Recap: Kansas Outdoor Track and Field Week 4

Week 4 Recap

Week 4 was no short of amazing! Below I will recap some of the great performances put up across the state.




   Jack Guthridge of Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School continues his undefeated streak this 2024 outdoor season through Week 4. In my previous recap of Week 3, I highlighted Guthridge's impressive performance and noted his improvement compared to the previous year. This week, Guthridge wasted no time in establishing himself as the state leader in the 400m and 200m, while also maintaining his lead in the 100m from Week 3. Despite seeing some strong competition, he still swept the 200m at the Shocker Pre-State Challenge with a time of 21.25 and the 400m with a time of 48.11. As a junior, Guthridge is an exciting talent with much more potential in store this season.  

     Jalil Cooper from Wichita Northwest High School secured second place along with a 21.41 PR in the 200m dash at the Shocker Pre-State Challenge! Additionally, he showcased his versatility by running an impressive time of 10.80 in the 100m event. With this, the senior currently ranks as the second fastest 200m runner so far this season and holds the top position in class 6A. 

      Lamar Lynch Jr. had an outstanding Week 4, breaking his school record and claiming the fastest time this year in class 4A for the 200m dash. He clocked in an impressive time of 21.97 at the Leitel Legacy Invite. As already the defending 4A State Champion, improvement like this just makes him a stronger contender to do it all again this year. Not only did he run a sub-22-second 200m for the first time, but he also complemented this performance with a remarkable 10.97 seconds in the 100m dash.  


Three athletes dipped under 50 seconds in the 400m dash for the first time this season. These athletes include Jensen Schrickel, Luke Finzen, and Timmy Ritchie. 

     Out of Hayden High School, Jensen Schrickel showcased he is faster than ever this outdoor season with his performance in Week 4. Schrickel is an established talent, placing third place in last year's 400m State Championship and winning the long jump at the 2022 State Championship. In week 4 he delivered an outstanding performance, clocking in a 49.24 400m at the Leitel Legacy Invite. With Hayden High School now competing in the 3A division, he is ranked number one and number two through all classes. 

     Luke Finzen from Blue Valley West High School became the second athlete to break the 50-second mark in Week 4. He ran a PR of 49.65 seconds to win the Shawnee Mission West Invitational. Finzen has been having an exceptional season in the 400m, with three races under his belt, he has won two of the three! Remarkably, his slowest performance so far was a 50.66 from week 1.  

     Last but certainly not least, Timmy Ritchie of Wichita Collegiate School joined the sub-50 club during his Week 4 performance. Finishing second at the Shocker Pre-State Challenge, he clocked in a time of 49.90. Despite being just a freshman, Ritchie has made his name known with this exceptional 400m performance in Week 4. 


We saw eight total performances that improved off last week's state lead. 

     At the forefront of the state leaderboard is Cesar Pavia from Liberal High School, running a remarkable time of 1:53.84. Pavia led an eight-person field, all achieving sub-1:59 performances at the Shocker Pre-State Challenge. It was an exciting day in Wichita, witnessing numerous fast 800m times in a single race. Pavia's outstanding performance might have caught some by surprise, considering he made an impressive leap of eight and a half seconds from his season's best race in week 1. Having qualified for the 6A State Championship in the past two years, this could be the year Pavia not only competes but also potentially brings home a medal. 

     In total there were eleven sub 2 minute 800m performances at the Shocker Pre-State Challenge across seven different heats. These athletes include Nathan Thengvall (1:55.20), Brody Deniston (1:55.58), Logan Keith (1:55.85), Nick Johnson (1:57.10), Troy Heard (1:57.11), Logan Prichard (1:57.42), Owen Miesner (1:57.58), Will Meyer (1:58), Jackson Esquibel (1:58.46), Solomon Carter (1:59.13), Landen Leonard (1:59.43). 

     If we move on over to Lawrence for the Leitel Legacy Invite we see Palmer O'Connor of Desoto High School clocked in a time of 1:54.13 for the 800m. What a race! Similiar to the Shocker Pre-State Challenge, ten athletes ran under two minutes for the 800m!  O'Connor came out with the win and a three second PR. O'Connor has been exciting to follow this season as every event he has competed in so far has been a PR. Next year he will be headed to Park University, keep an eye on his progress through this outdoor track season. 

