Regional track and field roundup: Benson eclipses 25 feet in long jump
Two of four Class 5A track and field regional meets were held Thursday with Leavenworth and Lansing competing at the Mill Valley regional. The two local programs earned top-five team finishes on both the men’s and women’s side while qualifying 37 individuals for state.
The Lion women took fourth (63 points) while the men were in third (78 points). Leavenworth’s women took second place (82 points) and the men finished in fourth (75 points).
Lansing senior Malik Benson stole the show with state qualifications in the 100- and 200-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay and long jump. He already owned the best jump in the state but added 3.75 inches Thursday to eclipse 25 feet.
Here are the state qualifiers from the Mill Valley 5A regional meet:
Benson took second place to Shawnee Heights’ Jeremiah Smith with a time of 10.97 seconds.
Leavenworth’s Wynter Ramos took the top spot with a time of 12.29 seconds. Dhakiya Blake came in second (12.36 seconds), followed by Lansing’s Zayliah Bronson (12.65 seconds) and Aleshia Jones (12.72 seconds).
Benson bounced back and won the regional title with a time of 21.67 seconds to beat Smith. Leavenworth’s Nathan Waugh qualified for state in third place with a time of 22.67 seconds.
Ramos (25.42 seconds) and Blake (26.03 seconds) took the top two spots again followed by Lansing’s Jessi Ritchart in third (26.31 seconds).
The Pioneers got two state qualifiers as Michael Mejia (52 seconds) took second and Tyrique Wilcox (52.46 seconds) came in third. Lansing’s Jack Steger qualified for state in fourth place with a time of 52.54 seconds.
Blake qualified for her third individual event with a second-place finish (57.69 seconds) followed by Ritchart in third (59.05 seconds).
Leavenworth’s Jeremiah Walltower notched a second-place finish with a time of 15.34 seconds.
Lansing’s team of Zayliah Bronson, Zy’Quiria Bronson, McKenzie Hayse and Ritchart won the event with a time of 48.29 seconds. Leavenworth followed in second as the team of Jones, Blake, Courtney Thompson and Ramos finished in 48.89 seconds.
On the men’s side, the Lions continued their run as the best team in the state as Bryson Raymond, Benson, Hunner Nelson and Ian Patton won the regional title with a time of 42.37 seconds.
The Pioneers won the regional title as Ramos, Brandi Gardner, Jones and Blake finished with a time of 4:04.37.
Leavenworth’s men’s team also qualified for state as Wilcox, Waugh, Casen Reed and Mejia took second place with a time of 3:26.24.
Lansing qualified with a third-place finish as the team of Sophia Mosher, Allison Muzzy, Kamryn Farris and Anya Anderson ran a time of 10:29.65. The Lions’ men’s team also took third place as Niklas Schintgen, Kenneth Howell, Austin Howell and Steger ran a time of 8:29.02.
Leavenworth’s Genesis Bethea came in second place followed by Lansing’s Richie Patrick in third with equal jumps of 6 feet, 2 inches.
Benson's jump came out to 25 feet, 2.25-inches, nearly two feet further than second place to win the regional title.
Gardner won the regional title with a jump of 33 feet, 2.75 inches, while Lansing’s Dayven Dodd took fourth (32 feet, 3.5 inches).
Leavenworth’s Isaac Ativie qualified for state with a fourth-place finish, jumping 40 feet, 11 inches.
Reece Baker came in second place for Lansing with a jump of 10 feet, 6 inches to qualify for state.
Lansing got two state qualifiers as Jamale Williams (137 feet, 8 inches) took second and Caden Crawford (120 feet, 4 inches) came in third.
Lansing got another regional title winner as Grayce Martin notched a throw of 37 feet, 11.5 inches to qualify for state.
On the men’s side, Leavenworth had the top two finishers in Michael Harris (49 feet, 4 inches) and Alijandro Griese (48 feet, 11 inches), followed by Lansing’s Logan Buffo in third (47 feet, 7 inches).