Kansas Relays: Five things to watch in the high school ranks

04/17/2014 6:14 PM

04/17/2014 6:15 PM

KANSAS RELAYS: Five things to watch

1

GRANDVIEW SPRINTERS:

When Grandview sprinter Anglerne Annelus began her high school track career, she made it a goal to win a state championship before she graduated. She already has three, and she’s just a junior. Annelus will look to win the 100-meter dash in Lawrence, which opens with a preliminary race at 10:55 a.m. Friday. She also will be a part of Grandview’s 400-meter and 800-meter relay teams, which also include transfer Ashanti Hutton. Hutton switched schools — migrating to the Missouri side of the state line — but nothing changed about her running ability. A year after winning the 400-meter dash at the Relays while attending Bishop Miege, Hutton will return to defend her title while representing the Bulldogs. Hutton finished the race in 55.72 seconds last season. She later won the Kansas Class 5A state championship.

2

VERSATILE CONTENDERS:

Olathe South’s Braden Smith, Lawrence Free-State’s Alexa Harmon-Thomas and Olathe East’s Jasmine Thomas each took home multiple Kansas Class 6A state titles last year. All three are competing in the Relays. Smith, who won the discus and shot put, will compete in the same events. Alexa Harmon-Thomas, who won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and the long jump, will compete in both hurdle events, as well as the 800 and 1,600 relays. Jasmine Thomas, state champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, will switch it up and run the 100-meter dash and two relays, the 800 and 400.

3

NORTH KC JUMPER:

NeKiesha Bailey began her junior season by breaking a North Kansas City record in the girls high jump that had stood for 37 years. Bailey will be one of the top competitors Friday and Saturday in Lawrence, and she will stay plenty busy both days. In addition to the high jump, she is scheduled to compete in the long jump and 100-meter hurdles, and she also occupies a spot on the school’s 400 relay team. Bailey will compete in her premiere event, the high jump, at 9 a.m. Saturday. The event runs simultaneously with the long jump.

4

AQUINAS LONG JUMPER:

St. Thomas Aquinas junior Tom Pyle has made a habit of breaking records this season. The long jumper has broken his personal record in each of the Saints’ meets so far, winning the event each time. Pyle, who placed fourth at the Kansas Class 5A state meet last year, has already increased his personal record from 22 feet, 4 inches in the first meet of the season to 23-1 1/4, the best mark in last week’s Blue Valley Relays.

5

LONG JUMP SHOWDOWN: The boys long jump may supply a Missouri Class 4 state championship preview. Fort Osage senior Elijah McGill and Rockhurst senior Curtis Goldmon placed second and third, respectively, in the state meet last season in the long jump. They are considered two of the favorites to win gold Saturday, as well as at the Missouri state meet next month. McGill has the top recorded long jump in the state this season at 23 feet, 3 inches.

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