It’s all about qualifying.
McPherson High’s track and field team heads to Buhler on Friday for the Class 4A Regional Meet that has a crowded field of 16 teams.
“It’s really hard to tell where we will be on Friday,” MHS coach Jace Pavlovich said. “We have a shot to qualify more girls than boys. It’s a tough regional, especially when you figure in 16 teams as opposed to only eight in 5A. Our kids are peaking at the right time, I can't wait to watch them this Friday.”
Field events get under way at 1 p.m., with track prelims at 3:00. The track finals start 30 minutes after prelims are completed.
Other teams on hand are Abilene, Chapman, Clay Center, Colby, Concordia, Goodland, Hays, Holcomb, Larned, Smoky Valley, Nickerson, Pratt, Scott City and Ulysses.
McPherson’s girls will be among the favorites, while the Buhler boys are expected to rule. Pratt also is strong in both divisions and Hays perennially does well.
The Bullpups certainly have some top contenders in several events.
On the girls’ side, MHS will ride the strong quartet of Elle Barrett, Emma Ruddle, Morgan Howard and Kenzie Goering. Ruddle is coming off a league meet where she won three titles and Barrett doubled. Barrett, of course, is the reigning state champion in the long jump and triple jump, but the bar has been raised in 4A this year with some great marks.
On the boys’ side, Andric McGill has been a headline performer this season as he doubled last week in the league meet in the high and long jumps. Hurdler Tyson Stites, triple jumper Devin Cape, and shot putters Jared Ruth and Britton Bate also figure to be in the hunt for state berths as could the 4 x 100 relay team.