Bobcats qualify 3 athletes for state track meet in Wichita
Two members of Basehor's track team will make their first appearance at the state track meet come Friday, while another will be making her third.
Junior Katie Dukes placed third in the shot put and senior Brian Fish and junior Ryan Robinson both placed fourth at the regional meet Friday at Louisburg High School in the pole vault and 110-meter hurdles respectively.
Coach Paul Brown said this was easily the team's best performance at regionals in several years.
"We had three kids qualify for state and several others place fifth or sixth, which is something we haven't had in a long time," Brown said. "I think it was one of the best meets we've had in some time."
Fish, who was the Kaw Valley League champion in the pole vault, vaulted the same height as third-place finisher Mark O'Brien of Tonganoxie but missed his first attempt at 12-6, which he cleared in his second attempt.
Brown said in order for Fish to compete at state, he will have to step up his performance.
"For Brian to place at the state level, he's going to have to get up to 13 feet or 13-6," Brown said. "I saw some of the heights from western Kansas, and he's going to have to get up there to have a chance to place."
Fish placed behind O'Brien, who Fish defeated at the league meet, and this was one of the reasons Fish said he was disappointed with his performance.
"I really felt like I could have done better," Fish said. "I just got tired towards the end and lost my focus. I felt like I could have gotten third, but I'm still happy I'm going to state."
Brown said Fish's performance was pretty standard compared to the rest of the season.
"Brian just missed out on 13 feet, which is something he's been trying for all year," Brown said. "I think he's got a good chance of getting it this week though."
Fish said because of the higher competition level at state, he thinks he's going to need his best performance of the year to have a chance to place well.
"I think it's going to be the best meet I've seen all year," Fish said. "All the other meets have had decent competition, but I think that the performance level is going to be very high."
Brown said Robinson, who finished just one-tenth of a second behind Tyler Antwine of Osawatomie, continued his trend of setting better times every meet.
"Ryan has really stepped up this year for us and become a very good hurdler," Brown said. "He still has room for improvement, but once he gets his technique down a little more, I think he could be one of the best hurdlers in the area."
Although the girls' team will not have any members competing at the state level besides Dukes, Brown said several members finished the season with a strong showing.
"There weren't any real surprises, but we had several members of the team perform really well at the meet," Brown said. "Rachel Miller has come on and become a strong sprinter and jumper, and as just a freshman, she has a lot of time to improve. I was disappointed for Kindle Rose just because she didn't qualify for state in her final year and that was one of her big goals."
For Dukes, having two years' experience at the state meet should help her prepare and compete, Brown said.
"As a freshman she went in and was probably intimidated by the size of the Kansas state meet, which is the largest in the Western Hemisphere," Brown said. "As a sophomore, she was more prepared for the competition, having done it the year before.
"I expect that she'll be even more ready this year and should be ready to place."
The boys' KVL champion Lansing won the regional meet, while perennial powerhouse Baldwin won the girls' regional title.