If the Kansas Relays had been an open track meet, Nathan Wickoren might have set an Olathe North record, according to distance coach Levi Huseman. Wickoren's new personal mark along with the improved personal times of his three teammates were enough to shatter the meet record and win the 6,400-meter relay last Friday in Lawrence.
Wickoren served as the anchor for the relay event, which he ran with Easton Moore, Wyatt Heikes and Alex Finestead. The foursome finished the approximate four miles in 17 minutes, 50.88 seconds. The previous meet record of 18:02.82 was set by Kearney, Mo., in 2012.
“I think they believed in themselves above anything else,” Huseman said. “Those four, especially have been working really hard, not just the past couple weeks of track season, but all winter long, all during cross country season and all summer long so this is a compilation of all their work in that whole time period.”
According to Huseman, Wickoren was not the only one close to making history for running his 1,600-meter portion of the event. He said Finestead would have been a half second away from the school record. He also said Moore shaved five seconds off his time and Heikes cut two seconds.Saints girls win 3,200 relay
After posting a perfect score at the Kansas Class 5A state cross country meet last fall, it would only make sense that the Saint Thomas Aquinas girls track team would be dangerous in the long and middle distance events.
The Saints proved it last Saturday by winning the 3,200-meter relay in 9 minutes, 35.48 seconds. Bailee Cofer, who won the 5A state cross country title in the fall, was joined by runner up Emily Downey, third place finisher Grace Geiger and Haley Dietsch.
“We have great depth in our middle distance and distance events on our team, and I think that’s become part of the culture,” coach Justin Wrigley said. “We’ve seen that in the last couple years especially on the girls’ side, there is just a real sense of pride and doing every little thing the right way.”Eastham wins 2,000 steeplechase
Although he has run the event only twice, Blue Valley Southwest’s Tristan Eastham is quickly becoming a specialist in the 2,000-meter steeplechase.
Eastham won the event at the Baldwin Invitational on April 4, and although his time was slightly slower last weekend, he also won at the Kansas Relays in 6 minutes, 35.50 seconds.
“The wind was pretty tough, but I feel like I hurdled pretty well and made sure I got over the water jump,” Eastham said. “I was really looking forward to getting out there and competing in a bigger race in a variety event that would look better for college coaches.”
Eastham finished in 6:31 at the Baldwin meet.Sunflower winners
For the top nine Kansas teams that did not qualify for the relay finals on Saturday, there were alternative Sunflower events.
The Olathe North girls won the Sunflower 1,600-relay in 4:13.72, and the Olathe South girls won the Sunflower 400-relay in 49.74 seconds.