Leavenworth sprinting duo doesn’t disappoint at state meet
Dhakiya Blake and Wynter Ramos were on their game Thursday at the Class 5A state track and field meet at Cessna Stadium in Wichita as the Leavenworth duo took home gold medals in the 100- and 400-meter dash.
Ramos won the 100 while Blake dominated the 400 as they also racked up a handful of second- and third-place finishes in their other events. Blake – the 2019 400-meter dash champion – likely would have been a three-time champion had last season not been canceled.
“It’s great, it’s so amazing to be here,” Blake said in an interview with Sports in Kansas following her win.
The Pioneers got another state champion as Michael Harris won the shot put and a slew of other podium finishers.
Lansing took home the state championship in the 4x100-meter dash as the team of Zayliah Bronson, McKenzie Hayse, Zy’Quiria Bronson and Jessi Ritchart won with ease by nearly a second.
Leavenworth was the top team finisher of the local schools on the women’s side with a fourth-place finish, scoring 40 points. The Pioneer men took 10th place with 24.5 points.
One of the bigger stories of the day was the absence of Lansing senior Malik Benson due to unknown circumstances. Benson was the favorite to win the 200-meter dash, long jump and 4x100-meter relay with Bryson Raymond, Hunner Nelson and Ian Patton, who also did not compete. The loss cost the Lansing men the majority of their expected points on the day.
The meet was scheduled to begin with field events at 8 a.m. but a four-hour weather delayed compacted the schedule, forcing field and running events to be completed simultaneously.
Another hurdle for competitors was the altered schedule of the meet that forced competition to be completed in one day – opposed to the normal two-day meet. The change didn’t have any obvious detriments but it became clear throughout the day many athletes competing in four events – including preliminary heats – had started to wear down. KSHSAA announced prior to the meet that the competition would return to its normal format next season.
Here are the results from the Class 5A state meet:
Lansing’s Zayliah Bronson took fourth (12.51 seconds) in the first heat while Ramos and Blake came in second (12.20 seconds) and third (12.21 seconds) in the second heat. In the finals, Ramos won with a time of 12.06 seconds, followed by Blake in third (12.15 seconds) and Bronson in sixth (12.38 seconds).
Ramos narrowly captured the top spot in the preliminary race but was bested in the finals by Blue Valley Southwest’s Emily Ervin in the finals. Her second-place finish came in 24.96 seconds. Blake took third in the finals with a time of 25.33 seconds.
On the men’s side, Leavenworth’s Nathan Waugh took third place in the finals for bronze with a time of 22.69 seconds.
Blake’s gold medal win came in 56.72 seconds, nearly a second faster than second place.
Ritchart came in fifth with a time of 59.25 seconds.
Leavenworth senior Jeremiah Walltower came in eighth in the finals with a time of 15.40 seconds.
Lansing’s gold medal win came in 48.76 as Ritchart pulled away from Andover Central and Saint Thomas Aquinas on the anchor leg. Leavenworth’s team came into the event with the second-highest seed but a botched second handoff resulted in a disqualification.
Leavenworth’s team of Tyrique Wilcox, Waugh, Casen Reed and Michael Mejia earned the bronze medal with a time of 3:27.17.
Harris’ gold medal win came in upset fashion as he notched a throw of 54 feet, 5.25 inches to down top-seeded William Doolittle (Kapaun). Lansing’s Grayce Martin earned the bronze medal with a throw of 36 feet, 7.5 inches, less than a foot off the top spot. Basehor-Linwood senior Isabel Sibert came in sixth with a throw of 35 feet, 4.75 inches.
Lansing sophomore Jamale Williams made the podium with a throw of 149 feet, 1 inch, to take seventh place.
Basehor’s Olivia Vanderweide came in eighth place with a throw of 109 feet, 7 inches.
Lansing junior Reece Baker came in fifth place, clearing 10 feet, 6 inches.
Sibert notched another sixth-place finish for the Bobcats with a throw of 114 feet, 7 inches.
Basehor freshman Tyson Ruud tied for third place, clearing 6 feet, 2 inches on his first try before failing to clear the next bar. Lansing’s Richie Patrick came in fifth, also clearing 6 feet, 2 inches, but needed an extra attempt. Basehor’s Trevor McBride and Leavenworth’s Genesis Bethea tied for seventh-place, each clearing 6 feet.
On the women’s side, Basehor senior Jenna Zydlo took fifth place with a clearance of 5 feet, 2 inches.