Kansas state track: Five things to watch

05/29/2014 6:45 PM

06/03/2014 10:17 AM

1. Road goes through... Texas signee Alexa Harmon-Thomas won individual state titles last season in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, as well as the long jump. She again is the favorite to win both hurdle events. Auburn-bound football standout Braden Smith of Olathe South, meanwhile, is the favorite to repeat in shot put and discus.

2. Aquinas goes the distance. St. Thomas Aquinas won the Class 5A girls cross country state meet with a perfect score, so it is no surprise the Saints are contenders in the distance events at state track. Grace Geiger has the top time in the 3,200 meters, with Bailee Cofer and Emily Downey following close behind. The Saints also are seeded second in the 3,200-meter relay.

3. Henn’s javelin bid. Paola’s Andrew Henn won the Class 4A state championship last season with a mark of 191 feet, 5 inches in the javelin. He posted his top mark of the season, 204-05, at the Gardner Edgerton Trailblazer Invitational and enters the state meet with the top seeded mark of 192-03.

4. Leavenworth in field events. Leavenworth’s William Morrison is the Class 5A defending state champion in the discus and is the top seed with a mark of 173-07. He is also the top seed in the shot put. Teammate Jared Belardo is ranked first in the boys triple jump and second in the boys long jump behind St. Thomas Aquinas’ Tom Pyle.

5. Olathe schools in 400-meter relay. Olathe North has the top qualifying time in the Class 6A girls 400-meter relay at 48.44 seconds, but Olathe South is in hot pursuit at 48.53. Olathe East comes in seeded fourth at 48.93.

To reach Kathleen Gier, call 816-234-4875 or send email to kgier@kcstar.com.

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