SCHS depth impressive with multiple qualifiers in 6 events
When you’ve had the success that Scott Community High School head coach Jim Turner has enjoyed, there isn’t much that he hasn’t seen.
But even the long-time coach was a little bit awed by what happened last week at the Class 3A regional meet.
Not only were the 27 qualifiers (including alternates) in the boys and girl’s divisions a career high but the Beavers have two or more state qualifiers in six events.
The boys have at least two qualifiers in the:
200m: Brandon Winderlin and Isaac Tarango.
400m: Kaden Wren and Winderlin.
800m: Wren and Wyatt Hayes.
3200m: Jack Thomas and Eric Francis.
Pole vault: Marshall Faurot, Loren Faurot and Hunter Yager.
And the girls have two qualifiers in the 400m with Emily Weathers and Kennedy Holstein.
“That’s not really normal, unless you’re Liberal during the ‘90s,” says the head coach. “Getting three boys to qualify in the vault is pretty impressive.”
The loss of three of the state’s top sprinters in Class 3A - Isaiah Armstrong (Holcomb), Jordan Schippers (Colby) and Jason Hubener (Cheney) - due to injuries will have a significant impact on the state meet.
Armstrong pulled a hamstring while running anchor on the 4x100m in last week’s regional, dealing a major blow to the Longhorns in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays. Both relays were expected to be major challengers to the Beavers.
Likewise, Colby was also expected to challenge SCHS in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays, but barely qualified for state in the 4x100m - finishing fourth in regional - and finishing a full second behind Scott City in the 4x400m.
Turner says the loss of three top sprinters is a likely boost to Smoky Valley and K-State bound sprinter Tim Lambert who is among the state’s best despite sub-par qualifying times in regional.
Lambert has qualified in the 100m with the fourth fastest regional time (11.08) but is currently ranked 13th in the 200m (23.75). In addition, he is the anchor leg on the fastest 4x100m relay with the fastest qualifying time of 42.98 (just ahead of SCHS which is seeded fifth with 43.67) and he has the fastest Class 3A qualifying time in the 300m low hurdles
(38.67) - more than a second ahead of the number two challenger.
“(Smoky Valley) is in a good position to score a lot of points,” says Turner. “But we also benefitted.”
Armstrong had the fastest 400m time in all classes this season and finished just ahead of Wren in the Great West Activities Conference track meet a week earlier when both runners broke 50 seconds.
“Injuries are something you can’t control,” noted Turner. “Things just happen. You hope they don’t happen to you.”
The big concern at regional was Wren’s ability to recover from the 400m and qualify for state in the 800m when both races are separated only by the 300m hurdles. Now that he’s competing at state, Wren will have more recovery time since there will be 12 heats of hurdles (Classes 1A through 6A) separating the two middle distance races.
Turner is confident in Wren’s ability to compete in the 400m, 800m, and the 4x400m and 4x400m relays since there will be added recovery time between the events at state.
“Kaden’s a pretty tough kid and works his tail off,” he said. “He’ll be ready.”
Hayes was dealing with a lower back injury which slowed him down in the 4x800m relay and the 800m. But the senior will be ready to defend his 800m state title this weekend. He’ll be facing a tough field that not only includes his teammate, but Halstead senior Andrew O’Brien who has run a sub-two minute race, along with Jefferson West junior Bryce Clements who had the second fastest regional time of 2:01.64.
for a Sweep
After being unable to compete in either distance race last year because of a hip injury, Jack Thomas is looking forward to a possible gold medal sweep in the 1600m and 3200m.
He was a gold medalist in the 3200m as a freshman and earned a silver his sophomore year.
His toughest competition is expected to be from Kingman’s Robert Pearce in both events.
“I raced against him earlier this season so I have an idea of what to expect,” says Thomas. “I don’t feel I have a lot to prove - maybe to myself more than anything. I want to go out and compete for another state championship. That’s what I’ve been working for.”
Thomas will start the weekend in the 3200m at about 8:30 a.m. on Friday.