Week 3 Distance Events Recap

Week 3 Distance Events Recap

It was another great week of distance running, consisting of some records broken and new number one times in the state. 



     Jake Loos of Free State High School had an amazing day at the Olathe Invitational, grabbing a new PR of 1:56.09 in the 800m. Loos's large improvement shaving almost two seconds off his PR from last season may have caught some by surprise. However, considering his recent PR of 4:23.90 in the 1600m event last week, I believe this breakout 800m race was due to come. Loos's exceptional performance boosted him to the fastest time in the state this season. 

     Nine other athletes broke two minutes in week 3! These athletes include Conner Doherty (1:57.98), Jackson Steger (1:58.09), Owen Diediker (1:58.28), Samuel Ferguson (1:58.30), Cooper Sturm (1:58.40), Troy Heard (1:58.69), Carter Cline (1:58.69), Gunnar Hornung (1:59.03),and  Isaac Shilling (1:59.06). 


     Conner Doherty's time of 4:16.73 remains the fastest 1600m in the state this season, but there were still notable performances, including Dylan Plath's 4:18.35 at the Olathe Invitational. Plath is already an established talentholding PR's of 1:57.45 in the 800m, 4:15.94 in the 1600m, and 9:31.98 in the 3200m. He is also an athlete that consistently delivers his best performances towards the end of a season. What further achievements are in store for Dylan Plath this year? 

      Another noteworthy performance in the 1600m came from Canyon Buehler of Blue Valley Southwest. He won the Harry McDonald BV Relays with a PR of 4:21.09. This marks a remarkable start to the 2024 outdoor season for Buehler, considering he has only ran sub-4:30 twice before in his career. With the season still in its early stages, Buehler has several opportunities to improve upon this outstanding Week 3 performance. 

     Three other athletes ran a sub 4:25 1600m in Week 3! These athletes include Gabe Onelio (4:22.53), Gunnar Hornung (4:22.83) and Jey Durham (4:23.71). 


After last week's fast times in the deep field at the Shawnee Mission South Relays, a relatively quieter week was expected for the 3200m. Nevertheless, impressive performances were still seen across the state.

     Jackson Esquibel of Shawnee Heights High School maintained his undefeated streak at the Lansing Invitationalwinning both the 3200m and 1600m. Esquibel improved upon his Week 1 time, clocking in a 9:31.57 in the 3200m and winning the 1600m by a 16-second margin. Esquibel has tended to significantly drop his times as a season progresses. In the previous outdoor season, he started with a 3200m time of 9:31.56 and finished with winning the 5a State Championships in a time of 9:18.67. Similarly, in the 1600m, he began with a time of 4:29.61 and finished as a silver medalist at the State Championships with a time of 4:15.26. I believe this year will be no different, so keep a close watch on Esquibel's progress throughout the season! 

     Lucas Holdren of Manhattan High School caught my attention with his impressive performance in the 3200m event and his huge improvement from last year. Holdren raced well at the Olathe Invitational setting a PR of 9:35.06 in the 3200m. Additionally, he doubled with a fifth-place performance in the 1600m with a time of 4:29.79. His performance marks a great start to his 2024 outdoor season. What's even more remarkable is the significant improvement he has made since last year. In last year's outdoor season his fastest 3200m time was 9:41.60 at his regional meet, while his best in the 1600m was 4:37.87. It will be exciting to see what else this season has in store for Lucas Holdren. 



Times continue to get faster and faster, the girls' 800m was no exception in Week 3!

     Marisa January of Spring Hill High School clocked in an impressive time of 2:20.02, securing the second-fastest time in the state as of Week 3. This PR surpasses her previous season's best of 2:21.66, where she finished 6th at her 5A regional meet. She narrowly missed qualifying for the state meet last year, but this season she seems to be on the right track to get there. Not only did January excel in the 800m, but she also won the 1600m with a time of 5:15.97 at the Paola Invitational. 

