Panthers’ relay leads state medals
BY JIM MISUNAS
WICHITA – One-by-one, Great Bend’s boys 3,200-meter relay cranked out season-best performances at the 5A state track championship.
When the race was over, Great Bend earned a fifth-place 5A medal (8:13.45) by slicing 27 seconds off their regional qualifying time.
Chiny Sanchez, Jaime Arellanes, Evan Hammond and Joshua Tomlin knew they would easily better their 13th-place regional entry.
Sanchez battled heavy traffic on the first lap, typical for the starters.
“I felt like I could’ve run faster, but I ran it well,” Sanchez said. “I boxed myself in that first lap and that was a struggle to get out of that. That’s my first time running the lead leg. I was supposed to run fast and not get boxed in.”
Arellanes has been an improving sensation who’s battled for the fourth spot.
“I felt pretty good and it was smooth the whole time,” he said. “I wanted to keep my place. It was tough to earn my spot. I had to do a lot of training and work hard every practice and try and keep my with Chiny.”
Hammond has been a solid regular in the lineup who’s part of the Panthers’ amazing junior class.
“I was hoping to run faster, but it went all right,” he said. “We were pretty confident we’ve do better than 13th.”
Tomlin made up ground and passed several runners during the backstretch of his first lap. He did a solid job holding his spot.
“I caught three people on my leg and went out hard,” Tomlin said. “I was starting to slow a little, but my friend Chiny kept telling me I needed to want it. It encouraged me to keep going.”
The Great Bend girls nearly matched the boys with a sixth-place state finish in the 3,200 relay (10:15.88) keyed by McKenna Esfeld, Emma Loomis, Emilia Diaz and Olivia Rugan. The Panthers improved their regional time by 19 seconds.
Taryn Warren led the field event entries with a sixth-place finish in the shot put (34-101/4).
Lightning delayed the final event of the night until Sunday at 11 a.m. The Panther boys will compete in the 1,600-meter relay Sunday at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium.
5A GREAT BEND RESULTS
800—8—Chiny Sanchez, 1::59.81
800—7—McKenna Esfeld, 2:23.0; 11— Olivia Rugan, 2:29.5
1,600—13—Jaime Arellanes, 4:48.36
3,200—12—Joshua Tomlin, 10:16.41; 14—Sage Cauley, 10:24.68
3,200—13—Emilia Diaz, 12:51.42
400 boys relay—9—Great Bend, 43.8 (Korbin Widiger, Dalton Miller, Sam Ryan, Bryce Brown)
1,600 boys relay—14—Great Bend, 3:38.76 (Bryce Brown, Korbin Widiger, Dalton Miller, Chiny Sanchez)
3,200 boys relay—5—Great Bend, 8:13.45 (Chiny Sanchez, Jaime Arellanes, Evan Hammond, Joshua Tomlin)
3,200 girls relay—6—Great Bend, 10:15.88 (McKenna Esfeld, Emma Loomis, Emilia Diaz, Olivia Rugan)
Triple jump—14—Bryce Brown, 41-0
High jump—9—Jaclyn Schroeder, 4-10
Shot put—6—Taryn Warren, 34-101/4
Discus—14—Molly Kaiser, 98-2