Leavenworth, Lansing teams excel
*Photos later tonight
It was status quo for Aarika Lister and three of four Leavenworth County, 5A track teams recorded top 11 finishes at the state finals at Wichita State University on Saturday.
The sophomore Leavenworth Pioneer, Lister, defended her 100 (11.98) and 200-meter (24.64) runs in dominant fashion and her team finished 8th (36 points) in Class 5A while the boys’ team finished in 6th place with 34 points and the Lansing boys ended the day in a four-way tie for 11th place with 23 points.
The Lansing girls ended up in 14th place with 20 points on what was a day of odd finals, a compressed schedule and a lot of sun on a day ruled by the previous afternoon’s storms that postponed half of the event.
Lister cruised to win by nearly a half-second in the 100 and a full second in the 200. She did so in the 100-meters despite an odd switch up to the direction of the run and a number of sprinters complaining of a lack of finish line they could actually see.
"I felt nervous and excited (in the 100) and I knew I was running against some really talented athletes," Lister said. "Overall, I am grateful that I was able to finish with a win.
"(In the 200) Anytime an athlete can P.R in an event it is a great accomplishment. My goal for when I run is to better my time, and I was able to succeed in doing so in the 200. With that being said, I am happy with my performance in achieving this goal and taking first place.
An unnamed official said they told the competitors to look down at “the safety cones.”
Sophomore Raven Gooden Palmer finished fifth in the 200 (26.34) and seventh in the 100 (12.9) while she and Lister teamed with sophomore Kalliauana Powers and freshman Jailah Bowen to finished second in the 4x100 relay (48.87).
"I felt that we did very good and I am very proud of all of us," Lister said of the relay result. "Even though we didn't take first place, just making it to the finals and taking second is such an accomplishment for us. We also set a personal record so I am very happy with the outcome and so are the girls."
The Lansing girls got a top performance by junior Victoria Robinson who finished second in the 800-meter run (2:17.45) and fourth in the mile (5:18.22).
Regan Gatson scored a fifth-place finish in the 400 for the Lions (1:00.12) and Destini Mathis leapt to a seventh-place holding in the long jump (15-07.25).
"I feel my sophomore year of track has been more than I expected it to be," Gatson said. "With God it's been amazing. My race? I feel like I improve every time I go out there and that's a blessing.
"My team, I honestly believe, that no matter what they do, they give 110 percent and they just don't give up. We continue to improve and I can't wait to see how we do."
Robinson, Gatson, Sara LaMoe and Miranda Karpierez teamed up to finished eighth in the 4x400 relay at 4:16.58.
Leavenworth’s boys repeated in the 4x100 relay despite returning only Clifford Robinson from the 2015 titlists. The junior Pioneer teamed with Adrian Perez, Anthony Gould and Drew Sachen (42.35) to edge out Kansas City Schlagle who denied Leavenworth County of a 1-2 sweep.
"We practice hard all the time and we knew we had some shoes to replace," Robinson said. "We knew we could do it. Anthony, a freshman...Drew coming in after not running last year...we had this. We went out there and got it.
"This is even more satisfying this year. We had a whole new team, I lost three seniors. We replaced them all and we won it. We're happy. Towards the end of the season we put Perez in (for the lead leg), and he took it away. He made up the stagger amazingly."
Lansing’s boys finished third with Henry Myrick, Jalen Douglas, Justin Green and Steve Ray combining for a rock solid, 42.74 run.
"I feel good about the time, it wasn't too bad," Ray said. "I am happy they won. That means Leavenworth County got a title, that's good.
"This has been a long weekend. Everything's been extended since things were delayed, but it's been a good weekend. I placed in everything."
Robinson added a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter dash (11.35) and a seventh-place medal in the 200-meter run (22.83).
Anthony Powell captured fourth place in the 300-hurdles (39.52), Gould nabbed fifth in the 100-meters (11.41) and Perez left Wichita with an eighth-place showing in the long jump (20-08.50).
"We had a great meet," Leavenworth head coach Willis Wilmeth said. "I was really proud of all of our kids. Finishing sixth and eighth was super. Both 4x100 were great and they were really fun to watch. For us, there were good things going on all over the the stadium
"These finishes were truly a total team effort. I am just proud to be their coach and looking to improve next year."
Ray added a fourth-place result in the 200 (22.75) and a sixth-place wrap in the long jump (20-09) to lead the Lions.
The Lions’ 4x400-relay (Myrick, Ray, Keyur Patel and Douglas) finished fifth at 3:24.55.
Myrick added an eighth-place finish in the 100 (11.48).
"I thought we maxed it out at state," Lansing head coach Brian Malm said. "We had a few freshmen hiccups. Something that you do your best to try and prepare for, but until they experience it firsthand they are never really prepared. Our veterans, however, had a great weekend. We have set the table for next year to have two top 10 teams.
"We had two standout performances of the night for us among all of our events."
Malm noted the performance of Robinson and the 4x400 boys' relay performances as some of the highlights for his team.
Pleasant Ridge’s boys finished with five points on the day.
Jagar Haack finished fifth in the Shot Put (47-04.50) to score four of Pleasant Ridge’s five points.
Fellow Ram, Gabe Younger finished eighth in the 400-meter run at 51.40.
Junior Immaculata Raider Jordan Sachse wrapped up her two days in Wichita with a 13th place finish in the triple jump (32-02.50).
It wrapped two days at the finals and valuable experience in both the triple and long jumps with one year left to go in her career.
"It feels great, I have been working towards getting to state this last year, it was my goal to get to state," Sasche said. "I could have done better, but I am excited to work for next year."
Sasche benefited from working out this past week with the Leavenworth High team.
"They have some really good coaches over there and they gave me some really nice tips and that helped a lot," Sasche said. "My freshman year - (Leavenworth's) high jump coach - she was the track coach at IMAC. I talked to her and she let me go practice with them."