Chapman's Briggs opens state meet with 3200 meter win

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The first gold medal of the 2018 Kansas State Track and Field championships has gone to Taylor Briggs of Chapman, who opened the meet early Friday morning with an impressive victory in the class 4A 3200 meter run.


A little later Friday morning, Shawnee Mission Northwest's Molly Born made her long-anticipated return to the state championships, winning the class 6A 3200 meter title. Born, who swept the 1600 and 3200 meter runs in 2015 and 2016, missed this meet a year ago with a stress fracture.


Friday, Born took the lead from the start and led a pack of five through the mile mark. She then pressed the pace for the next couple laps with only Sophie Scott of Blue Valley North able to stick close. Scott, the 2017 800 meter champion, appeared to be primed to make the race a kick, but Born quickly built a 50 meter lead on the seventh lap and rode her powerful stride to an easy win in 10:28.80.


Scott finished second in 10:49.50 while 6A cross country champion Riley Beach of Blue Valley Northwest was third in 10:55.71.

Also on the track Friday morning, Wichita Southeast's Christal Mosley broke a 38-year-old record when she won her preliminary heat of the class 6A girls 400 in 54.26. Mosley is the defending state champion in the event. The previous record of 54.40 was set in 1980 by Jocelyn Bentley of Highland Park.

A 20-year-old record went down in the field events Friday. McPherson's Elle Barret leaped 39-11.25 to win the class 4A triple jump, eclipsing the previous record of 39-1 set in 1998 by Heidi Yost of Perry-Lecompton. A complete rundown of the class 4A-6A field events on Friday is available at this link.


Chapman's Briggs, a freshman who also won the class 4A state title in cross country, is now 2 for 2 in high school state meets as she dominated the rest of the field to win in a time of 11:03.78.


Briggs' win is the first in five years in class 4A by a runner not named Cailie Logue, the Girard product who won four straight 3200 meter titles in her high school career. Briggs' dominance on Friday closely resembled the way Logue would take apart the field, and could be a precursor to another four-time winner.

Clearwater's Aimee Davis, a sophomore, was the runner-up in the race, clocking a time of 11:22.15. Davis was the state runner-up in class 4A cross country in 2016 (and third place last fall), but missed last year's state track championships due to injury. Hannah Honeyman of Santa Fe Trail was third in 11:32.86.

In the class 4A boys' 3200 meter run, Wichita Collegiate's Lakelin Conrad, a three-time state cross country champion who will run for Texas Christian University next year, ran a methodical race and powered home to win the state title in an impressive time of 9:35.15. Chapman's Aaron Modrow took a big early lead, but Conrad led a chase pack that caught him on the fifth lap of the race.

Holton's Mason Strader placed second in 9:40.33 and Hugoton's Abraham Garcia-Aguirre was third in 9:44.54. Conrad's strength and kick on the bell lap was the difference, though. It was Conrad's second state title on the track, having won the 3200 as a freshman in class 3A.

After a 1 hour and 30 minute delay for lightning in the area, McKenzie Wilks of Pittsburg put up an impressive time of 10:50.18 to win the 3200 meter run. Wilks, who is headed for the University of Kansas next fall, was running the 3200 at state for the first time in her high school career - she had previously won state titles in the 800 (2015 and 2017) and 1600 (2017).

St. James Academy's Sarah Murrow, the defending state champion in the event, placed second this year in 11:05.27. Mill Valley's Delaney Kemp and Britton Nelson finished third and fourth in times of 11:12.73 and 11:16.42.

The boys' 5A race was a bit more competitive as six runners broke away with just over a lap to go. Asher Moen of Andover made the first move, taking the lead with 600 meters to go, but Great Bend's Kerby Depenbusch grabbed the lead with a lap to go, pursued closely by Dylan Miller of Blue Valley Southwest.

The two kicked down the backstretch, but Depenbsuch proved to have a little more juice, pulling away in the last 100 meters to win in a time of 9:25.07. Moen recovered to place second in 9:26.57, while 5A state cross country champion Ethan Marshall of St. Thomas Aquinas was third at 9:27.27. Miller finished fourth at 9:28.57.

Manhattan's Cooper Schroeder, who entered the state championships with the top 3200 meter time in the state, turned a close race into a runaway as he won the class 6A title in 9:28.97. It's the first state title of Schroeder's high school career. He will run for Kansas State University next year.

Asher Molina of Shawnee Mission North placed second in class 6A (9:41.30) while Joey Guzman of Olathe North was third (9:42.15). Daniel Harkin of Manhattan placed fourth - he also placed fourth in the state tennis championships two weeks ago - giving Manhattan 15 points for the early lead in the team standings.


Manhattan and Shawnee Mission Northwest are the pre-meet favorites for the class 6A boys state title.