Facing plenty of tough competition, the Manhattan High track and field teams had a solid day at the Seaman Relays Friday afternoon in Topeka.
The boys’ team kept rolling, finishing 40 points ahead of Bishop Carroll with 118 team points, while the girls’ team took sixth place with 45 team points.
Manhattan’s boys once again enjoyed a team win built on depth, as the Indians logged 10 top-three finishes but scored a large number of points with its 18 top-eight finishes, including several personal-best times throughout the day.
With just two weeks before the Centennial League meet and three weeks until regionals, Manhattan head coach likes the progress he’s seen from his team, especially by his busy seniors.
“This is a tough time for seniors, because we’ve got a lot going on with graduation coming up,” he said. “We have regionals two days before graduation, then the whole following week with state where they can relax a little bit.”
Two seniors, distance runners Alaina Schroeder and Chris Melgares, led the way on Friday, finishing well in both the mile and two-mile races while each setting personal-record times in at least one event.
“I’m very pleased with Alaina and Chris,” Woodard said. “Alaina was real close to the school record in the two mile at KU, and she came out here and now she’s real close to the school record in the mile.
“Chris ran a PR in the mile, then came back and won the 3,200 in a tough race.”
For the boys, Manhattan got top finishes in the jumps from Jacob Harden in the long jump (3rd, 20-11) and Sam Livsey in the triple jump (2nd, 44-7 1/2).
“Sam got second by half an inch,” Woodard said. “And Jacob’s getting better. And it was a good long jump day for him. I was pleased.”
In the throws, Brandon Nowlin took third in the discus (153-10), with Colton Wagner taking fifth in the shot put (48-3 1/2) and Josh Haus finishing as the top Manhattan finisher in the javelin throw (157-2).
“I have a couple freshmen javelin throwers who are coming along,” Woodard said. “Josh Haus is coming along and doing well, and improved another four feet or so.”
In the sprints, Tre Daniels took second in the 100-meter dash (11.10), finishing a hundredth behind Emporia’s Cody Campbell. In the 200, Henry Bieber took second (22.70) behind Colin Coleman of Perry-Lecompton.
Chris Martin won the 400 (50.32), running a personal-best time in the process.
Brandon Religa took fourth in the 800 (2:00.03)
In the distance races, Chris Melgares swept, winning the 1,600-meter run (4:20.97) and the 3,200 (9:31.48), while Michael Melgares finished second in the two-mile (9:34.86) on the heels of his brother while improving his top time. Jack Keeley took fourth in the two-mile (9:52.52) to give Manhattan a boost in the team score.
“I’m pleased with Michael, he ran a 13-second PR in the two-mile to get second,” Woodard said. “And Jack Keeley broke 10 minutes for the first time in the two-mile, finished as the top three among 6A finishers.”
Manhattan’s 4x100 relay (Bieber, Daniels, Patrick Guvele, Christian Mack) won, running a state-leading time of 42.66 ahead of Olathe North.
“The boys’ 4x100 finished with a state-leading time and a school record, so that’s moving pretty good,” Woodard said. “We got Christian Mack back, and obviously, that helps, but everybody ran well. Henry’s been pretty consistent in the 200, and leading off the 4x100. We call him Pac-Man, because he catches those guys right away, and that helps out psychologically.”
The Indians’ 4x400 team (Mike Settembrino, Tanavious Richardson, Religa, Martin) ran a 3:22.89 and finished six hundredths behind Perry-Lecompton, which won in 3:22.83. Despite holding one of the top times in the state, Manhattan did not field a 4x800 relay, opting to focus on open events.
On the girls’ side, Manhattan didn’t field as much depth, but got encouraging results from its veterans as well as some freshmen talent.
Leading the way were the Indians’ throwers, with Stephanie Shanower getting back on track in the discus with a third-place finish (139-0), with Kylie James finishing in fifth place (125-5). Shanower took fifth in the shot put (35-4 1/2), with James right behind in sixth (34- 1 1/4).
“I’m pleased with my girls’ discus, especially Stephanie,” Woodard said. “She got things turned around after last week and hit a 139. A couple Lawrence girls are pretty good, so they’ll be tough to catch, but she’s going in the right direction.”
Schroeder led the way on the track, taking second in the mile (5:05.43) and winning the two-mile (11:13.73).
Mikela Robinson made the finals in the 100 (7th, 13.27), while Temetris Johnson did the same in the 200 (7th, 27.36).
“I had one freshman girl make the finals in the 100, and one in the 200,” Woodard said. “So it was a very good day.”
The girls’ 4x100 team (Robinson, Nate’ Simington, Margaret Mankin, Johnson) took fifth place (51.46).
Manhattan travels to Salina next week for a final meet before the big three meets to end the year, starting with Centennial League in Topeka in two weeks.