BLHS track squad breaks out, qualifies 7 athletes for state
The Basehor-Linwood athletic department hasn’t needed to reserve this many rooms at a state track and field meet in a long time.
They haven’t needed to take a van to state with just one athlete qualifying in each of the last five years.
On Friday, May 21, at the Class 4A regional meet at Tonganoxie, Basehor-Linwood qualified seven athletes to compete at the state championships Friday and Saturday, May 28-29, in Wichita.
“It was almost historic for us,” coach Steve Hopkins said. “We have seven kids going. We are real excited. We hadn’t had that many kids go in a long time. We’ve had one kid go in each of the last five years.”
Basehor-Linwood qualified athletes in both track and field events. Throughout the day, athletes were able to perfect their techniques and run just well enough, or throw just far enough to qualify for state.
In a sport where inches and seconds count, Basehor-Linwood athletes found themselves outdistancing the competition. Entering the meet, Hopkins had said the key to these athletes getting through would be taking care of details and being precise in their events, and the Bobcats did just that.
Brian Pemberton qualified in the pole vault in spite of a stress fracture in his foot. He placed third by clearing 11 feet.
Jay Kraemer placed third in the javelin with a throw of 160-4.
“To have those two seniors go is really neat,” Hopkins said.
Daniel Prioleau placed third in the 100 with a time of 11.29 seconds. He edged out Jasper Sanders of Piper who finished in 11.33. Prioleau placed fifth in the 200 with a time of 23.30 and narrowly missed out on qualifying in a second event.
On the girls’ side, Dakkota Edmonds placed fourth in the 100 in 12.84 and fourth in the 200 in 27.04. Edmonds also anchored the 400-meter relay squad that finished fourth in 53.17 and qualified for state. Rachael Cook, Shelby Equels and Courtney Inlow also ran on the relay team.
“Every kid on the team made perfect handoffs, and that made the big difference,” Hopkins said.
The relay team was seeded sixth entering the meet but was very crisp in the race.
The state qualifiers led Basehor-Linwood to an 11th place finish in the girls competition and a 10th place finish in the boys’ competition.
A few other BLHS athletes just missed qualifying for state.
Jesse Hiss placed fifth in the shot put and missed a spot at state by four inches. Bobby Courtney was fifth in the high jump and missed out on state because of a tiebreaker. Ben Johnson placed seventh in the discus with a throw of 124-9.
The athletes who qualified will leave for Wichita on today and practice this afternoon at Cessna Stadium. Most of the athletes will compete in preliminary events on Friday morning.