The 86th running of the Kansas Relays featured high school athletes from across the Midwest last Friday and Saturday at the University of Kansas Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, which meant the competition was at least the equal or better than most of the high school athletes would see in their state meets.
Blue Valley senior distance runner Colton Donahue perhaps expressed the view of most of the athletes.
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“It was an honor to run here,” he said. “I’m so blessed to be able to come here and run.”
Donahue had an unofficial split time of 1 minute, 54 seconds in his 800 anchor leg in leading the Blue Valley team to the sprint medley relay title, an event of 200, 200, 400 and 800 legs. He also posted 4:19.18 and placed seventh in the 1600 meters and was fourth in the 3200 in at 9:21.82.
Mill Valley senior Emily Brigham won the girls' pole vault with a meet-record clearance of 12, feet, 5 1/2 inches and was second in the long jump with 18-7 1/4. Gardner-Edgerton senior Cassie Wait was second to Brigham in the pole vault at 11-11 3/4, and Allison Meads of Olathe East cleared 10-6 for sixth place.
Gardner-Edgerton senior Danie Plank threw the javelin 161 feet, 1 inch to win the girls event, and teammates Jessica Cisnerous finished fifth, 127-3 and Jill Starling sixth, 122-8,
Area schools also did well in the boys' javelin. Riley Craig of Gardner Ederton was second with 176-5, Nick Fournier of Olathe North was third with 172-0, and Ryan Ahlgren of Olathe East was fourth at 172-0.
Olathe North junior Kai Rowden cleared 6-8 to win the boys' high jump.
Shawnee Mission East senior Grace Pickell was third in the girls' high jump at 5-4 1/4.
Olathe Northwest freshman Cameron Gueldner ran to a 10:51.09 clocking in the girls’ 3200. She leads the state of Kansas in the event.
Bishop Miege sophomore Ashley Hutton improved her Kansas best in the 400 with her winning time of 55.72 seconds. She was fifth in the 100 meters in 12.35.
Olathe Northwest senior Kathryn Pamperin grabbed the gold medal in the girls' 2000-meter steeplechase in 7:36.15.
Shawnee Mission South senior Jake Caldwell, who was a starter for the Raiders’ undefeated Class 5A state basketball team, placed third in the 400 at 49.22. Shawnee Mission East senior Troy Wilkins was fourth at 49.33.
Blue Valley North senior Chris Cusick placed fifth in the boys' pole vault, clearing 14 feet, 5 1/4 inches, and Olathe South junior Braden Smith was fifth in the boys shot with a put of 56 feet, 9 inches.
Shawnee Mission East senior Emma Vickers was sixth in the girls' 400 at 58.47, and Shawnee Mission Northwest senior Jackson Barbour placed sixth in the 800 in 1 minute, 56.96 seconds.
The St. Thomas Aquinas girls were second in the four-mile relay in 22 minutes, 10.06 seconds, and the Olathe East girls claimed second in the two-mile relay at 9:44.25.
Shawnee Mission Northwest was third in the boys' 1600 relay with a 3:22.99, and Olathe East was third in the girls section with 4:03.11.