Beavers qualify all six relays for state

By Rod Haxton, editor

The Scott Community High School track team has always taken a lot of pride in the relays.

That’s been particularly true of the 4x400m and 4x800m. They aren’t just events that the coaching staff tosses athletes into because they can’t do anything else.

It’s competitive.

SCHS thinclads battle for a spot on the relays.

The reason is simple. It’s often times the path to a gold medal at state.

So it’s no surprise that Scott City boys and girls each qualified the 4x400m and 4x800m relays for state. Neither is it a surprise that the Beavers expect to be in the hunt for state championships in the 4x800m.

The SCHS girls have the fourth fastest regional qualifying time heading into this weekend’s Class 3A state meet; the boys have the third fastest. Likewise, the 4x400m relays also expect to find their way onto the awards stand.

As for the 4x100m relay, “that’s a surprise,” admits head coach Jim Turner.

 

“That’s the first time in my 20 years of coaching here that we’ve qualified all six relays,” he says.

The Lady Beavers were the bigger shock with their third place finish in a season best of 52.12. Relay members are Olivia Prieto, Macy Berning, Haley Allen and Paige Winderlin.

It’s the first time the SCHS girls have qualified the 4x100m for state since 1997.

The lack of sprint speed in most seasons has kept Turner from putting a lot of time in the boy’s 4x100m relay as well. But this year, the combination of Cooper Griffith, Jarrett Jurgens, Wyatt Hayes and Wyatt Kropp has had some surprising success, including a season best of 44.85 at regional which was good for a bronze medal.

Turner was especially pleased to see the relay qualify since it was the only event that senior Kropp was able to compete in due to a late season injury.

“Getting him to state was one of the highlights (from regional) given all that Wyatt’s been through this year with the injuries. We weren’t even sure that he’d be able to run at regional, so it was great to get him to state one final time,” Turner says.

“It’s great to win this as a team,” said Kropp. “Personally, it’s great to make it to state for the third year in a row, but to win a regional title on top of that is pretty awesome.”

 

4x800m Among Leaders

Year in and year out, Scott City has established itself as one of the top teams in state in the 4x800m and this year is no different. In fact, Turner gives some credit to Scott City’s domination in both relays on Friday which set the stage for a regional title in the boy’s division and a third place finish for the girls.

“We had some good things happen in the field events, but once we hit the track I felt the 4x800s set the tone for everything,” Turner said. “Once we got into the middle distance races I think that might have given us a mental edge.”

The Lady Beavers blew away Conway Springs for a gold medal and the boys weren’t challenged by Halstead as they had anticipated.

“Our kids got out and competed hard coming out of the gate,” Turner says.

He noted that freshman Dulce Ayala ran a 69 second split on her first lap in the 4x800m “which she’s never done before. And she was running by herself.”

“And Jess ran the first 200 (meters of his anchor split) in 24 seconds after he took the baton. He was flying,” says the head coach. “If you’re in second and you’re trying to run someone down and they run a 24 second 200, mentally, you’re shot cause you’re not going to gain on them at all.”

“The girls 4x800 is a real interesting group,” says Turner. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win it. It comes down to how we do when we see good competition for the first time in several weeks.”

Winderlin feels the relay has yet to run its best race.

“I never get the split I want when I’m running by myself,” says the junior anchor. “The only time we had any real competition was at Smoky Valley and I ran a PR that was about three seconds faster than I ran today, so I know I’m capable of doing better. It’s a matter of having a person to push you along.

“I’ve been looking at the times around the state and there are a couple of other teams within a few seconds of us, so it should be exciting.”

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