Making the final push for the Kansas Class 6A team title, the Olathe East boys finished the Kansas state track and field meet with a bang at Cessna Stadium.
In the last race of the day, Kyle Evans, Nathan Matters, Dajuane Washington-Box and Parker Evans broke a meet record while finishing the 1,600-meter relay in 3 minutes, 17.07 seconds. The previous record of 3:17.97 was set by Lawrence.
“We worked hard all season and our workouts have been pushing us,” Washington-Box said. “It’s been hard, but they set us up for this meet.”
In addition to the relay, the Hawks took home three individual titles. AJ Stephens won a tightly contested 110-meter hurdles in 14.52 seconds. Caelan Neal repeated as the state champion in the triple jump with a personal record of 48-08.25 and Tanner Green won the 400 meter dash in 48.55 seconds.
Firebird flies high
Not even a pair of stress reactions in her left foot could stop Lawrence Free State’s Alexa Harmon-Thomas from adding a few more gold medals to her collection.
Harmon-Thomas returned to practice in May and started hurdling last week, but she picked up where she left off to defend her titles in the Class 6A 100- and 300-meter hurdles and lead the Firebirds to their second straight team title.
She won her second straight 100-meter hurdles title in 14.67 seconds and her third 300-meter title in 43.69 later in the day. Teammate Kiara Clark finished second in the 300 hurdles.
Bailey Sullivan added a title in the 1,600, finishing in 4:59.43. Freshman Emily Venters, who won the 3,200 on Friday, placed second.
The Olathe East girls 3,200 relay team shaved two very significant seconds off their time, which allowed them to win the Class 6A state championship with the fifth-fastest time in Kansas high school history. The team of Kayla Davis, Natalie Kopplin, Allison Vermillion and Kelsey Lathrop finished in 9:24.55.
In the 1,600 relay, Lawrence’s Leah Gabler, Kyleigh Severa, Marissa Pope and Jensen Edwards recorded the eighth-fastest time in Kansas high school history, finishing in 3:55.19.
A Marantha three-peat
When Maranatha’s Lauren Harrell heard that the Eagles had won their third straight Class 2A state title, she was speechless, which was kind of ironic since she was one of the main reasons for their success.
Harrell won the 3,200 meters on Friday and added first place finishes in the 1,600 and 800 on Saturday to help the Eagles win with 62 points. Second-place Ellinwood finished with 52.
“A lot of hard work paid off, but it is not just me, it is my teammates,” Harrell said. “I am so grateful.”
Jensen Lemmon won a title for the boys in the 400-meter dash, and the Eagles also won the 1,600-meter relay.
Aquinas wins 5A title
After sweeping the top three spots in the 3,200 meters on Friday, St. Thomas Aquinas did it again in the 1,600 meters, which helped the Saints capture the team title for the second time in three years.
Bailee Cofer took the top spot in the 3,200 with Emily Downey and Grace Geiger finishing second and third.
The team of Abigail Hopfinger, Paige Hopfinger, Haley Dietsch and Maggie Sieben added a first place finish in the 3,200-meter relay.
Bryan Zack won an individual title for the boys in the 1,600.
Leavenworth’s William Morrison won the 5A shot put and teammate Jared Belardo added a title in the triple jump.
Olathe East’s Kelsey Lathrop defended her 6A title in the 800 and won the 400 while Jasmine Thomas repeated as state champion in the 100-meter dash.
The Piper girls won the Class 4A 400-meter relay.
Schlagle’s Givonne Miles won the Class 5A 200-meter dash.
Shawnee Mission Northwest’s Alexander Springer won the 6A boys javelin.
The Mill Valley boys set a school record and won the 5A 3,200-meter relay in 8:00.26. Kurtis Loevenstein won the 800.
Olathe South’s Braden Smith repeated as state champion in the 6A discus, and Jacqueline Darby won the 200-meter dash.
Blue Valley Northwest’s Hannah VanBuskirk won the 6A high jump and Samuel Guinn won the 1,600.
The St. James Academy girls won the 1,600-meter relay, Katrina Guyot won the 800 and Ian Jones won the 400-meter dash.
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