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Panthers' Luna wins title, Panthers finish third
gb team
The Great Bend Panther girls capture the third place 5A state track trophy


WICHITA — Great Bend's Valarie Luna earned back-to-back 5A high jump titles by clearing 5-foot-6 on her second attempt. Panther Sadie Spray cleared 5-4 to place third to score 16 team points. Luna set the school record (5-7) this spring.

Wichita Kapaun Mt. Carmel (52) edged Great Bend's girls (51) for the runner-up 5A state track trophy. 

The Panther girls battled to the finish, but came up just short for second place.

"We were proud of what we accomplished. We took care of business," said Great Bend coach Lyles Lashley. "We had two good days. If we scored 52 points, we'd get second. It was a typical state meet with peaks and valleys."

Great Bend's 1,600-meter girls relay (4:07.32) finished sixth, when a fifth-place finish would've tied Kapaun for a duplicate runner-up trophy. The Panthers quartet of Spray, Beckham, Daizy Gomez and Makenzie Premer missed a tie when Blue Valley Southwest (4:07.30) edged Great Bend by 0.02. The Panthers broke the school record this spring.

"The girls went after it, but they ran out of gas a little," Lashley said. "They ran quite a few events over two days."

The Panthers' quartet of Premer, Eliana Beckham, Sienna Smith and Addy Nicholson finished fifth (9:41.88), which broke a 26-year-old school record. Panthers Misegadis, Boor, Pool and Magnett ran 9:45.0 in 1997. 

"Those girls ran a perfect race with career-best splits," Lashley said.

The Panthers earned 14 points when Premer placed runner-up (46.66) and Spray (47.34) placed third after qualifying second and third.

Eliana Beckham boosted the Panthers'  runner-up hopes with a fifth-place 800-meter finish (2:21.52) with a career best time. She earned valuable head-to-head points by beating Kapaun's Julia Berends and Taylor Barringer.

"Eliana ran a perfect race to earn four points," Lashley said. "Addy Nicholson ran a competitive race to earn 2 points in the 1,600 after two busy days."

Panther Addy Nicholson scored five valuable points with a career-best fourth-place 3,200 finish (11:35.38). She added two points with a seventh-place 1,600 (5:22.16). Nicholson broke a 46-year-old school record  by N. Heeke (5:14.2) in 1977 in the 1,600 (5:13.11).

Macy Nachtigal earned two points with seventh in the javelin (124-10).

5A champion Lenexa St. James (81 points) swept the 400-meter relay (49.02), 1,600-meter (4:00.09) and 3,200-meter relays (9:24.46). 

PANTHER BOYS — Kaiden Esfeld enjoyed his typical busy two days with a fifth in the 800 (1:57.85), sixth in he 1,600 (4:24.38) and seventh in the 3,200 with a season-best time (9:33.73). Esfeld (4;20.74) broke D. McLeland's school record (4:20.9) in the 1,600.


PANTHER GIRLS *season best

100m hurdles—DNS—Peterson, 17.94

300m hurdles—2—Premer, 46.66; 3—Spray, *47.34; Q2 Premer, *45.59; Q3 Spray 47.59

800m—5—Beckham, *2:21.52; 13—Smith, 2:35.14

1,600m—7—Nicholson, *5:22.16

3,200m—4—Nicholson, *11:35.38

400m relay—11—Great Bend, 50.71 (Premer, Gomez, Spray, Luna)

1,600m relay—6—Great Bend, 4:07.32 (Spray, Beckham, Gomez, Premer); Q2—Great Bend, *4:04.32

3,200m relay—5—Great Bend, *9:41.88 (school record) (Premer, Beckham, Smith, Nicholson)

High jump—1—Luna, 5-6; 3—Spray, 5-4; 6—Ellegood, 5-2 

Javelin—7—Macy Nachtigal, 124-10; 12—Blessing, 113-1 



800m—5—Esfeld, 1:57.85

1,600m—6—Esfeld, 4:24.38

3,200m—7—Esfeld, *9:33.73

3,200m relay—16—Great Bend, *8:41.42 (Rocho, Enriguez, Moore, Galindo) 

Javelin—6—Moeder, 164-2