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Kansas Relays

Wed.-Sat., April 15-19, 2009

Lawrence, Kansas

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Complete - Friday

Event-by-Event Results

High School entry lists

US#1 7-03.25 HJ for James White

Full Circle - Essay by Tony Bozarth on the essence of the Kansas Relays - COMPLETE RESULTS

Saturday Highlights
  • Emily Sisson (Parkway Central, St. Louis) pulls away in the last lap to win 1600 in 4:59.68 from Megan Yohe (Liberty MO) 5:03.65.  Kristin Menghini (St. Joseph's Academy, St. Louis) runs 5:03.92 is third overall, winning the first section in a solo run.
  • Ladue Horton-Watkins (St. Louis MO) runs 4:05.76 Sprint Medley, missing the relays record by only a second.  They return to win the 4 x 200 (1:43.49).
  • St. Louis University High (St. Louis) 7:59.14 edges Topeka West (8:01.67) to win 4 x 880 (yes, yards).
  • Ryan Hershberger (Clay Center) completes shot/ disc double, throwing 168-11.
  • McCluer North (St. Louis) 42.65 to dominate 4 x 100.
  • Kelby Dias (Sierra, Colorado Springs CO) 14.36 edges Ralph Watson (McCluer North, St. Louis MO 14.38) at the line in the 110H to complete hurdles double.
  • Dias takes 2nd in the LJ (22-3.5) to Trace Norfleet (Park Hill, Kansas City MO) 22-8.
  • Roland Denson (Ruskin, Kansas City MO) 48.90, shows a lot of homestretch power to win 400
  • Adam Porter (McPherson) 4:18.54 1600 win, pulling away with a late kick
  • Lee's Summit West MO run 9:38.97 to win 4 x 880 (yes yards) from Shawnee Mission East (9:45.91).
  • LaTristan Pledger (Washington, Kansas City) 18-10 to win LJ with Sarah Buschmann (Blue Valley West 18-4) and Alyssa Kelly (Blue Valley West) 18-0.25 over 18.
  • Leavenworth (48.38) 4 x 100 over Ladue Horton-Watkins (48.63) and Olathe East (49.03)
  • Tiffani McReynolds (Pembroke Hill, Kansas City) 14.22 over Breanna Coleman (Olathe East 14.39) in 100H with LJ winner Pledger 3rd (14.78)
  • Coleman blows off the starting line to win the 100 in 12.19.
  • Jill Rushin (Jackson MO) takes the DT in 142-7
Friday Highlights - FRIDAY RESULTS from Deltatiming.com
  • Grandview MO jr James White soared over a PR and US#1 7-03.25, more than 7 inches ahead of 2nd place.  White reportedly took 17 jumps during the competition, and also cleared 7-01.50 and 7-03
  • Smoky Hill CO sr Chase Cooper CO flew over the bar at US#2 16-09.25 to take the PV
  • Wichita-East KS sr Matt Byers KA fired the jav 213-01 to beat rival and Shawnee Mission jr Johannes Swanepoel's 203-08
  • 3-time Foot Locker Finalist and Parkway Central MO jr Emily Sisson won her first big 3200 of the year, topping the super PR of Liberty MO jr Megan Yohe, 10:31.07 to 10:31.26.  Topeka-Washburn KS jr Avery Clifton was 3rd in 10:40.09
  • Sierra CO sr Kelby Dias took the 300H in 37.89 and led 110H qualifier to Saturday's final in 14.40 (+0.5w)
  • Ottawa KS jr Peoples Kearsten took the shot at 45-09.25
  • Concordia KS sr Heather Bergmann claimed the JT title with 140-00
  • Clay Center KS sr Ryan Hershberger won the shot at 59-01.25

Full Circle by Tony Bozarth

The sky is dark when I leave the house to drive with my wife to the high school.  Every Friday and Saturday this weekend for the last thirty years, I've risen before dawn to make the drive to Lawrence for the Kansas Relays.  First as an athlete, later as a coach, I've come to Lawrence's Memorial Stadium for the Relays since 1979.

