Despite few numbers, MHS thinclads will be heard from

By Steve Sell
May 26, 2016

Two years ago McPherson High’s Amy Suenram arrived at Wichita’s Cessna Stadium as a virtual unknown sophomore, just hoping to come away with a long jump medal at the Class 4A State Track and Field Meet.

All she did was go out and stun the field after entering as a sixth seed, which earned her an automatic berth on to the MHS Wall of Fame. She’ll be formally inducted in December.

This weekend Suenram not only goes in as one of the long jumpers to beat, but she could very well be the top triple jumper.

Not bad for never having competed in that event until this year.

I can remember asking Suenram if she ever expected to win the long jump in 2014 and the answer was a quick “no.” In fact while shooting her photo for the Mid Kansas Sports Magazine before the 2015 season, I asked her if she planned on repeating.

Apparently still stunned from what she accomplished, she again said “not likely.”

She didn’t win it last year, but did come in second.

I chatted with her briefly this week during a letter of intent signing. She’s gone from a reserved sophomore to a confident senior. I fully expect her to do well on Saturday, because she seems to get better with every meet.

Of course, she’ll have to battle her teammates Elle Barrett and Kenzie Goering in the long jump, as well as Barrett in the triple jump. Throw in Mandi Cooks and Megan Pedersen in the high jump, both of whom could win or place high, and it’s amazing how successful MHS has been this season in the jumping events.

Morgan Howard could finish in the Top 3 in the 100 hurdles, so while the Bullpups won’t have many entrants they could still score their lion’s share of points.

The Bullpups won’t have big numbers at state — the boys only have Spenser Wine and Andric McGill attending —  but in the 1990s it seemed they needed an entire bus. However, coach Jace Pavlovich has made it a popular program as it has the biggest numbers of any sport at MHS. Remember, there are eight sports in the spring, which spreads the talent level around.

State track and state soccer this weekend put a cap on the 2015-16 school year. It’s been a spring to remember, with the girls soccer team having a chance to raise a state championship banner, while the boys tennis team came up just three points shy of repeating as state champs. The baseball team was ranked No. 1 for much of the season and probably should be at the state tournament, only to lose in a winner-take-all game against Buhler.

The girls swimming team had one of its best years ever, while two golfers advanced to state, with Jacob Lackey being the league champion. The girls softball team, despite a losing record, was one victory away from making state.

I always consider myself so lucky to cover high school sports in a town like McPherson. Fall, winter, spring, it seems like most of them are highly successful. It sure makes my job a lot more fun.