There will be little idle time for Moundridge and Hesston this weekend at the Kansas State Track and Field Championships at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium.
“I’m so excited for this team,” Moundridge coach Brian Holloway said. “We are taking 13 athletes in 15 events, the most we've had in a long time. We were fortunate enough to score many points at the (Class 2A) regional meet in Herington with the girls team winning the meet. That hasn't happened since 2002. We are going into state with several kids likely to make finals and to be on the medal stand."
Joel Holloway’s name should be called repeatedly over the course of two days. He’s competing in four events and is the favorite in the triple jump as he has the top mark going in. He’s also a threat to win the long jump.
DeShawn Pfeiff has had an interesting year for the Wildcats. He was the state champion in the pole vault last year, but an injury has prevented him from competing in that event this year. However, that hasn’t slowed him on the track, as he has the No. 1 regional time going into the 400.
The Wildcat girls also will display their versatility, including Peri Lange and Anna Stucky as they are entered in four events apiece. Brian Holloway looks for both to have big weekends, as the Wildcats hope to make a run at a state plaque. Look for the ‘Cats’ 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relay teams to run among the leaders.
Hesston is busy as well, as it has 17 entrants.
Jason Peters’ girls have a shot in Class 3A, but he said his team won’t score points in bunches, but instead will have to be consistent. The Swather boys will score big points due greatly to triple jump and long jump state contender Justin Smith.
“Our girls have placed high as a team throughout the season, but it has been a true team effort as we have scored in a lot of events, but it has been a lot of seconds, thirds and fourth and not necessarily firsts,” Peters said. “It's always tough to place high as a team at state without those outstanding performances, so we will have to see how things work out. A Top 5 finish for both boys and girls would be reasonable.”
The Hesston boys may score more in chunks.
“Our boys have the potential to score high in several events, especially the 4 x 800 and 4 x 400, as well as Smith in the jumps and our 800 runners,” Peters said. “We don't have the depth like our girls, but could accumulate a good amount of points with some good performances.”
The other area schools don’t have the numbers of Moundridge and Hesston, but still might be able to score some points here and there. An athlete to watch is Smoky Valley’s Calvin Shannon, who competes in the two long distances races despite being just a freshman.