“Full Circle, Where it All Began”

As the athletes I help coach get into the school vans for the hour trip to KU, I announce that my van will be playing classic rock on the radio.  The kids start laughing and mockingly try to find other vans.   Coach Stohs announces he will be playing country in his.  As we start off, I do turn on the classic rock station, and hear The Outlaws new song, “Full Circle.” 

It strikes me that back in 1979, when I headed for my first KU Relays, I listened to the Outlaws on the way.  That song was “Green Grass and High Tides Forever.”  In 1979, it really seemed that way.  The KU Relays were my first big national-style invitational, and my career was fully in front of me with hope and an unlimited future.  But I learned a lesson in humility that the Relays teach to all young runners.  Running a four mile relay, I shot through my first 440 in 61, heard announcer Don Steffens announce my name, and heard my coach yell from the stands, “Who are you, Sebastian Coe?”   Seeing as my PR wasn’t yet in the 4:20’s it was a bad move, and I learned another lesson.  The KU Relays fields have a lot of teams.  I counted them as they passed me.  My coach at the time, Dr. John Kernan, who recently edited the new edition of the Track and Field Ominbook, looked at me under the stands after the race with a hard eye and said, “A brave effort!” “Thanks” I muttered.   Looking at me square in the eye, he said “But a foolish one," letting me know a repeat of that race would not be appreciated.

My first stop after settling our athletes in the stadium is the shot put.  I have a cousin, Hayli, throwing in the high school division.   She has the top throw in Kansas, and her father and I grew up together in Western Kansas.  It’s an eight hour drive from Norton, a farming town of 2000, to Lawrence.  But to throw against the best is her goal.  Her first Relays experience was much like mine.  But now she is a senior, polished, tall and beautiful.  She has a commanding presence in the ring that was missing as a sophomore when she was here two years ago. 

As the competition develops, Peoples Kearsten of Ottawa unloads a 45-foot toss, two feet farther than Hayli’s best throw.  Like many of the young ladies here, Peoples has a grace and style that will serve her well in life.  The pressure of the KU Relays often takes youngsters of coach and turns them into diamonds.  As Hayli steps into the ring as the second-to-last thrower, she has stepped up and improved on almost every throw, but has fallen to fourth.  She launches a 43-foot throw, close to her PR and her best throw of the competition, to place third.  She has won a medal, and had her best competition.  Next year she will throw for Iowa State.  The “Green Grass” awaits her.

“Full Circle, Children of the Land”

We have a joke with our team and coaches in the stands at the KU Relays.  With the best of Kansas gathered from all over, many of our runners see athletes from towns they have never heard of.  It becomes a geography lesson.  Having lived in Kansas almost all my life, and having a good-sized family, the ever-present joke is that there isn’t a town in the Relays that I don’t have a relative running for or coaching.  That’s not true, but it may be close. 

The KU Relays are a lesson in life for many of the youngsters competing here.  The lesson is this.  No matter where you are from, no matter the size of your school, your background or your situation, when you step on the track or on the field, all is equal.  In no other sport does this hold so true.  All you need is opportunity, and this is what the Relays provide. 

In the girls 1600, Emily Sisson of Parkway Central in St. Louis was the favorite.  Sisson reminds me of a young Suzi Favor, with a powerful stride and competitive spirit that will not die.  Parkway Central is a huge suburban school, with all the academic and social opportunities one would expect from such a school.  As Sisson powers away in the final lap from rival Megan Yohe of Liberty, who runs like a ballerina, all grace and delicate power, I look at the stands and see all the parents and friends cheering the runners on.  One of my athletes is down on the rail watching.  During the first section, she was cheering on her friend Ashley Flook of Penney. 

