BY JIM MISUNAS
WICHITA — It’s Kerby Depenbusch’s final chance to capture an elusive state gold medal at the 5A state track meet at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium.
One of Great Bend’s all-time best distance runners has been close with a runner-up 5A cross country finish in addition to his runner-up state 3,200-meter finish last year (9:33.18).
Kansas State signee Depenbusch (4:22.29) challenged Wichita Carroll’s regional winner Jason Irwin (4:21.97) in the 1,600. He’s ranked fifth in Friday’s 8:25 a.m. 3,200 meters (9:49.35) behind four Kansas City-area runners.
The Panthers get rolling at 8 a.m. Friday with third-ranked high jumpers Jaclynn Schroeder (5-2) and Camryn Dunekack (5-2) primed to challenge regional leaders Paris Bond of Aquinas (5-4) and Pittsburg’s Laken Robinson (5-4). No. 7 ranked pole vaulter Braxton Schooler (13-0) starts at 8 a.m.
The Panthers will also compete in the 400-meter boys relay, girls and boys 1,600-meter relays and LoCora Bryant is ranked seventh in the 200 (26.33) and seventh in the 400 (1:00.64). Cowley College signee Bryant placed sixth in the 100 (12.59) and fourth in the 200 (25.4) last year.
4A LARNED — Indian high jumper Kaitlyn Fischer (5-2) placed as 4A runner-up (5-2) last year, but Wichita Trinity’s Megan Elliott has cleared 5-6 in an event that starts at 11:30 a.m. Friday. Brock Skelton is ranked fifth in the triple jump (43-2) at 1:15 p.m. Saturday.
3A HOISINGTON — The Cardinals feature top-ranked pole vaulter Christopher Ball (14-6) at 6:30 p.m. Friday and top-ranked pole vaulter Maleigha Schmidt (11-0) at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Ball placed fourth (13-6) last year and Schmidt placed fifth (19-0) last year.
2A — Macksville Mustang Jacob Rein is poised to earn four medals with a runner-up ranking in the 200 (22.86), third in Saturday’s 9:45 a.m. long jump (21-71/2), fourth in Saturday’s 11:30 a.m. triple jump (42-81.4) and fifth in the 100 (11.47). Rein placed third in the 200 (22.8), fourth in the triple jump (43-1) and fifth in the long jump (20-81/4) last year.
Central Plains’ 3,200-meter boys relay (8:39.79) ranks third with Alex Barton, Jacob McAtee, Grant Heldstab and Anthony Oberle competing at 11:40 a.m. Saturday.
Barton has cleared 6-4 in Friday’s 6:30 p.m. high jump, matched by regional winners Drew Honas of Medicine Lodge and Hodgeman County’s Trevor Morgan.
1A — The St. John Tiger boys are ranked first in the 3,200 relay (8:52.5) with Trey Fisher, Cashe McVey, Mason Osborne and Quincy Smith — who both qualified for state golf and state track. Smith and Fisher return from last year’s 2A state runner-up (8:24.25).
The Tigers are second ranked (3:33.29) behind South Gray (3:33.03) in the 1,600-meter relay with Trey Fisher, McVey, Osborne and Smith competing. Smith is ranked second in the 400 (52.24) behind South Gray’s Craig Griebel (51.8).
Pawnee Heights Tiger Regan Carlson is ranked first in the 1,600 (5:46.5) and fifth in Friday’s 7 p.m. 3,200 (13:17.58). Tiger Dalton Hamby is third ranked in the shot put (47-61/2) with no chance to catch South Gray’s 1A state leader Gilbert Peters (57-51/2). Tiger Kade Scott is third ranked in the triple jump (42-0).
