Lancers earn state medals in eventful weekend

Crest High's weekend at the state track meet included four athletes earning medals, a bit of heartbreak, and even a trip to the ER for one of the athletes.



May 28, 2024 - 2:52 PM

Crest High's Jerry Rodriguez competes in the long jump Friday at the state track meet. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

WICHITA — Crest High’s track and field team crammed a season’s worth of craziness into one eventful weekend.

The occasion was the state track meet, where Lancer athletes Jerry Rodriguez, Josie Walter, Peyton Schmidt and Hanna Schmidt all earned medals in the Class 1A division.

Rodriguez, one of four outgoing seniors on the CHS track squad, took fourth in the long jump Friday, which offered a bit of an emotional salve after a stinging loss the day before as part of the Lancer baseball team, which fell in the first round of the state playoffs.

In fact, had Crest won that opening game in Great Bend, there stood a real possibility Rodriguez would have to miss the track meet.

“I feel great right now,” Rodriguez said. “(Thursday) night was pretty heartbreaking. Had we won that first game, I was probably going to stay there (Friday) and play.”

But after the Lancers were eliminated by eventual third-place finisher St. Mary’s-Colgan, it allowed Rodriguez to make the trip from Great Bend to Wichita.

Crest High’s Peyton Schmidt runs down the back stretch in the 3200-meter run Friday at the state track meet. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register
Crest High’s Josie Walter runs at the state track meet in Wichita. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register
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But it took a while to get going once the long jump competition started. His longest jump in his flight was 20 feet, 4 inches, good for ninth in the standings — the final jumper to advance to the final round.

He took advantage with his fifth jump of the day, leaping 20’10.25” to take fourth.

“I was hoping to get 21 feet and a new PR,” he said. “I just made a little mistake when I was landing.”

“It was very cool to see Jerry come home with a medal,” Lancer track coach Kaitlyn Cummings agreed. “He’s put a lot of work into it.”

Friday evening saw Walter and Peyton Schmidt — more on her in a second — take part in the 3200-meter run. 

Walter finished in 12 minutes, 12.23 seconds, while Schmidt clocked in at 12:24.02 for fifth and seventh, respectively.

“I was happy with it, but was hoping to get under 12 minutes,” Walter said.

Schmidt, meanwhile, was happy with her medal, but was hoping for sixth place or higher, because of the way the awards podium is designed.

In state track, the seventh- and eighth-place medalists get honored on the platform, but must stand on the floor instead of a series of escalating blocks.