Penney is a tiny farming town in Missouri, one of the true “one stoplight” towns so common in the Midwest.  Flook dominates the small school races in this area, and here she is, racing the best in the Midwest and holding her own.  Clinton, Norton, Holcomb, Horton – all towns that people reading this across the country will not recognize – all send their best to Lawrence to run in the KU Relays, and all carry the hopes of the town with them.  Grandmas and grandpas and uncles and cousins and friends all come to the Relays.  High school friends line the rail to cheer them on.   That small town element of the Relays is something that has been at KU since the beginning and gives the Relays its charm.

“Full Circle, Here We Go Again”

Leavenworth, Olathe East and Ladue Horton Watkins step onto the track for the girls 4x100.  This is an event where we place a lot of emphasis.   Every year there are teams that seem to come back again and again, with powerful programs that seem to have no end of talented runners.  If we hit our handoffs right, we have a good shot here.  But Leavenworth, 20 miles down the road, has been a rival since we opened our school in 1992.  They are well-coached, tough and talented.  Ladue Horton Watkins is from St. Louis.  We have seen how good they are already, though they are not a team we see anywhere outside of KU. 

As the teams run the full circle of the track, all three run well, but we have just enough of a bobble on a handoff to allow Leavenworth and Ladue to pull ahead.  When Leavenworth’s LaShada Sims takes the handoff, the question is , can our anchor catch her and Ladue?  But we’ve run Leavenworth enough to know that will be very tough.  Leavenworth holds in 48.38 to Ladue’s 48.63 with us third at 49.08. 

These rivalries are another highlight of the Relays.  The faces may change, but Don Steffens (the Relays announcer for over 30 years) continues to call out the same schools.  It’s time for the distance races.  Lee’s Summit West pulls away from Manhattan in the girls 4x1 mile to win, but Manhattan’s boys stun the field with a late kick in their race to win.  Manhattan won the state cross-country meet when I was still in high school.  Now their coach is a great friend of mine, and our teams have dueled for state titles the last four years. 

The sprint relays are up.  It’s time for Hazelwood East, Ladue, and McCluer North to step up.  These schools are only a few miles apart in St. Louis, and yet each year they travel the six hours to Lawrence to put on a show for the fans. 

“Full Circle has No End”

My high school coach, Andy Deckert, and I meet at the turn as the Distance Medleys get ready to run.  Next to us are some former high school rivals and teammates.  Some have children running in the race, some have children running on the team I coach!  But Coach Deckert started this tradition of being at the 200 mark to cheer our runners on.  He hands me an envelope of articles to read, which I appreciate.  His daughter, Alysun, won three 3200 titles here in the early 1980s.  Now a nutritionist at the University of Washington Medical Center, and a four time Olympic Trials competitor, she spoke at our distance coaches clinic at Olathe East this winter.

Lee’s Summit West busts into the lead in the girls 1200 leg.  The strategy is clear: Get loose of Parkway Central before Emily Sisson gets the anchor leg.  The strategy works, as Sisson closes on the anchor, but West’s Chelsey Phoebus holds on for the win.  We run well and medal.

With a break between events, I go out to the parking lot to see the party.  There is a huge US Army activity display up, along with a ton of live radio feeds, running store booths, and concession stands.  As I walk, I hear a voice call, “Coach!”  About thirty of us in sweats and hats turn, but I’m the one the call was directed to.  It is a lovely young lady in a radio t-shirt.  I recognize her.  She was a shy youngster years ago recruited out of history class to run track.  She ran at the KU Relays in a four mile relay.  A decade later, she is here today as a marketing coordinator for six radio stations, and has arranged this entire parking lot production!  We talk a little bit.  She is articulate, intelligent, and has quite a presence about her.   I think about how she looked that first time we were at the Relays, getting ready for the first 4x1 mile relay and the similarity is there.  The Relays pressure creates diamonds.

Back into the stands for the mile races and I see some of our kids down on the rail getting ready to cheer.  As our milers come by, one yells to his teammate to relax his hands.  That one is going to be a coach some day.  Maybe we will meet at the 200.  The Kansas Relays are now more than 100 years old.  They continue to develop youngsters and teach lessons.  The Jim Hershberger track is an oval, an elongated circle.  Whether our races are over or not, the lessons from the Relays have no end.

