By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Panthers earn two runner-up state finishes
Makenzie Premer.jpg
Great Bend's Makenzie Premer competes in the 300 -meter Hurdles at the Kansas state high school track and field meet at Wichita State's Cessna Stadium Thursday, May 28, 2021. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez

WICHITA — Great Bend's script for its pair of 5A state track runner-ups were as different as night and day.

Freshman Makenzie Premer was ranked seventh in the 300-meter hurdles, but she nearly stole a state championship with a career-best time (46.31) from the first lane.

Panther junior Taryn Warren was awake at 5:30 a.m. Her 5A shot put didn't start until noon after a four-hole lightning delay at Thursday's 5A state track championship.Warren nearly overcame the lengthy delay with a runner-up 5A state shot put finish (36-81/2). She was unable to match her career-best mark of 38-10 set at the Great Bend Track Invitational.

Premer helped cap a long day with a surprising runner-up finish to Mill Valley's state champion Quincy Hubert (45.96). Premer credited coach Lyles Lashley's pep talk and work from lane one for her finish with nearly pulling off a huge upset.

"Coach Lashley told me to come out with a positive attitude and that I could do it," Premer said. "It was close and almost caught her. I thought there was a chance I could win if I came out strong. I'm very happy with how it turned out."

Premer said Lashley worked all week on running from the first lane. 

"The curves are a lot tighter in lane one," she said. "You have to take a sharper angle to get over them. I've been working in lane one all week in practice. I pushed myself. I had good adrenaline today and I was running against better competition. 

Premer also sprinted to a career-best 15.6 time while placing fifth in the 100-meter hurdles. Sadie Spray placed ninth in the 300 hurdles (48.47) and 15th in the 100 hurdles (16.89).

The long delay threw Warren's rhythm off balance.

"I did not like that delay," Warren said. "I woke up at 5:30 to get here. They kept delaying the meet and have us wait every 30 minutes. You'd wait, but you couldn't rest because you had to be prepared to go. You didn't really know what to do."

But Warren was still smiling, knowing she competed to the best of her ability under a state-pressure environment.

"I was pretty happy. I competed my best, but I know I could've done better," she said. "But it's tough competing here because of your nerves. There's a lot of pressure."

Warren achieved her best throw in the finals throw.

"At the start, the ring was slick because of the rain," she said. "After everyone threw, it dried out."

Macy Nachtigal enjoyed the Panthers' other top finish with a fourth in the javelin (117-3). The event was delayed several hours, but Nachtigal did a superb job competing.

The Panthers scored 27 points to place 11th. The Panthers improved their regional time by seven seconds and raced to a 10th-place finish (10:09.45) in the 3,200-meter relay with Eliana Beckham, Olivia Rugan, Emma Loomis and Hannah Loomis. 

PANTHER BOYS — Sophomore distance ace Kaden Esfeld ran his best and gained experience while placing fifth in the 3,200 (9:38.72), eighth in the 1,600 (4:30.72) and 11th in the 800 (2:01.74).  The meet was delayed from an 8 a.m. start until noon by lightning. There were a few times when heavy rain fell, most notably during the 1,600-meter girls races. But no lightning was detected so the runners kept competing.

The delays forced Esfeld into less rest. He competed favorably in the 3,200 and raced in the top three for three laps of the 1,600 meters before fading to eighth,  a second slower than his regional clocking.

"It was tough, a lot of mental stress," he said. "We had the postponement, which threw me off. I was pumped and ready to run at 11:30. The delay gave me anxiety and my nerves kept hitting me. Though it was a hard day, I performed pretty good. I ran against mostly juniors and seniors. This is my first year at state track. They had one or two years of experience on me."

Esfeld was mostly pleased with his 3,200 meters.

"It was a big learning curve for me today," he said. "I was really proud of my 3,200. I hung in there really good and had a good pace. I put myself in good position to perform in the middle and give myself a chance to place for a high medal. In the 1,600, some guys started slowing down, I probably could've picked a few of them off." 

Oliver Dominguez continues to shine with an eighth in the triple jump (42-21/4) and an 11th in the 400 meters (52.27).

5A GIRLS TEAM SCORES—1—St. Thomas Aquinas 92; 2—KMC 55; 3—Mill Valley 53; 4—Leavenworth 40; 5—BVSW 38; 6—Andover Central 37; 7—Maize South 35; Wichita Carroll 35; 9—Spring Hill 30; 10—Lansing 27; 11—Great Bend 26


100m hurdles—5—Makenzie Premer, 15.6 (PR), 15—Sadie Spray, 16.89

300m hurdles—2—Premer, 46.31 (PR), 9—Spray, 48.47

400m—15—Daizy Gomez, 1:05.44

800m—11—Eliana Beckham, 2:26.75 (PR); 14—Emma Loomis, 2:32.33

1,600m—9—Emilia Diaz, 5:25.14

3,200m—9—Emilia Diaz, 11:50.46; 15—Addy Nicholson, 12:24.99

1,600m relay—10—Great Bend, 4:13.59 (Beckham, Spray, Gomez, Premer)

3,200m relay—10—Great Bend, 10:09.45 (Beckham, Olivia Rugan, Emma Loomis, Hannah Loomis)

High jump—9—Candice Smith, 5-0

Shot put—2—Taryn Warren, 36-81/4

Discus—9—Taryn Warren, 109-11

Javelin—4—Macy Nachtigal, 117-3; 8—Kyndall Blessing, 112-8

Pole vault—14—Lexi Deines, 9-0


100m hurdles—13—Madison Regehr, 17.2

200m—15—Cayden Scheuerman, 24.55

400m—11—Dominguez, 52.27

800m—11—Kaiden Esfeld, 2:01.74

1,600m—8—Esfeld, 4:30.72

3,200m—5—Esfeld, 9:38.72

1,600m relay—11—Great Bend, 3:35.78 (Dominguez, Braylon Council, Regehr, Arellanes)

3,200m relay—16—Great Bend, 3,200 relay, 10:20.21 (Jaime Arellanes, Matthew Huslig, Kaden Deines, Scheuerman)

Triple jump—8—Dominguez, 42-21/4

Javelin—16—Mathew Moeder, 113-8