McPherson High’s track and field team will get out its compass for its endless journey to Holcomb on Friday for the Class 4A Regional Meet.
The Bullpups will have to leave plenty early as it’s a 193-mile trip for an event that includes 16 teams and gets under way at 3 p.m.
MHS coach Jace Pavlovich said the Bullpups far and away are in the toughest regional as once again the superior talent in the state is concentrated on Central and Western Kansas.
“There is no doubt that we are in the toughest regional in the state,” said Pavlovich, whose girls won the AVCTL Division III championship and the boys were second. “Four of the best teams in the state are all in Holcomb. For example, six of the top seven boys javelin throwers are all in our regional, five out of the top six girls 4 x 400 relay are in our regional as well. Those are just to name a few.”
Pavlovich said all the Bullpups can do is go out and perform at their highest level and hope it’s good enough.
“Our challenge is to just focus on ourselves and set a new personal record,” he said. “We have to control what we can control. We can’t control how our opponent performs or what weather we have to compete in.”
In addition to the Bullpups, perennial powers in the field include Andale and Hays, as well as Pratt, which always has good individuals. Buhler and Smoky Valley are yet two more teams, while the rest of the field includes Clearwater, Colby, Goodland, Thomas More Prep, Hugoton, Larned, Nickerson, Ulysses and Wellington.
The Bullpup girls are expected to be strong in the field events, led by thrower Bri Cooks and their fleet of long, high and triple jumpers. MHS’ relay teams also could make some noise.
On the boys’ side, Chris Stoppel is one of 4A’s top sprinters, while others to watch are Klayton Goering and Spenser Wine in the hurdles and Noah Jirgens in the throws.