The other nine athletes sub-2 in this race include Cody Hammond (1:55.11), Noah Schowengerdt (1:56.11), Connor Jacober (1:56.26), Owen Diediker (1:56.32), Gunnar Hornung (1:56.56), Luke Swarts (1:57.67), Logan Montgomery (1:58.52), Grant Lichauer (1:58.77), and Dj Thomas (1:58.88). 


The Mid Season Classic showcased the three fastest 1600m times recorded across the state this year.

     It was a fast one, with Parker Walion winning in an impressive time of 4:10.70. Running a 4:10 is no joke, especially considering this was only his season opener for the 1600m. This Week 4 performance solidifies Walion as a dominate figure as we inch toward championship season. However, he faces stiff competition, with 6a competitor Max Larson close behind at 4:11.64 and a second place finish. Larson's performance is notable, considering his previous 1600m PR was 4:25.59. This marked a significant improvement for Larson, who now has the second spot on the statewide leaderboard.

     Dylan Plath who is also in 6a secured third place at the Mid Season Classic with an impressive time of 4:12.66. Overall, Plath has been having a successful season, he has accomplished PR's in the 3200m, 1600m, and 800m this season alone. Plath's performance not only secured him the third fastest time of the season but also included a quality 800m double of 1:54.71! 


The Shocker Pre-State Challenge featured an impressive 3200m race, with four athletes breaking 9:30. 

     Coming out with the win was sophomore Daniel Enriquez of Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School, clocking in a time of 9:20.09. So close to sub-9:20! Enriquez's ten-second PR and win mark a big step in the right direction for him. He is undoubtedly an athlete worth keeping an eye on this season and in the future.

      In a close second place was Jackson Esquibel of Shawnee Heights High School with a time of 9:22.37. Each week Esquibel has been steadily improving his 3200m times, inching closer to his PR of 9:18.67, which won him last year's 5A State Championship.

 The other two athletes that dipped under 9:30 include Dustin Stephenson (9:24.30) and Layne Whisler (9:29.59).  


 Two remarkable discus throws highlighted the Ken Peek Invitational in Week 4.

     Taveon Bell-Robinson of Olathe East High School took home a gold medal with an impressive PR throw of 194-7. I recently covered his previous state-leading throw of 170-5 in Week 1's Recap. It's clear now that Robinson was just getting started, and his outstanding performance leaves excitment again to see what else this season holds for him. 

     The second standout performance at the Ken Peek Invitational came from Joey Goodenow of St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Goodenow PR'd with a throw of 188-0, placing him second in the state this season and first in class 5A.  

     A switch in leaders was seen in javelin during Week 4; this throw was by Lakin Getz at the Hill City Invitational 2024. This monster throw of 209-1 by Getz places him first in class 1a and first across all classes! He was the 2023 State Champion in this event, and this year he is back even stronger. 


     Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School threw down an outstanding 4x400m relay in a time of 3:20.80 at the Shocker Pre-State Challenge. This sets a new school record, and the season still has time for them to improve! I believe this performance to be quite remarkable, as just last year they won the 5A state championships. This state-leading time also represents an improvement of 4 seconds from their season's best. Congratulations to Nathan Thengvall, Jack Guthridge, Dawson Grabendike, and Jude Porter. 

     The second fastest 4x800m time in Kansas history is now held by Wichita Trinity Academy. Clocking in at a phenomenal 7:44.97, they sit just behind Wichita East's record of 7:40.1 set in 1965. This remarkable performance at the Shocker Pre-State Challenge holds them way ahead of any other 4x800m relay team across the state. Kudos to Jacob Hobson, Caleb Tofteland, Samuel Ferguson, and Clay Shively for their outstanding achievement.



     Karynne David of Wichita Heights High School currently holds the second-fastest time across Kansas after her 56.16 400m victory at the Wichita Heights/Steve Crosley Inv. She is already an established sprint talent who has qualified for several state championships, but this 400m race, which she won by eight seconds, puts her on a different level. When looking at her past few year's results, her consistency is evident. She consistently posts fast times from the start of the season to the end. If this year is no different, the Iowa state commit is poised for high placements this championship season.


