Preview: 2023 KSHSAA 2A State Track & Field Meet

Chesney Peterson is undefeated this season, including a massive victory at the Kansas Relays
(Photo by J Hobson)

Normally at state, the focus shifts from individual to team points, and the state previews reflect that by leading with team discussion. However, this year we have one of the most special 2A athletes to ever set foot in Cessna Stadium. Chesney Peterson of Stanton County controls this division, and has for her entire career. Last year, she won the 400, 800, 1600, & 3200. 40-point athletes are few-and-far-between, and Chesney Peterson has the opportunity to do it twice. Every time she steps on the track, be on the lookout for a state record. This year, she trades the 400 for the 4x400, an excellent choice and smart thinking on Stanton County's part, as it gives them the opportunity to pick up one or two team points on the defending champions, Garden Plain. Peterson puts the Trojans right in the team race, but they'll need more than 40 to top the owls. Avery Scott and Suzanne Farnham will have to score the extra 15 or so points to finish the job.

Garden Plain, on the other hand, won't give it up so easily. The Owls have two athletes with scoring ability in three events. Molly Zoglman is excellent in all three throws, and is the favorite to win the discus. Haidyn Thompson is a ball of speed, looking to score in the 100, 200, and long jump. They also qualified in a couple relays, including their top-seeded 4x100. They'll also need to count on the rest of their crew to score the remaining handful of points needed to win.

Individually, watch for Pittsburg-Colgan's Lily Brown to score a lot. She is the best high and triple jumper in 2A, and could also finish high in both hurdle events. Kanyon Olberding is another good jumper from Jackson Heights, holding the top seed in the long and #2 seed in the triple.

Nakaela O'Hair from Elkhart looks to dominate the pole vault. She's cleared 3 bars higher (~18 inches) than anyone else in 2A.

Abby Micek of Rawlins County will shine in the shot put, while Smith Center's Camryn Hutchinson leads the javelin. The discus might be the tightest field, though, with the top five athletes separated by just 3 feet.

On the track, Sterling's Julia Kilgore is a force in the 200 & 400, and an integral part of their 4x400. Bennington's Rori Miles is the top sprinter on the shorter side, leading the 100 and sitting #2 in the 200.

Lastly, keep an eye on Wabaunsee's Payton Wurtz. She was right behind Chesney Peterson in everything last year, and is back in the 400-800-1600-3200 this year. With Peterson out of the 400, Wurtz becomes the favorite. Additionally, if anyone has a chance at upsetting the giant, it's her.

2A Girls Rankings    |    2A Boys Rankings

For the boys, the team battle is between the defending champs, Moundridge, and the perennial power, Garden Plain. If you score the meet with the regional marks, these two are dead even.

Kaden Elmore leads the charge for Moundridge, scoring in the 100, 200, 400, and one of their three elite relays. Logan Churchill is their utility guy, as the top seed in the 400 and a major relay contributor.

Meanwhile, Garden Plain's field events lead the charge, with Luke Hillman, Gage Lee, and Hank Lilly in the throws and Noah Mcgregor in the jumps.

There are actually a handful of jumpers scoring double-digits in 2A. Berean's Mason Regier is the top pole vaulter and a good high jumper, while Ell-Saline's Brogan Rowley is the #1 high-jump seed. Plainville's Carter Cellmer could also wind up with 10 points across his jumping events.

Inman's Tanner Heckel is everywhere, seeded #1 in the long jump, #2 in the triple jump, #3 in the javelin, and #7 in the 100.

In the distance events, Kansas City Christian has strong candidates in the 1600 & 3200 with Andrew Schumacher and Spencer Mumford. Hutch-Trinity's Jonah Godina is a stud in the 800 and 1600, though he'll get a challenge from the Flint Hills League with Chase County's Cooper Schroer and Central Heights' Cody Hammond. Central Heights also leads the 4x800 & has a hand in the 3200 with Connor Burkdoll.

The 300m hurdles should be exciting between Meade's Grayden Stapleton and Inman's Eli Brunk. Brunk also challenges Smith Center's Garrett Wanner in the 110 hurdles.

Lastly, joining the Garden Plain throwers will be Lyndon's Kaedin Massey (discus/shot) and Ellis senior Rex Johnson (javelin).

2A State begins on Friday morning, May 26th at 8:00 with the girls' triple jump & 3200 and boys' pole vault & discus.