MHS girls, boys win regional track titles

By Joel Jellison

The Manhattan High track teams qualified for 14 boys’ events and 13 girls’ events for next week’s state track meet, winning both regional titles on Friday at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka.

The girls’ team dominated with 144 team points, while Derby was second with 98 and Wichita East scored 72.5 for third. The boys’ team had 125 points, while Wichita Southeast was second with 93 and Topeka High had 79.

MHS coach Jesse Woodard said the teams were very excited to bring home another pair of regional titles.

“They were pretty pumped,” he said. “We had two buses full on the way there and two on the way back and some nice photos with the regional trophy, so the kids were fired up.”

Alaina Schroeder and Megan Ochoa opened up with a second and third-place finish in the 3,200-meter run, qualifying both for state. ReJoyce Bryant made it with a second-place finish in the 100 hurdles.

The 4x800 relay of Emilie Liebe, Jessica Smith, Caitlyn Heldt and Rachel Beach finished first with a time of 10:08.41. They are seeded sixth for the state meet next week in Wichita.

Schroeder was second in the 1,600 with Ochoa just missing a state time in fifth. The 4x100 relay of Bryant, Hannah Miller, Danielle Edwards and Tarian Reeves scored points with a seventh-place finish. Bryant was third in the 300 hurdles.

Liebe took first in the 800 with a time of 2:20.21, while Schroeder was second and Heldt just missed the state cut in fifth.

Woodard said Schroeder looked tired in her first attempt at running all three races, and the state tournament format will favor her.

“It was the first time we tripled up Alaina — 800, 1,600 and 3,200 — and she got second in all of them, but I think she was tired by the end and she didn’t quite put in the effort on the mile that she could have,” he said. “But next week is different because the 3,200 is Friday and the other two are on Saturday, so she will be fine.”

Mari Jo Massanet opened up the field events with a first-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 40-06, while Kaylee Kipp was third and Stephanie Shanower just missed in fifth.

Massanet was first in the discus with a throw of 131-07, while Kylie James was fourth. Shanower finished eighth and missed state in both of her events, but Woodard said she just missed with a throw that was eventually eliminated.

“I was hoping to get three in the girls’ discus, and unfortunately Stephanie Shanower didn’t make the finals,” he said. “They started to take eight into the finals and she had a throw that would have put her in second, but that throw didn’t count.”

Sarah Tatarko finished second in the high jump, while Reeves was third in the long jump and Tia Cooke was fourth. Cooke was third in the triple jump.

Woodard said he was glad to see the long jump get two in.

“I was happy for girls’ long jump and Tarian Reeves jumping a PR to make it and freshman Tia Cooke getting in,” he said.

Jessie Kujawa made it in javelin with a second-place finish, and Kassidy Scroggs was fourth. Taylor Smith qualified in the pole vault, while Ashlynn Kleinbeck just missed in fifth.

On the boys’ side, Chris Melgares opened with a third place-finish in the 3,200, while Michael Melgares scored points in seventh, but didn’t qualify for state.

Ben Bolton finished first in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.78, nearly a second faster than second place. Colt Skidmore finished in seventh. Bolton is seeded second for the state meet.

The 4x800 relay of Warren Scipio, Evan Williams, Chris Davis and Chris Martin took first with a time of 8:26.44. Chris Melgares was fourth in the 1,600 to qualify for state, while James Leblow just missed in fifth.

The 4x100 relay of Logan Mahn, Patrick Guvele, Tony Daniels and Deante Burton finished sixth. Burton qualified in the 400 dash with a fourth-place finish.

Skidmore was a surprise in the 300 hurdles, running his best time all year at 41.37 to win the event. Bolton finished in fourth. A few events later, the 4x400 of Tevin Jenkins, Terrance Jenkins, Martin and Daniels finished fourth.

Woodard was glad to see both the performances in both events.

“Colt Skidmore winning the 300 with a season best was great, I’m happy for him, he did well,” he said. “And I’m really happy for the boys’ 4x400 — Chris Martin, a freshman, Tony Daniels, a junior, and the twins Terrance and Tevin Jenkins — they all work hard and I’m happy for them.”

Scipio missed the state cut with a sixth-place finish in the 800 run.

Terrale Johnson opened the field events with a win in the shot put at a distance of 49-05.5, while Ben Stegeman was third. Brandon Nowlin was third in discus, and Woodard said Chris Boydston seemed to sneak in with a fourth-place finish.

Mahan won the long jump with a distance of 22-05.25, while Ben Tredway jumped a season best, but just missed state in fifth. Sam Livsey was seventh.

“I was a little sad for senior Ben Tredway to miss making it in the boys’ long jump,” Woodard said. “He had a PR by a foot and then lost out on a kid’s last jump.”

Jacob Holloway was third in the javelin, while Ryan McHenry and Darian Taylor finished sixth and seventh. Mahan was third in the triple jump, while Livsey just missed state in fifth. Kyle Parker finished second in the pole vault.

The state meet will begin on Friday in Wichita and go through Saturday evening.

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