AREA STATE TRACK QUALIFIERS
5A GREAT BEND
LoCora Bryant—4—100m (12.14), 7—200 (26.33), 7—400m (1:00.64)
Baleigh Fry—10—800m (2:25.91)
McKenna Esfeld—12—800m (2:28.01)
Kerby Depenbusch—2—1,600m (4:22.29); 5—3,200 (9:49.35)
Josh Tomlin—14—3,200m (10:06.4)
400m boys relay—14—44.36 (Dalton Miller, Korbin Widiger, Sam Ryan, Brown)
1,600m girls relay—12—4:11.77 (Fry, Esfeld, Annie Mills, Bryant)
1,600m boys relay—3:28.84 (Brown, Collin Hammond, Widiger, Miller)
3,200m girls relay—15—10:48.37 (Fry, Paloma Sandoval, Olivia Rugan Esfeld)
3,200m boys relay—5—8:22.93 (C. Hammond, Evan Hammond, Widiger, Jesus Sanchez)
Jaclynn Schroeder—3—high jump (5-2)
Camryn Dunekack—3—high jump (5-2)
Candice Smith—13—long jump (16-2), 13—triple jump (33-4)
Peyton Duvall—12—javelin (156-7)
Paxton Schooler—6—pole vault (13-0)
Brock Skelton—7—long jump (21-7); 5—triple jump (43-2)
Katie Fischer—3—high jump 5-2)
MaKayla Leiker—3—high jump (5-2)
Christopher Ball—8—110m hurdles (15.46), 5—300m hurdles (40.61), 1—pole vault (14-6)
Samantha Colson—6—100m hurdles (16.02), 7—300m hurdles (48.36)
Dayne Yott—13—1,600m (4:48.35), 15—3,200 (10:49.0)
Xavier Robinson—12—long jump (20-41/2)
Jocelynn Pedigo—9—discus (114-10)
Jake Curtis—11—javelin (160-0)
Maleigha Schmidt—1—pole vault (11-0)
LaTaja Gray—16—100m (13.86)
Drew Blake—4—100m (11.45)
Peter Joslin—13—800m (2:07.58)
Erin Hammeke—7—1,600m (5;39.75), 4—3,200m (12:21.97)
Sarah Hammeke—12—3,200m (13:17.79)
3,200 relay—12—11:10.5 (E. Hammke, Daphne Doll, S. Hammeke, Ashtin Klepper)
Maddy Ward—4—shot put (36-91/4), 8—discus (107-11)
2A CENTRAL PLAINS
Alex Barton—6—high jump (6-0)
Jacob McAtee—9—300m hurdles (42.11)
3,200m boys relay—3—8:39.79 (Barton, McAtee, Grant Heldstab, Anthony Oberle)
Jacob Rein—3—long jump (21-71/2), 4—triple jump (42-81/4), 5—100m (11.47), 5—200m (22.86)
3,200m girls relay—14—11:12.84 (Itzel Garcia, BrayLynn Anschutz, Lexas Wright, Jennifer Ortiz)
1A ST. JOHN
Torre Fisher—6—300m hurdles (48.74)
Quincy Smith—7—triple jump (40-10), 2—400m (52.24)
Trey Fisher—7—800m (2:04.02)
400m boys relay—13—47.79 (Eddy Calleros, Tanner Halling, Chase Fisher, Mason Osborne)
1,600m boys relay—2—3:33.29 (Trey Fisher, McVey, Osborne, Smith)
3,200m boys relay—1—8:52.5 (Trey Fisher, McVey, Osborne, Smith)
Chase Fisher—7—high jump (5-10)
Erin Crissman—10—triple jump (33-41/2)
Tara Nelson—11–javelin (110-9)
Cashe McVey—16—javelin (142-6)
Paige Doran—4—pole vault (9-0)
Blake Bahr—5—100m (11.32)
Luke Higgason—8—discus (136-2)
Cristen Trapp—13—triple jump (33-0)
400m boys relay—5—46.0 (Daniel Scott, Jace Kohls, Anton Foust, Blake Bahr)
1,600m boys relay—10—3:43.67 (Kohls, Scott, Olivarez, Foust)
3,200m girls relay—13—11:17.43 (Maddie Wiltse, Sheridan Ewy, Carly Welsh, Trapp)
1A PAWNEE HEIGHTS
Kade Scott—3—triple jump (42-0)
Caleb Karst—11—javelin (151-5); 6—shot put (45-1)
Dalton Hamby—3—shot put (47-61/2)
Regan Carlson—1—1,600m (5:46.5); 5—3,200m (13:17.58)
Jaden Carlson—13—long jump (15-101/4)
Cayden Brozek—16—1,600 (5:02.09); 11—3,200m (10:57.16)