"Full Circle, where it all began; Full Circle, Children of the Land; Full Circle, Here we go again; Full Circle has no end"


Wednesday, April 15
10:00 AMDecathlon 100 Meter Dash
10:30 AMHeptathlon 100 Meter Hurdles
10:45 AM (approx.)Decathlon Long Jump
11:15 AM (approx.)Heptathlon High Jump
12:35 PM (approx.)Decathlon Shot Put
1:45 PM (approx.)Heptathlon Shot Put
2:25 PM (approx.)Decathlon High Jump
3:15 PM (approx.)Heptathlon 200 Meter Dash
4:30 PM (approx.)Decathlon 400 Meter Dash
Thursday, April 16
8:30 AMDecathlon 110 Meter Hurdles
9:00 AMHeptathlon Long Jump
9:15 AM (approx.)Decathlon Discus
10:40 AM (approx.)Heptathlon Javelin
12:30 PM (approx.)Heptathlon 800 Meters
11:15 PM (approx.)Decathlon Pole Vault
3:00 PM (approx.)Decathlon Javelin
4:20 PM (approx.)Decathlon 1500 Meters
Hammer Events
12:00 PMMen's Hammer Throw
4:30 PMWomen's Hammer Throw
Running Events
5:00 PMWomen's Unseeded 800m Run
5:20 PMMen's Unseeded 800m Run
6:40 PMWomen's Unseeded 1500m Run
6:00 PMMen's Unseeded 1500m Run
6:20 PMMen's Unseeded 3000m Steeple
6:35 PMWomen's 3000m Run (F)
6:50 PMWomen's 5000 Meter Run (F)
7:15 PMMen's 5000 Meter Run (F)
7:35 PMWomen's 10,000 Meter Run (F)
8:20 PMMen's 10,000 Meter Run (F)
Friday, April 17
Field Events
8:00 AM Boy's Javelin
8:00 AM Girl's Shot Put
9:30 AM Girl's Pole Vault
10:00 AM Boy's High Jump
11:00 AM Girl's Triple Jump
11:00 AM Girl's Javelin
11:30 AM Women's Shot Put
12:00 PM Women's Triple Jump
1:30 PM Men's Pole Vault
1:30 PM Women's High Jump
2:00 PM Women's Javelin
3:00 PM Men's Shot Put
 Men's Triple Jump
 Boy's Triple Jump
5:30 PM Boy's Pole Vault
 Girl's High Jump
 Men's Javelin
6:30 PM Boy's Shot Put
Running Events
8:00 AM Girl's 4 Mile Relay (F)
8:30 AM Boy's 4 Mile Relay (F)
8:55 AM Girl's 100m Hurdles (P)
9:05 AM Women's 100m Hurdles (P)
9:25 AM Boy's 110m Hurdles (P)
9:35 AM Men's 110m Hurdles (P)
9:50 AM Girl's 400m Dash (P)
10:05 AM Boy's 400m Dash (P)
10:15 AM Women's 200m (P)
10:35 AM Men's 200m (P)
10:55 AM Girl's 3200m Run (F)
11:10 AM Boy's 3200m Run (F)
11:25 PM Girl's 100m Dash (P)
11:40 PM Boy's 100m Dash (P)
11:55 PM Women's 100m Dash (P)
12:15 PM Men's 100m Dash (P)
12:40 PM Women's 400m Hurdles (P)
1:00 PM Men's 400m Hurdles (P)
1:20 PM Boy's 300m Hurdles (F)
1:40 PM Girl's 300m Hurdles (F)
2:05 PM Girl's Distance Medley Relay (F)
2:20 PM Boy's Distance Medley Relay (F)
2:35 PM Women's Distance Medley Relay (F)
2:50 PM Men's Distance Medley Relay (F)
