Regionals this week with the State Meet next week

As the school year winds down, post season begins this week for Track and Field teams. Yesterday, Rural Vista and Solomon were scheduled to run at Burlington. Abilene and Chapman travel to Buhler today for the Class 4A Regional while Herington runs at Valley Heights’ 2A Regional.

Heading to Buhler, the Cowboys and the Irish will see competition from Buhler, Clay Center, Concordia, McPherson, Nickerson, Pratt and Ulysses. Abilene and Chapman have seen Clay Center and Concordia most recently at the NCKL League Meet in Clay Center. Wamego travels to the Class 4A Regional at Tonganoxie.

Abilene head coach Brad Nicks is looking for his seniors that will graduate Sunday afternoon to lead the Cowboys and Cowgirls squads at Buhler. Senior Bailey Rock could be a contender at 800M for the Cowgirls while freshman Eden Bathurst will look for qualifying times in 1600M and 3200M.

“We have a great group of really young kids this year,” Nicks said. “They have worked really, really hard this year. Our seniors like Bailey Rock have really helped us kind of get through most meets but the young kids are coming on strong for us.”

The Cowgirls relay teams on both 4x400m and 4x800m have top times amongst the competitors headed into Buhler. The competition for the top four places will be extremely close.

“Both our 4x400’s and 4x800’s did well at the NCKL meet,” Nicks said. “We set some PR’s at the league meet and our 4x100’s did okay but we need to work on some handoffs to get better there. I think that’s where we are really strong right now is in our relays. We may not have some of the top runners around but we have been able to put four kids together and make a really good relay team. The kids take pride in that. Competiveness drives success and our kids really compete in practice to be on the relay teams.”

The Cowboys will look for junior Lucas DeDonder and sophomore Grant Waite to continue their successes from the NCKL meet. DeDonder had a personal record time in 200M to win the race, as did Waite in 800M. Sophomore Triston Cottone could find his way into the top four as well in 800M.

The Cowboy 4x400m Relay team has one of the best times of the teams headed to Buhler with Chapman and McPherson close behind that time. Buhler has the best time at 4x800m but Abilene posted a good time at the NCKL meet.

Senior Caleb Burt may be Abilene’s best shot at qualifying as a jumper while freshman Judah Bowell-Armstrong could see a good finish in hurdles.

The Chapman Lady Irish are coming off winning the NCKL team title and will rely on senior Taylor Briggs to qualify in both 1600M and 3200M as she is the three-time defending State Champion in both events. Briggs has won every meet this year that she ran. Chapman coach Steve Simpson will also look for Maya Kirkpatrick to do well in both 100m Hurdles and 300m Hurdles. Kirkpatrick won the league competition in 300m and was second in 100m.

Kirkpatrick should also do well in Long Jump and Triple Jump. Sophie Cavanaugh is working for a Regional Championship in high jump while Macy Bliss and Marie Meuli look to qualify in Shot Put and Discus. Cavanaugh is expected to well in javelin as well.

Chapman’s 4x100m Relay and 4x400m Relay teams should also push to be in the top four qualifiers.

In boys’ competition, senior Trevor Erickson should run both 100M and 200M and be strong at 110m Hurdles and 300m Hurdles. Simpson will look for senior Eli Winder to be in the top 200M and 400M runners. Winder could also be one of the regional top jumpers in long jump and triple jump.

Field events have helped the Irish with team points at meets this year. Simpson looks for seniors Aidan Pruente and Jon Jenkins to have good days

Buhler has one of the top sprinters in Class 4A in junior Cameron Campbell. He set a PR time of 11.12 in 100M at the Salina Central Invitational while Tanner Lindahl will be strong in 1600M and 3200M for the host school.

The top four individuals and top four relay placers advance to the 2021 KSHSAA State Track Meet next week in Wichita. The event has been changed to a single day event for Class 3A and 4A on Friday. Class 6A and 5A kick things off on Thursday with the two smaller classes 2A and 1A finishing on Saturday at Cessna Stadium on the campus of Wichita State University.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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