• BULLPUP THINCLADS EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS — McPherson High may have done more with less than most of the schools in the field this weekend at the Kansas State Track and Field Championships at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium.
The Bullpup boys scored 22 points to earn 11th place in Class 4A despite the fact they were entered in just a smattering of events.
MHS has Chris Stoppel to thank for the majority of their scoring, as the junior speedster was second in the 100, third in the 200 and brought the 4 x 100 relay team from the middle of the pack to within less than a second of winning the state title, finishing second to Andale.
That was pretty amazing when you consider the team entered the finals as the No. 8 seed and had struggled with handoffs during the season.
The Bullpup girls also scored 22 points and finished 12th. The highlight, of course, was the gold-medal winning long jump by Amy Suenram, which makes her a future Wall of Famer. Again, it was a lightning bolt from the sky, as Suenram was only the sixth-ranked jumper going in and her first two jumps had her well outside of being a finalist. But she popped a 16-6 on her third attempt to come away as the best of the best.
It also was exciting to see Morgan Howard earn a third-place finish in the 100 hurdles. She hasn’t been competing in the event for very long, but with a 15.88 in the finals, she gave a glimpse of what could be a special two years to come. I wouldn’t be surprised some day to see her on the Wall of Fame along with Suenram as she has unlimited potential.
Bri Cooks has one more year to earn state gold. She’s now the school record-holder in the shot put and improved greatly over last year, finishing fourth Saturday.
Given the youth for both the boys and girls this year, and with a tremendously talented eighth-grade class coming up to lend more depth, the Bullpups should improve on this year’s state placings.
• TEUTONS TERRIFIC — Inman was the sprint capital of Kansas on Saturday.
The Teutons killed it on the track at Wichita, as they scored 41 points to take fourth place in Class 2A, basically on the strength of their speed.
A 1-3-5 finish from Krystal Miller, Emma Aberg and Krystan Miller in the 100 meters accounted for nearly half of the Teutons’ points with 20. The 4 x 100 relay team of Aberg, Krystal Miller, Krystan Miller and Nicole Neufeldt added 10 more and Aberg, the Swedish sensation, won the 200 for yet another 10.
The good news is that all five of the Teuton sprinters are juniors, though Aberg won’t return next year though she’ll no doubt be cheering the team on from Sweden. She’ll definitely be missed as she could have had an amazing senior year.
• RENKEN AMAZING — What a Class 2A State Baseball Tournament for Little River’s Tevin Renken.
The senior pitching standout certainly stamped himself as the best pitcher in the tournament and was one of the best in the state overall.
Renken wound up pitching 12 shutout innings in the two-day event. He allowed just two hits and struck out a whopping 22.
Pitching was the name of the game for the Redskins, as Cordell Moore pitched solidly in the semifinals and Grant Harvey gave Little River a quality performance in the championship game, allowing just three hits in his six-plus innings against Pittsburg Colgan, which won the Class 3A title last year before dropping down this year.