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Five Storylines to Watch for at Boys State Track


By Brad Hallier


WICHITA, Kan. – State track weekend often has one of three weather options.

  1. Searing heat with high temps in the mid-90s.
  2. Overcast and windy, with high temps in the upper 60s.
  3. Thunderstorms that cause hours upon hours of delays.

It’s almost hard to fathom, but the state track weather forecast is glorious. The days will start in the lower 60s and highs peak in the lower 80s with a moderate breeze.

If you’re attending state track for the first time, consider yourself lucky, because it’s rarely like that.

Here are five other storylines to watch for for the boys half of state track.

Is football even Andale’s best sport?

Andale is in the midst of what may become the best football dynasty in Kansas State High School Activities Association history. The Indians have won four straight state titles and have had four straight undefeated seasons.

In track? Andale has won six state titles in the last nine seasons, and it appears that the Indians are well on track to make that seven out of 10.

Andale cruised to a Class 4A regional championship and qualified a whopping 24 entries for state. What Andale will do is collect points in tons of events. One point here, five points from two athletes there, etc. The field events especially should be point collectors. Senior Jackson Kraus and sophomore Cooper Marx are seeded first and third, respectively, in the shot put. Senior Riley Marx, Kraus and Cooper Marx are seeded third, fifth and sixth in the discus. Riley Marx, senior Jonah Meyer and Cooper Marx are seeded first, second and sixth in the pole vault. If those three events match their seed at state, that’s already 50 points.

Depth is often the most important part of track team standings, especially within the larger classes.

Garden Plain’s depth vs. Inman’s and Moundridge’s star power in 2A

Last year’s Class 2A boys team race was incredible. Moundridge won with 58 points, followed by Garden Plain’s 56 points and Inman’s 53.

This year’s race might be just as tight. Garden Plain qualified 14 entries for state, so the Owls have depth. They also have senior Luke Hillman, the heavy favorite to win the shot put, and Noah McGregor, the top seed in the triple jump.

Inman will counter with junior Tanner Heckel, the top seed in the long jump, second seed in the triple jump and third seed in the javelin. Eli Brunk should bring home a couple medals in the hurdles.

Moundridge’s talent is in the relays, where the Wildcats are the top seed in the 400-meter relay. Senior Logan Churchill is the top seed in the 400.

All three teams are among the seven seeds in the 1,600-meter relay. What a finish we could be in for.

Trinity Catholic’s Godina looks to finish high school career in style

Jonah Godina, a senior at Trinity Catholic, has had a tremendous high school career. He’s been one of the area’s best long-distance runners these last few years. Before he heads off to the University of St. Mary in the fall, he has a chance to finish his high school career in style.

Godina will compete in three events at state, and he’s Class 2A’s top seed in the 1,600 by nearly three seconds. He will also compete with Trinity’s 3,200 relay team, which is seeded third. He’s also seeded sixth in the 800.

Buhler’s underrated team taking a sizeable roster to state

Buhler won’t likely compete with Andale for the Class 4A state title, but the Crusaders did qualify a dozen entries for state.

Junior Tavian Gilliam is the top seed in the triple jump after he went 43 feet, 9 inches at regionals, and it’s one of three events Gilliam qualified in.

Junior Layne Whisler is the top seed in the 1,600 by nearly five seconds after he finished in a time of 4:30.81 at regionals.

Smoky Valley’s relay teams shine

Although Smoky Valley qualified just five entries for state, the Vikings could rack up some points, especially in the relays.

Smoky Valley’s 3,200-meter relay team is seeded No. 1 by more than eight seconds, and the 1,600 relay is the top seed as well in what should be a tight, competitive race, as the top five teams posted regional times within 3.5 seconds of each other.