     Another notable performance in the 800m came from Kylie Stapleton of South Gray High School. Stapleton brough home a win at the Stanton County Invitational with a time of 2:20.95, finishing a remarkable 12 seconds ahead of the field. She has shown exceptional talent, remaining undefeated across three events this season and aiming for a second gold medal at the 1A State Championships in the 800m. Stapleton has carried her momentum from last season very well, showing potential for significant improvement this season. 

     There were a few other sub 2:25 800m performances in Week 3, these include Ellie Howell (2:22.96) , Paige Roth (2:23.73), Erin Barnes (2:24.18), and Madelyn Wallace (2:24.74). 


    Week 3's 1600m was highlighted by Ryin Miller's exceptional time of 4:53.37, placing her seventh all-time in Kansas. What adds to the excitement of this achievement is the fact that it was largely a solo effort, with second place going to freshman Kelsie Kudzia of Leavenworth High School, who finished with a time of 5:34.03. 

       Kaylie Shultz of Salina Central High School continues to make steady progress week by week. At the GBHS Jack Bowman Invitational, she secured a win and set a PR of 5:11.83, placing her second in the state leaderboards through Week 3.

     Additionally, Rylee Ismert ran a significant PR in Week 3 at the Olathe Invitational. She improved from 5:20.83 in Week 2 to an impressive 5:12.51 this week. Ismert's performance further cements her position as one of the state's top athletes. Last season, she consistently ran under 5:30 in this event, often below 5:25, ultimately finishing 13th at the 6A State Championships. With this big jump in fitness, she shows considerable potential to achieve great results this season. 

     Some other athletes than dipped under 5:20 in the 1600m include Kalyn Willingham (5:14.05), Payton Fink (5:14.90), Ellei McCrory (5:15.04), Marisa January (5:15.97), Madison Howland (5:17.74),and  Ava Gehlen (5:18.18).


     Ryin Miller of Seaman High School had an outstanding day of racing at the Lansing Invitational! Not only does she now lead the state in 1600m as written above but she also leads the 3200m. During this she also became one of the fastest girls in Kansas history to race the 3200m. With her impressive time of 10:26.64 she ranks as the 4th fastest Kansan ever according to Milesplit rankings. I had the opportunity to interview Miller after her third-place finish in the cross country 5A State Championships. She mentioned that she didn't expect to excel in high school, but simply just running more has led to significant improvements. As a sophomore, Miller has a bright future ahead this season and beyond.

     The Olathe Invitational featured a deep field in the girls' 3200m race, with eleven athletes running sub 11:30. Anjali Hocker Singh continues her undefeated seasonwinning with an impressive time of 10:51.30. This race marked a strong season opener for Singh in the 3200m. Close behind was her teammate Makenzie Crum securing a second place finish with a PR of 11:07.84, showing significant improvement since last season, even in the early weeks of the 2024 season. 

     Although the 3200m is not Kate Miller's primary event, she displayed remarkable range by securing third place at the Olathe Invitational with a time of 11:11.13. This performance places her among the top 10 in the state leaderboards. 

     The other athletes to run under 11:30 at the Olathe Invitational include Shea Johnson (11:12.31), Liz Browning (11:15.41), Amy Gotfredson (11:17.40), Bree Newport (11:20.72), Emily Graf (11:22.29), Brooke Bundt (11:22.59), Audrey Howard (11:24.13), and Meghan McAfee (11:29.82).

     Another spotlight meet for the 3200m took place at the Harry McDonald BV Relays. It was a tight one at the finish line, with Katie Price of St. James Academy and Alexandra Laurie of Blue Valley Southwest finishing within a fraction of a second of each other! Ultimately, Katie Price won with a time of 11:23.26, closely followed by Alexandra Laurie, who finished with a time of 11:24.09. This was a great race for these two, around this time of the season is when times get fast and competition thickens.

     Four other athletes ran under twelve minutes for this event at Harry McDonald BV Relays including Lida Padgett (11:26.85), Allie Morfeld (11:27.62), Maya McQuivey (11:34.16), and Abby Loos (11:52.92).