A hotspot 800m race in Week 4 took place at the Leitel Legacy Invite where 5 girls dipped under 2:20.

     Leading the field was sophomore Ryin Miller of Seaman High School with a time of 2:10.25; she now holds the second fastest 800m ever run in the State of Kansas. Wow! Not only did she solidify her name in the 800m record books, but her 3200m double also placed her fourth all-time in Kansas (according to MileSplit).

     The other four athletes who ran under 2:20 include Marisa January (2:15.82), Kate Miller (2:15.93), Liz Browning (2:16.05), and Brooke Bundt (2:16.44).


     Standout freshman Kaylie Shultz of Salina Central High School secured a win and a PR in the 1600m at the Manhattan High Invite! Shultz crossed the finish line in a time of 5:01.25, 18 seconds ahead of the nearest competitor. Each week, she has been lowering her 1600m times, and as of now, she ranks third across the state, only behind Ryin Miller and teammate Katelyn Rupe.  

     Second in this race was freshman Anna Fontaine of Junction City High School, now boasting a PR of 5:19.52. This marks a significant 11-second improvement from her previous season's best time. Transitioning from middle school running to high school can be challenging, but Fontaine has had no problem adapting; currently, she holds the 30th fastest time across the state this season.  


     Another name has been added to the record books! Katelyn Rupe grabbed a massive PR of 10:22.57 in the 3200m at the Manhattan High Invite. This race solidified her as the 5th fastest Kansan of all time in this event. To top it all off, she won the race by a margin of a minute and 25 seconds. Keep an eye on Rupe as she continues to progress through the season and into the championship season. 


     Blue Valley North High School adds their second state-leading relay team with their 48.06 4x100m relay at the Ken Peek Invitational. This performance positions them as the third fastest in their program's history, just behind their 2023 regional win (47.80) and their 2023 6A State Championship win (47.91). Blue Valley North's strength in relays this year is evident; will they be able to replicate last year's success?

     St. James Academy set a season's best 4x400m relay time of 3:59.55 at the Leitel Legacy Invite. This marks the fourth fastest finish in their program's history, along with the leading time in class 5A. Demonstrating this level of speed at this point in the season shows that they are ready for further success this outdoor season. Typically, the 5A State Championship has been won with around a 4:00 4x400m performance. If this team can maintain consistency, they are sure to see success this championship season.


     Rachel Van Gorp of Olathe Heritage Christian had a busy Week 4, competing in four events at the Tonganoxie Invitational. Despite such a heavy schedule of events, she ended up winning three out of the four events she competed in. Her most significant performance was her 18-10 long jump, which earned her the second furthest jump of the season across Kansas. Additionally, she competed in the 200m, finishing second with a time of 26.18, won the 400m in 59.82, and set a PR and win in the triple jump with a distance of 36-7.25. Van Gorp already has an impressive resume, having won last year's long jump (17-9.5) and triple jump (36-5.5) at the 3A State Championships. 

     Dawson Cochren took home a massive discus PR at the Shocker Pre-State Challenge with a throw of 140-7.75. Cochren has shown steady improvement throughout her high school career, most recently in a podium finish last outdoor season with third-place at the 2A State Championships. This performance in Week 4 places her third in the state rankings and first in class 2A.


     Aurora Wessel swept both the 100mh and 300mh(45.51) at the Mid Season Classic. Her outstanding 100mh performance of 14.30 shot her up to second in the state leaderboards and continues her flawless season thus far in the 100mh. This was just a tenth of a second away from Adryana Shelby's state leading time from Week 2.

     Shelby also had a great Week 4, winning both the 100mh and 300mh at the Shocker Pre-State Challenge. She clocked in a 14.54 in the 100mh and a 44.38 in the 300mh. These two athletes are sure to have an exciting race when they meet this championship season. Wessel and Shelby are both experienced and very talented athletes who both are yet to claim a gold medal at the 6a State Championships.

Keep an eye on 6a's finest hurdlers as the season progresses.