Local athletes poised for big performances at state track and field

Jason Brown
The Leavenworth Times

The Class 5A track and field meet is scheduled to begin Thursday and will be available to a wide audience with every event set to be broadcasted by the NFHS Network as well as Spectrum Sports.

There will be over 50 local athletes from Basehor-Linwood, Leavenworth and Lansing competing at the event with many of them ranked in the top-3 of their events. 

Here are some storylines to watch as the full day of action unfolds Thursday at Cessna Stadium in Wichita:

Shown are Lansing's Zayliah and Zy'Quiria Bronson as well as Leavenworth's Dhakiya Blake, Wynter Ramos and Aleshia Jones competing in the 100-meter dash.

Leavenworth, Lansing sprinters could crowd podiums

Leavenworth’s Wynter Ramos enters the 100-meter dash with the fourth-best time and will run in the same heat as teammates Dhakiya Blake and Aleshia Jones. Lansing’s Zayliah Bronson will run in the first heat with the top two times from each heat and next four overall advancing to the finals. Blake, Ramos and Lansing’s Jessi Ritchart will all run in the second heat of the 200-meter dash. 

Shown is Lansing senior Malik Benson (right) and Leavenworth's Nathan Waugh (middle) competing in the 200-meter dash at the regional meet Thursday at Mill Valley.

Lansing senior Malik Benson has the fifth-best 100-meter dash time and the best 200-meter dash time – marking the only qualifier to run the event in under 22 seconds. 

Shown are Lansing High School's men's and women's 4x800-meter relay teams following their state qualifications Thursday.

Relay teams well represented

Benson and his teammates Bryson Raymond, Hunner Nelson and Ian Patton comprise the state’s best 4x100-meter relay team this season with a time of 42.37 seconds.

On the women’s side, Lansing (Zayliah Bronson, Zy’Quiria Bronson, McKenzie Hayse and Jessi Ritchart) and Leavenworth (Ramos, Jones, Brandi Garder and Courtney Thompson) are slated to run side-by-side in the second section. 

Lansing is also bringing both its men’s (Kenneth Howell, Austin Howell, Niklas Schintgen and Jack Steger) and women’s (Sophia Mosher, Allison Muzzy, Kamryn Farris and Anya Anderson) 4x800-meter relay teams. Basehor-Linwood qualified its women’s 4x800 team as well with Aliyiah Shirley, Kodi Greer, Emma Johnson and Alexys Augustine. 

Field events loaded

Benson owns the best long jump in the entire state and is the only athlete to eclipse 24 feet this season. He went even further at the regional meet Thursday, posting a 25-foot, 2.25-inch jump that is the fourth-best in state history. He has a near two-foot advantage over the second-seeded jumper and should find himself on the medal stand. 

Lansing junior Reece Baker is tied for the third-best pole vault in 5A coming into the meet and will have a chance to best her current school record of 10 feet, 6 inches. 

Shown is Lansing junior Reece Baker competing in the pole vault event for the track and field team.

Basehor sophomore Brenna Lynn is the second seed in the javelin and will attempt to close a near five-foot gap to top-seeded Sophia Gimino (Wichita-Kapaun).

Leavenworth’s Michael Harris owns the third-best shot put in 5A and is joined by teammate Alijandro Greise and Lansing’s Logan Buffo.

Lansing’s Grayce Martin enters with the second-best shot put mark and is less than an inch behind top-seeded Taryn Warren (Great Bend).

Basehor’s Jenna Zydlo is in a tie for the second-best mark in the high jump and trails the top mark by two inches. Olivia Vanderweide enters with the fourth-best mark in the discus. 

The men’s high jump will boast three local competitors in Basehor’s Tyson Ruud and Trevor McBride, as well as Leavenworth’s Genesis Bethea.