Special Reflections of the 2017 KSHSAA Track & Field Champs

Cessna Stadium, Wichita State University, Wichita
May 26-27, 2017

I’ve been covering the KSHSAA Track and Field State Championships for some time. Each year, I’m amazed how much the track meet grows, this year’s crowd 20,000 spectators.  The ability of KSHSAA to provide one event to showcase over 3,000 student-athletes from 6 classifications at one venue, truly remarkable. Some of this year’s most memorable moments though went beyond on track performances.

Andele Times Two

Both the boys and girls teams from Andale High School captured team titles in Class 4A in 2017. The emotional moments were provided by the daddy and daughter combination of Head Coach Greg Smarsh and his talented Abby. After finishing second to Baldwin High School for a number of years, Abby Baldwin won the girls 300 meter hurdles to help lead the Indian girls to their first team title in more than two decades. Meanwhile, the boy’s squad captured the Class 4A team title for the fourth time in the last five years. Andale’s double dip marked the first time a program had swept the team title in Class 4A since Buhler did it in 2004.

True to his Legacy

What track and field fan can’t wonder about what Olpe’s Kyler True might be capable of during his upcoming career at Oklahoma State? It is worth noting that the Class 1A stand-out was far and away the star attraction of the meet despite his coming from a school in the state’s smallest enrollment classification. At six-foot and 140 pounds, his smooth running style was impressive. He grabbed the attention of those in attendance who certainly have reason to earmark him as one of the best to ever perform in Wichita, and maybe someone they could see on the national scene someday. His 1600-meter run set a meet record 4:07.17 that shattered the previous mark, and figures to hold up for years. Nationally, it ranked as the eighth best performance among the preps. His 9:12.51 set another Kansas State High School Meet record at 3200 meters, shattering the old mark by over 13 seconds. It is also worth taking into account that True is the whole package. His devotion to his Olpe community through charity work, his placement on the school’s student council, as well as his 4.0 GPA makes him a model student athlete that all Kansans can be proud of.  In other words, True had raced to glory long before his appearance at the 2017 Kansas State Meet. True finishes his high school career with 11 State Championships in cross country and track and field.

Birthday Girl

Pittsburg High School’s Taylor celebrated her 18th birthday in grand fashion as she won both the 100 and 300 meter hurdles for the second straight year. Her 100 meter hurdle time was 14.63, which was 0.2 seconds better than her previous time. Her 300 meter winning time was just a click better than St. James Academy’s Celeste Buchanan by 14 one-hundredths of a second. It was a thrilling moment for the fans at Cessna Stadium in what was Taylor’s last track and field performance of her career.

Logue a Load

Girard’s Cailie Logue runs in a machine-like fashion. Her piston pumping arm and leg movement would wipe the pink off the marketing bunny of a famous battery icon in a drum beating contest any day of the week. She set two Class 4A meet records by winning the 3200 meter run in 10:28.8 and then followed that up with a thrilling victory in the 800 at 2:12.27. That winning time beat the state meet record held by, who else but Logue, who had set the mark at 2:13.08 just the previous season. Logue wrapped up her decorated career with a victory in the 1600 at 5:04.31, which beat the rest of the field by some 10 seconds.

Rail on Railers

Newton High School’s girls track team totaled an eyebrow raising 84 points in dominating the Class 5A competition. Jennifer Andres ended up as a four time medalist in the 100, 200, 4×100 meter relay and 4×400 meter relay. Savannah Simmons won gold in the 200. It certainly didn’t escape anyone’s attention that Newton High is in prime position to repeat their championship next season. Though Andres graduated following a stellar senior year, fellow juniors Taylor Antonowich and Simmons return, along with sophomore Kalli Anderson. The trio made up three-quarters of the Class 5A state meet record setting, gold medal winning, 4×100 meter relay team.

Fastest Man in Kansas

It has been a well chronicled fact that Wichita South sprinter Philip Landrum has been inspired by, and is an inspiration for, his mother Dorothy, who is battling cancer. Landrum earned the title as the “Fastest Man in Kansas” in front of his mother and a raucous state track meet crowd. He won the 100 in 10.65, and then followed it up with a blazing 21.73 in the 200. But the show stopper came when Landrum received the baton in the 4×100 in fifth place and crushed the field in lifting the South squad to a stunning relay win.

Nearly Doubled Down on Greenbacks

Winning twice can be difficult, especially in relays, and especially on a long, hot day. The Pratt High School Greenback girls’ 4×100 meter team was crowned as Class 4A state champions. The squad of Nicole Reichenberger, Stephanie Reichenberger, Brooklyn Bourgeois, and Halle Helfriech gunned a 49.58. That left an optimistic reason to believe they could do it in again the 4×400 meter relay. And, Pratt almost did. In one of the final events of the two day competition, Nicole Reichenberger, Stephanie Reichenberger, Helfriech, and Vanessa Leckner battled an entertaining race with Baldwin, coming up with silver in a time of 4:06.55.

See more from these championships in our playlist below containing 50 videos. Unfortunately a few races were not captured due to a power outage during production.