On Friday, May 5th, all eyes in the track & field world will turn to Shawnee Mission North High School for the annual North Relays. In what has grown into the premier meet in the KC Metro every spring, SM North will host the 71st edition this week.
The biggest event to watch for has to be the Mile. Wyatt Haughton of SM East has the fastest mark in the state so far, with a 4:04 from last week. Wichita Trinity's Clay Shively is the top seed, though, at 4:03. Shively has yet to run a 1600 this season, but his indoor mark from January was accepted to the meet. Shively's races have been few and far-between, but his performances at Shawnee Mission South (8:50 3200m) and KU Relays (1:51 800m) show that he's in the best shape of his life. With the current weather forecasting 11mph winds, this could be something special. The depth of the field is another spectacle: we'll likely see a dozen athletes under 4:20.
Last year, we saw two girls break 5:00 at this meet. This year, Paige Mullen could be the next to do so. However, several girls have instead opted for the 800, including Olathe West's Charis Robinson and Bree newport, along with Mill Valley's Charlotte Caldwell. In the boys 800, Haughton & Shively are slated for round 2 after their battle in the 1600.
Speaking of Olathe West, it appears they have stacked their 4x800 for the first time this season. A year ago, they ran 9:17 at this meet. With all four athletes back, they will certainly be aiming to better their all-time state record.
In the field events, it feels like we've gotten our fill of elite throws competitions this season, but they just keep coming with more. The main intrigue for me this week is the shot put, though. Four girls are over 40 feet, and 10 boys over 50 on the entry lists.
The boys long jump will be the top field event to watch, though. Isaac Ativie, Josh Parrish, and Brant Wilson are three of the top 4 in Kansas, and are separated by just 5.5 inches. This will be as exciting as track & field gets.
In the relays, I'm overly excited to see Riverton get the chance to prove their worth against the top competition. The 3A school holds the #4 time in all classes, and will battle it out with the best-of-the-best in Blue Valley North. The Mustangs also bring an elite 4x400 to the table, with Audrey Brown and Delia Gregory both bringing 57-second splits to the table.
With weather looking favorable at 4 days out, this could be a meet for the ages. Events start at 2:00 at Shawnee Mission North HS. You won't want to miss this!