Recap: Kansas Outdoor Track and Field Week 2

Highlights of Week 2


     Week one's leading 200m time of 22.08 by Aaron Merritt still holds up through week 2. Nevertheless, there were still outstanding performances throughout the state, specifically from Aaron Shadid and Jonathan Mader. Although these athletes meets were three hours apart from each other they both share a similar story in week 2. Both athletes won their race, pr'd, and dipped under 22.5 seconds in the 200m dash. Aaron Shadid (22.43) is now ranked second in the state, and Jonathan Mader (22.46) is now ranked fourth in the state. 

     Just inches away this past weekend of a sub 50 second 400m dash was Luke Finzen of Blue Valley West High School. Finzen won Shawnee Mission South Relays with a phenomenal time of 50.01,  improving significantly from his week one performance of 50.66. 

     Coming for it all once again is Jayden Henry of Piper High School. After his stellar performance of 14.28 in the 110mh this weekend he has shown that he's even stronger than last year. Henry brought home a gold medal at last year's 5a State Championship with a then pr of 14.57. He is leading the state now by more than half a second with this quality season opener. 

     Taveon Bell-Robinson of Olathe East High School not only has one state lead, but two. This past weekend at the Ottawa Invitational he grabbed the #1 spot with his 170-5 Discus throw, his other state lead still holds from his week 1 shot put performance of 57-2. Robinson has made a huge jump from last season, he's improved dramatically in both the shot put and discus. So far undefeated and uncontested through week 2, it's exciting to see what else this season has in store for him.

 Javelin thrower Joe Loughman has had a so far successful high school career, and this season he carries that momentum forward. For many athletes, it's difficult to PR in a season opener, but not for Loughman as he won the Olathe North Preseason Spectacular with a throw of 203-4. This improves his pr throw of 195-0 to win the 5a State Championship last season.


     Katelyn Rupe of Salina Central High School threw down an outstanding 1600 this week. Week 2 brought us many great performances and just almost the first girls sub 5 girls mile. Rupe clocked in a new PR and state lead of 5:01.12. She has been pretty dominant in both the 1600 and 3200m throughout her high school career, this year is no different. Each year she has improved, this may be the year to see a sub 5 mile from her and possibly another double gold at state.

     Delia Gregory took no time this outdoor season to jump to the top of the Kansas Leaderboard. After her speedy 55.83 400m dash to win Shawnee Mission South Relays, she sits #1 in the state. Gregory has pretty much been a top competitor her whole high school career, qualifying for several aau events, winning district, winning regionals, but not quite winning a state championship. This is a new season though, and her week 2 performance put her on a whole different level. Keep an eye on Gregory throughout the rest of the season.

     Ashley Singhateh of Maize High School opens up her season with a state-leading time of 45.12 in the 300mh. It is not easy to jump to the fastest time in the state from a season opener, nonetheless, she leads the state by over a second and a half. She is not new to being the fastest though, Singhateh has won the last two 3a State Championships in both the 100mh & 300mh. Singhateh is an exciting athlete with lots in store this season. 

     Val Galligan of Olathe Northwest High School dominates the state with her 140-0 discus & 161-0 Javelin performance at ESU HS Relays. The Mizzou commit is on a roll through week 1 and 2, through six events this season she has won 5. Gilligan has already won one Discus State Championship and two Javelin state championships, in the early weeks of this season she has already improved off her pr's. Lookout as she progresses through the season.

Progress Progress Progress

Every year there are athletes who seem to have to came out of nowhere. High school track is unpredictable, here are a few athletes that may have surprised some people this week.


     First off is Bryson Hayes of Maize South High School. He leads the state with his 10.70 100m dash performance at ESU HS Relays. Not only did he pr by .31 seconds, but this was his first high school track victory. This was just Hayes season opener too, keep an eye on his progression through the season.

     Senior, Francisco Juarez of Shawnee Mission Northwest opens his season up with a speedy 800m pr of 1:56.63 at Shawnee Mission South Relays. Juarez stood out to me because prior to this race he had never broken two minutes in this event. This may be a breakout year for Juarez if he stays consistent. Right now he is second overall in the state, I am excited to see where this season takes him. 

     Another speedy time from Shawnee Mission South Relays was by senior, Conner Doherty. Conner opened his season up with an outstanding 1600m performance of 4:16.73. Coming into this race Doherty held a solid 4:30.44 pr, jumping to a 14 second improvement is not easy in a season opener. Not just did he pr but he jumped to #1 in the state after this race, exciting to see what else is in store this season for Doherty.



   This past weekend just the second girl this season joined the sub-eleven club in the 3200m. This would be Kaylie Shultz of Salina Central High School, her 10:56.16 performance puts her second in Kansas this season. Shultz is not a new name this season, but what makes her stand out is her great transition from middle school running to high school running. She has held her own throughout the year. She placed 2nd at the 5a State XC Championships this past season and is also undefeated through four meets this outdoor season.

     Week two was exciting for the girls 300mh, a total of 8 performances topped the best of week one. Landry O'Brien of Labette County High School caught my eye as she took home her first-ever victory at LCHS Varsity & JV Invitational. Her shiny new PR of 47.73 puts her at 6th in the state and the new school record holder. Last year she cut down her times significantly toward the end of the season, eventually coming in 15th at the Kansas 4a State Meet. Watch out for O'Brien as she progresses through her season.

Another Record Broken 

Clay Shively of Wichita Trinity Academy put on a show this weekend with his 8:44.29 2 mile. He broke a 45-year-old record with this performance at Shawnee Mission South Relays. Phenomenal Kansas runner Brent Steiner of Shawnee Mission South held this record with an 8:46.99 until this past weekend. Records are meant to be broken though, Shively now also holds the 16th fastest 3200 time ever (8:41.29 3200m) in high school history.