The Leavenworth girls’ track team finished the year as the state runner-up in 6A.
The Pioneers sat in 12th place before the 200-meter final and jumped up to fourth after Dhakiya Blake took second and Wynter Ramos finished third. After the 4x400, the Pioneers leapfrogged Mill Valley and Olathe Northwest to take second to finish a year that coach Rob Marriott called an “amazing ride.”
“Watching these talented athletes compete with all their heart is very humbling,” Marriott said. “The girls did something at every meet that dropped my jaw.”
The girls’ team won the Kansas Relays, Lansing Invitational and United Kansas Conference meet. The team placed second at state, regionals and the Shawnee Mission North regionals.
“I’d say we had a pretty good year,” he said.
The state meet was the team’s best performance in his eyes. The KU Relays was his pick for second best.
He said Blake’s relay split to win the 4x400 was his favorite memory this season.
“My favorite memory will be Dhakiya Blake running a 55.1 relay split to win state,” he said. “Knowing that the only chance we had to get a trophy was with them winning that race, those girls have ice water running through their veins.”
The coach thought the team did really well dealing with the issues from weather that altered the state meet. The Pioneers also overcame a false start by Blake in the 100. Marriot said the freshman overcame the false start to “dominate” the 400.
He also pointed out the other success the team had in the meet.
“Wynter Ramos proved her worth by grabbing four more state medals to give her eight for her frosh and soph years,” he said. “Maddy Walter-Sherretts grabbed two more state medals to go with the two she earned last year. She was the cornerstone of the 4x800. Lexi Cole and Konya Halle also medaled in the 4x400. Those two were very selfless (at state).”
He said all of the girls competed well for the Pioneers for them to come home with the runner-up trophy. He also said there are some “awesome” parents in Leavenworth for the number of them in the stands in Wichita. He said that was especially remarkable due to the weather.
The weather also made it difficult for traveling to and from the hotel due to the size of Leavenworth’s team at state.
“Having that many people at the stadium made travel to the hotel and back to the track very difficult,” he said. “But the worst part was Saturday night when everyone except the 4x400 went home. We only had four girls to accept the team trophy. But the reality is that the entire team stepped up to earn that trophy. They all should have been on the podium.”
For the best individual track performance this season, the coach pointed out Keshyliah Jackson’s come from behind run in the 4x100 at the relays meet at Seaman.
“She was on fire,” the coach said.
For a field performance, it would be Colbie Fairley’s discus win at state. Marriott said she rose to the occasion and got the team points when they needed it on a big throw.
He said he could not pick one single MVP, instead he said Ramos, Blake, Fairley and Walter-Sherretts would all be in the running. Fairley was also the most improved after the coach said she “rocked” Wichita.
Marriott said the only thing he would have changed is running Blake in fewer races between the KU Relays and state. He said Blake ran fast on tired legs at the end of the year.
With the season over, the Pioneers will send off seniors that the coach said will be missed. The team will also lose Saniyah Hammonds and Psalm Woody. The two sophomores are moving due to military transfers. Marriott said the two will also be missed.
His four picks for MVP will be back next year as cornerstones for sprints, throws and distance.