3:05 PM Women's 400m Dash (P)
3:20 PM Men's 400m Dash (P)
3:35 PM Girl's 4 x 100m Relay (P)
3:55 PM Boy's 4 x 100m Relay (P)
4:15 PM Women's 4 x 100m Relay (P)
4:30 PM Men's 4 x 100m Relay (P)
4:45 PM Girl's 800m Run (F)
5:00 PM Boy's 800m Run (F)
5:15 PM Men's Steeplechase (F)
5:30 PM Women's Steeplechase (F)
5:45 PM Women's 4 Mile Relay (F)
6:10 PM Men's 4 Mile Relay (F)
6:30 PM Women's 4 x 400m Relay (P)
6:50 PM Men's 4 x 400m Relay (P)
7:10 PM Girl's 4 x 400m Relay (P)
7:40 PM Boy's 4 x 400m Relay (P)
Saturday, April 18
Field Events
8:00 AMBoy's Discus
10:00 AMMen's Long Jump
10:30 AMWomen's Pole Vault
10:45 AMWomen's Discus
11:00 AMMen's High Jump
11:00 AMGirl's Long Jump
1:30 PMGirl's Discus
1:30 PMWomen's Long Jump
2:00 PMWomen's Invitational Pole Vault
3:00 PMBoy's Long Jump
4:00 PMMen's Discus
Running Events
8:00 AMGirl's Sprint Medley Relay (F)
8:20 AMBoy's Sprint Medley Relay (F)
8:40 AMWomen's Sprint Medley Relay
8:55 AMMen's Sprint Medley Relay (F)
9:15 AMGirl's 4 x 200m Relay (F)
9:35 AMBoy's 4 x 200m Relay (F)
9:50 AMWomen's 200m (F)
10:00 AMMen's 200m (F)
10:05 AMGirl's 2 Mile Relay (F)
10:30 AMBoy's 2 Mile Relay (F)
10:55 AMWomen's 2 Mile Relay (F)
11:25 AMMen's 2 Mile Relay (F)
11:40 PMGirl's 4 x 100m Sunflower Showdown
11:45 PMGirl's 4 x 100m Relay (F)
11:50 PMBoy's 4 x 100m Sunflower Showdown
11:55 PMBoy's 4 x 100m Relay (F)
12:25 PMWomen's 4 x 100m Relay (F)
12:30 PMMen's 4x100m Relay (F)
12:35 PMWomen's 1500m Run (F)
12:45 PMMen's 1500m Run (F)
12:55 PMGlenn Cunningham Invitational Mile (I)
1:10 PMGirl's 100m Hurdles (F)
1:15 PMWomen's 100m Hurdles (F)
1:25 PMWomen's 100m Hurdles (I)
1:35 PMBoy's 110m Hurdles (F)
1:40 PMMen's 110m Hurdles (F)
1:50 PMMen's 110m Hurdles (I)
2:00 PMWomen's 800m Run (F)
2:10 PMMen's 800m Run (F)
2:20 PMWomen's 800m Run (I)
2:30 PMGirl's 100m Dash (F)
2:35 PMWomen's 100m Dash (F)
2:40 PMBoy's 100m Dash (F)
2:45 PMMen's 100m Dash (F)
2:55 PMGirl's 400m Dash (F)
3:10 PMWomen's 400m Dash (F)
3:15 PMBoy's 400m Dash (F)
3:20 PMMen's 400m Dash (F)
3:30 PMWomen's 400m Hurdles (F)
3:40 PMMen's 400m Hurdles (F)
3:45 PM Men's 400m Hurdles (I)
3:55 PM Women's 200m Invitational
4:05 PM Girl's 1600m Run (F)
4:20 PM Boy's 1600m Run (F)
4:35 PM Girl's 4 x 400m Sunflower Showdown
4:45 PM Girl's 4 x 400m Relay (F)
4:55 PM Boy's 4 x 400m Sunflower Showdown
5:05 PM Boy's 4 x 400m Relay (F)
5:15 PM Women's 4 x 400m Relay (F)
5:25 PM Men's 4 x 400m Relay (F)