Kansas high school track is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the state track and field meet in 2010.
The road to the 2010 Kansas State High School State Track and Field Championships starts in Iola Friday for 16 Class 4A schools. Iola High hosts its second-ever Kansas Class 4A Regional Track Meet at Riverside Park.
“We’re excited about hosting a regional. We had so many positive remarks from our league coaches after last week’s SEK meet here,” said Marvin Smith, IHS head track coach.
Smith’s biggest worry this week has been the rain. He said as of today conditions were “OK” in the throwing areas north of the football field. Iola had several contingency plans in place if the throwing areas were under water this week.
“We didn’t get any additional rain last night and the areas will be wet and muddy but we’ll keep everything at the park for Friday,” Smith said.
Field events begin at 3:30 p.m. Running event preliminaries start at 5 p.m. with running event finals beginning 30 minutes following the last preliminary race.
Admission prices for the regional track meet are $4 for adults and $3 for students kindergarten through high school. The Kansas State High School Activities Association sets the prices for all postseason events.
No passes will be honored.
The Iola High Booster Club will cook hamburgers and hotdogs. Those will be sold along with other food and drink items at the concession stand.
There will be Class 4A Regional Track Meet T-shirts for sale.
Eight of the nine Southeast Kansas League schools which were just here last Friday are back. Pittsburg goes to a Class 5A regional track meet.
The SEK schools are Iola, Labette County, Chanute, Coffeyville, Fort Scott, Independence and Parsons. Joining those schools will be Anderson County, Girard, Prairie View, Louisburg, Osawatomie, Ottawa, Paola and Spring Hill.
“My favorite old saying is ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get,’” Smith said. “I have always noticed that people who believe in good luck seldom have any. I don’t understand the logic of ‘I’d rather be lucky than good,’
“By being lucky you have success occasionally. I would rather be good and have success on a regular basis.”
Smith and the rest of the IHS coaching staff have the Iola High Mustangs and Fillies ready to be good and lucky Friday.
This regional has many of the top performers in the Class 4A boys’ ranks this season.
Ethan Fulton is the defending state champion in the 110-meter high hurdles and has turned in the top time in 4A this season. The high hurdles will be a race people won’t want to miss.
Ethan Fulton is joined by a strong field including twin brother Aaron Fulton, who was eighth in the state final. Matt Weil of Labette County took sixth in th highs last year at state. Garrett Griffith of Louisburg is another contender.
Griffith, a sophomore, has the best mark in 4A this season in the javelin. Paola’s Luke Wilson, who was second in both the shot put and discus at state last year, comes in with the best mark in the entire state this year in shot put, 60 feet, 6 inches. He also has the best throw in 4A in the discus, 170 feet.
Iola’s Darin Hutton is looking to make it back to the state in the discus. Plus he has his sights set on qualifying in the shot put event also.
Paola brings two other 50-feet plus shot putters in Garrett Appier and Cale Carrigan. Fort Scott’s Cody Bartlett is another top thrower.
Chanute has Cody Catterson and Matt Bollig coming in as strong javelin competitors.
“Paola and Louisburg are loaded on the boys’ side. They score in so many events. Paola has top sprinters and jumpers,” Smith said.
Chanute has the defending state pole vault champion in Tray Hodges. Louisburg has strong vaulters in Jacob Herbert and Jacob Albright.
Zach Johnson of Paola has the top long jump mark, 22’7”, in 4A this season. The Panthers have two other 21-foot plus long jumps and the top triple jumper in the regional in Justin Dumars.
Iola has Ethan Fulton, the SEK champion, competing in the long jump along with Aaron Fulton, who was third at the league.
Seth Browning of Iola will try to lead the Mustang 4×800-meter relay team to a top four finish to qualify for state. Others on the relay are Ryan Weir, Aaron Cheung and Christian Kauth.
Fort Scott has the state’s top high jump in Griffin Knopp. Osawatomie had the top 800 and 1600 meter runner in Brandon Soucie. Jameson Greenwood of Osawatomie is the defending 4A 300-meter intermediate hurdler.
“Most of the boys’ teams have one or two outstanding athletes to watch for,” Smith said.
DON’T OVERLOOK the girls in the 4A regional.
First is the defending state champion in both the shot put and discus — senior Kearsten Peoples. Peoples, Ottawa, leads the entire state in both events this season at 50 feet in the shot and 160 feet in the discus.
“That’s 10 feet better in shot and 30 feet better in the discus than anyone else in the regional,” Smith said.
Paola brings in Hillary Watrous as a contender in the shot put and discus.
Iola High’s Fillies have the defending 4A regional pole vault champion in Maggie Wilson. Unfortunately, a practice session accident a couple of days before the 2009 state track meet kept Wilson from competing at state.
Wilson set a new IHS record this season going 11’6”. Wilson is also on the Fillies’ SEK champion 4×100-meter relay team. Others on the team are Jazmyne Honeycutt, Kelsey Larson and Kendra Taiclet.
Iola’s 4×100 qualified for the state last year. Smith said the Fillies have a good chance to do so again this year.
Larson is one of the top 400 and 200 meter runners in the regional. She qualified for state in the 400 last year.
Iola’s Kirstin McGuffin is out to spear a second trip to state in the javelin. Chanute has Ali Alyward in the javelin and discus plus Labette’s Karlee Lehman and Fort Scott’s Megan McDermed are in the javelin field.
Parsons’ Maree Cares, who missed last week’s SEK meet because of illness, brings in the best 100-meter dash time in 4A this season, 15.10 seconds. She competes in the 200 and both hurdle races.
Girard had a top jumper in Morgan Boore in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. Louisburg’s Collenan O’Brien has the top 4A mark in the high jump this year at 5’5”. Brooke Sharp and Darian Rubow, both of Chanute, will contend in the high jump.
Iola’s Katlyn Cleaver will be competing for a qualifying spot in the shot put and discus. McGuffin is in the discus field as well.
Coffeyville’s Laurne Thompson was third at state last year in the 400 meters. Girard has Hayden Hurlocker, a strong 800-meter runner, and Michaela Bauer in the 3200-meter run.
Labette County, Chanute and Girard have strong 4×400-meter relay teams.
“Louisburg, Chanute and Iola are top teams in the girls’ field,” Smith said.
“This is just going to be a very quality regional.”
Smith said when Iola decided to go ahead and host the regional, already knowing it had to call on volunteers a week before for the SEK meet, he really wasn’t too worried.
“Our people responded so well in helping. It’s tough to do two big meets almost back-to-back like this. We had former track people and coaches volunteer. It’s been great.”