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Eagles' Behnke wins 200 meter state title
Koy Behnke wins 200 meters state title2.jpg
Koy Behnke wins 200 meters state title. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez

WICHITA — Ellinwood’s Koy Behnke finished third in the 100 meters and captured a 2A state track gold medal in his second-best event – the 200 meters.

Behnke posted career-best times in the 100-meter prelim (11.09) and 100-meter finals (10.98). But he was edged in a photo finish with Moundridge 100-meter champion Kaden Elmore (10.95) and Inman runner-up Tanner Heckel (10.96).

“That was a load of fun for a first-time sprinter. I’ve never experienced like that,” Behnke said. “I got out of my blocks faster than I have previously. That matters so much. I knew it was close from the time we got out of the blocks.”

It was Behnke’s time to shine in the 200 meters (22.82) when he edged Moundridge’s Elmore (23.0) for the gold medal.

Behnke was ranked second in the 100 (11.17) and first in the 200 (22.55) heading to the state meet. Behnke ran middle distance until 2023 when coach Andrew Gower saw sprinting potential.

"Coach Gower put me in the sprints and I didn’t lose in the 100 until the state meet," Behnke said. "I give coach Gower all the kudos. I never thought I'd be a sprinter. I'm surprised. I'm excited about I've done."

Behnke said he's adjusted his training to multiple 10 meter starts and 100 meters and 400 meters training.

"My starts have improved and my calves have gotten stronger," Behnke said. "I've gotten faster out of the blocks."

Behnke finished with a surprising third-place team medal with a season-best 1,600-meter relay (3:28.65) with Logan Panning, Matthew Cook, Bryce Steffan.

Koy Behnke wins 200 meters state title.jpg
Koy Behnke wins 200 meters state title. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez


ELLINWOOD SQ *season best

100m—3—Behnke, *10.98; 2Q—Behnke, *11.09

200m—1—Behnke, 22.82; 1Q—Behnke, 22.55

110m hurdles—14—Steffan, 18.12

300m hurdles—15—Steffan, 44.95

1,600m—16—Miller, 5:02.96

400m relay—DQ—Ellinwood (Panning, Cook, Hammeke, Behnke)

1,600m relay—3—Ellinwood, *3:28.65 (Panning, Cook, Steffan, Behnke); Q5—Ellinwood, *3:28.79

3,200m relay—10—Ellinwood, *8:47.32 (Sunderland, Miller, Steffan, Cook)