Basehor’s Edmonds earns pair of state medals
WICHITA — The long trip home from the Class 4A Track and Field State Championships was much more spirited than in recent years for Basehor-Linwood.
For starters, BLHS snapped its streak of having just one state qualifier. Seven Bobcats made the trek to Cessna Stadium, and all of them had memories to celebrate.
“We felt like this was the first time we could go down there as a team and experience it from a team standpoint, and that’s so much more fun,” BLHS coach Steve Hopkins said. “When you see the kids from other schools that all have their mats back in the shade … we’ve never had to worry about that before. And every hour there was someone from our school to watch. That’s not where we are yet, but we at least made progress. To see that makes a huge impact.”
No Bobcat made a greater impact than sophomore Dakkota Edmonds. After narrowly missing out on qualifying last year, she competed in three events and brought home two medals.
Edmonds placed fourth in the 100-meter dash in 12.55 seconds and added a fourth-place finish in the 200 in 26.16.
“I’m going to work a lot harder and try to get a better medal next year,” a motivated Edmonds said after leaving the awards stand.
No other BLHS athlete medaled, but many gave strong performances. In Edmonds’ third event, the 400-meter relay, she and freshman Rachael Cook, junior Shelby Equels and junior Courtney Inlow ran their best race of the season and finished 13th in 52.93.
In addition, junior Daniel Prioleau — last year’s only qualifier — took 10th in the 100 in 11.34. He was .03 away from advancing to finals.
In other competition, senior Jay Kraemer took 12th in the javelin with a toss of 151 feet, 8 inches, and senior Brian Pemberton no-heighted in the pole vault.
“It was a great experience for Brian and for Jay even if as seniors they didn’t perform as well as they wanted to,” Hopkins said. “Brian overcame stress fractures, and Jay was disappointed at regionals last year, so I think the experience was great for both of them. Both kids have been great for our program and have really helped us set a new standard.”
The Bobcats will return five state qualifiers, all of them eager to improve on their 2010 performances.
Perhaps no Bobcat will be more determined than Prioleau. After two trips to state without a medal, he has big plans for this summer to help him improve for his senior campaign.
“This summer I’m doing an AAU program for track in Kansas City, so that should help,” he said of his quest to reach the awards stand.
Hopkins expects all of the state qualifiers to be ambassadors for the program as it looks to take the next step in 2011.
“These seven kids you know are going to call up their friends and not just urge them to come out for track, but tell them what it’s like to be at the state meet,” Hopkins said. “We know we’ve got some kids coming up in eighth grade, and we know we have kids who told us in April they wished they’d come out for track. Now lets go down not just take one or two vans to state (next year), let’s take a bus.”