With the calendar shift to May, the track and field season shifts gears as athletes begin to prepare for the most important meets of the season.
The big three, the most important meets of the year with league, regionals and state in three consecutive weeks, starts next weekend. That leaves one final meet for the regular season, as teams take the chance to rest and prepare for the month ahead.
Manhattan got the chance to run some of its younger athletes Friday at Salina, while giving its top athletes the chance to rest or run other events. The MHS girls’ team took second place overall, while the boys’ team was third.
“A few kids had some nagging injuries so we didn’t want them to do too much,” MHS coach Jesse Woodard said. “Also, we let some of the distance kids do some different things before the big three, league, regional and state.”
Manhattan won six events, with the girls’ Kaylee Kipp winning the shot put (38-2 1/2) and Stephanie Shanower winning the discus (117-5). Kylie James took second (116-5). Alaina Schroeder won the 3,200 meters (11:24.88), with Emily Van Natta taking second (12:29.14).
The Manhattan boys’ team won only one individual event on the day, with Chris Melgares winning the 1,600 meter (4:32.98).
Manhattan also won the girls’ 4x800 relay and the boys’ 4x100 relay.
The Indians also got solid performances from some of its younger athletes.
In the girls’ high jump, Matty Mahan took fourth place, matching the height of third-place finisher Caityln Billinger of Hays with a 4-foot-6 jump.
Isaiah Koppes took third in the 3,200 meters (10:14.36), while Molly Bollman (5:56.81) and Krista Burton (5:59.38) took third and fourth in the girls’ 1,600 meter.
Jacob Carlson took third in the boys’ pole vault (11-0), while Jacob Harden (42-9 1/2) and Sam Livsey (42-4 1/2) took third and fourth in the boys’ triple jump.
ReJoyce Bryant took third in the 100-meter hurdles (16.51) and third in the 200 meter (27.73).
Brandon Nowlin took fourth in the boys’ discus (132-0).
“It was an OK night,” Woodard said. “Not our best night of the year, but still, we had some good things happen.”
The Indians now have a week to prepare for the Centennial League meet on Friday.