Indians’ top athletes compete at KU Relays

By Grant Guggisberg

While much of the Manhattan High track and field team competed on Tuesday in Great Bend, the rest of the Indians competed this weekend in Lawrence at the KU Relays.

The meet features all of the standard track events at KSHSAA meets, but it also allows athletes to participate in more unique events against some of the region’s best athletes, with the Indians taking advantage of the opportunity.

Manhattan fielded a boys’ 4x1,600 relay team, a pair of distance medley teams, as well as one athlete in the steeplechase.

On Friday, the boys 4x1,600 team of Jack Keeley (4:33), Isaiah Koppes (4:37), Nick Bandy (4:49) and Josue Alvarado (4:25) took seventh in a time of 18:27.34.

The Indians also competed in the distance medley, with the boys’ squad taking eighth in a time of 10:51.57, and finishing just behind Olathe North as the second-fastest Kansas school. Alvarado ran the 1,200-meter leg (3:27.80), Chris Martin the 400 (51.18), Brandon Religa the 800 (1:59.83) and Keeley the 1,600 (4:37.38), while running the fastest time in MHS history.

In the girls’ distance medley, the team of Mackenzie Gwinner (4:11.43), Taylor Efurd (1:03.48), Rachel Beach (2:36.90) and Megan Ochoa (5:29.45) finished 14th with a total time of 13:21.25, while finishing fourth among Kansas schools.

In Saturday’s boys’ steeplechase, Bandy finished in eighth place with a time of 6:57.68, while finishing fifth among Kansas athletes. Bandy’s mark was also a school record.

Among standard track events, Chris Melgares set a school record in the 3,200-meter run, taking fifth in a time of 9:16.86. He broke the record previously held by Reid Buchanan by nearly eight seconds.

Also in the 3,200, Michael Melgares finished 19th in 9:47.01.

In the 400, Martin barely missed out on Saturday’s finals, taking 10th place in a time of 50.53. The top nine times advanced.

Alaina Schroeder took fifth in the 3,200 in a time of 10:55.75, while finishing first among Kansas schools.

In Saturday’s 1,600-meter run, Chris Melgares took seventh in 4:21.50, while Schroeder finished in 10th in a time of 5:13.24. Both finishes were good for first among Kansas athletes.

The 4x800 team of Religa (2:02.38), Keeley (2:06.38), Martin (1:59.44) and Alvarado (2:06.18) took sixth in a total time of 8:14.53, while finishing second among Kansas schools only to St. Thomas Aquinas.

Manhattan hosts the Manhattan Invitational on Friday at Bishop Stadium, beginning at 3 p.m.

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