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Ellinwood to bring several high-seeded athletes to state track championships
spt kp Stafford De McClure
Derek McClure - photo by Kevin Price Great Bend Tribune

Ellinwood High School will be sending 21 athletes to the Class 6-1A state track and field championships, which starts on Friday at Wichita State University’s Cessna Stadium.
Among those 21 athletes, which includes alternates for five relay teams, there are four top seeds — Pedro Montoya in the 1,600-meter and 3,200 runs, Sophie Hayes in the 100 hurdles and the girls’ 4x100 relay team.
“We’ve got a lot of folks in this year,” Ellinwood head coach Lyles Lashley said. “On the girls’ side, we’ve got a couple of frontrunners. Our 4x100 and obviously, Sophie in the hurdles up there too. Our relays I think will do well.
“If we’re going to be successful as a team, though, we’re can’t have any ninth- or 10th-place finishes. We have to have first-, second- or third-place finishes.”
Montoya won a pair of 2A regional titles. He has the top seed time of 4:33.37 in the 1,600 and 9:49.22 in the 3,200.
“First, I want to do good as a team and as an individual,” Montoya said. “My coach was telling me that it’s been 22 years since someone from Ellinwood got an individual championship, so hopefully, we can change that somehow.”
Montoya said he finds strength in faith, helping him deal with nerves.
“I just can’t mess up,” Montoya said. “It’s a big race, and a lot of programs are going to be there to watch. I pray. I have to thank God for the gifts that I have.
“I just have to keep my thoughts positive and rely on what God has planned for me.”
Trailing him in the 1,600 is Dylan Hodgson of Washington County. His regional time was 4:38.36.
“He’s ranked on top of the two-mile, but there’s a kid from Inman who is ranked above him in the mile,” Lashley said of Montoya. “He kind of jogged the mile at his regional to get in. He wanted to focus on the 800.
“Him and the kid from Washington County are going to lock up the mile. It should be a pretty good race.”
Mark Sutton of Oxford is the  No. 2 seed in the 3,200, clocking in at 10:24.42.
Hayes is the top seed in the 100 hurdles. She turned in a time of 15.42.
“She’s going to have a chance in the 100 hurdles,” Lashley said. “The girl from West Elk is going to be right there, too. Sophie’s in a lot of events for us.”
Sarah Hines of West Elk is the second seed at 15.55.
The Lady Eagles sit at the top of the qualifiers in the 4x100 relay with a time of 50.92. Along with Hayes, Chelsea Day, Becca Elsen and McKenna Rugan make up the team, which sits ahead of No. 2-seeded Berean Academy, which turned in a time of 51.75.
Along with Montoya, the Eagles have a few other top-3 seeds.
“On the guys’ side, we’re not ranked as high as we are on the girls’ side,” Lashley said. “We didn’t get quite as many to qualify, but I think we have a chance to do some good things. We’ve got to make sure we take care of business in the relays. That’s been our focus this week.”
Patrick Ringering is the No. 2 seed in the 300 hurdles with a time of 41.06. He sits behind Plainville’s Nick Hixon, who turned in a time of 40.71 at a regional meet.
“He just converted to the hurdles this year,” Lashley said of Ringering. “He’s more of a 200, 400 dash runner. The transition he’s made was great. He’s gotten better each week.
“We were trying to talk him into it year after year, and finally he did it. To pick up hurdles like he did was incredible.”
The Eagles will also bring 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams. Both are seeded third.
Kyle Blakeslee, Cody Isern, Kyle Oglesbee and Ringering have a time of 3:32.31 in the 4x400 relay, and Blakeslee, Montoya, Oglesbee and Ringering combined for 8:43.36 in the 4x800 relay.

• Otis-Bison’s Hoffman in hunt
for 1A state title
Jordan Hoffman of Otis-Bison won a trio of 1A regional titles.
Hoffman is the top seed in the 400 dash by .02. He turned in a time of 49.78 to beat out La Crosse’s Levi Morss, who finished at 49.80.
“It’s been him and Levi Morss all season,” Otis-Bison head coach Travis Starr said. “They’ve been running against each other all season.
“I think Hoffman’s beat him three times in the 400, I don’t think he’s beat him in the 200 and I think that the regional was the first time he’d beaten him in the 100.”
Hoffman has developed a little bit of a rivalry with Morss.
“They’ve seen each other several times of the season,” Starr said. “They’re a couple of athletes separated by 15 miles, yeah, there’s a bit of a rivalry. They’re aware of each other, and I think they both go in wanting to beat each other.”
Hoffman is the No. 2 seed in the 100 dash (11.15) and the No. 3 seed in the 200 dash (23.14).
His competition in the 100 is Hutchinson Central Christian’s Zac Krehbiel (11.06).
Hoffman sits behind Krehbiel (22.54) and Linn’s Kurt Van Der Mewe (22.75) in the 200 dash.  
Hannah Bannister will be representing the Lady Cougars as the No. 12 seed in the 3,200 run.

• Macksville looks to carry
success into state meet
After the Macksville boys won a second straight 1A regional title, the Mustangs will look to carry that momentum into the state meet.
Henry Penner is the No. 2 seed in the 3,200 run (10:18.58) and the No. 3 seed in the 1,600 run (4:42.48).
Tanner Tranbarger is the No. 3 seed in both the 110 hurdles (15.43) and the 300 hurdles (41.22).
Tranbarger also qualified in the high jump. He is seeded fifth (6-0).
Isaac Seibert is the No. 6 seed in the 110 hurdles (15.69) and the No. 4 seed in the pole vault (12-0).
Lisa Penner and Kenzi Pavlu will represent the Lady Mustangs at the state meet.
Lisa Penner is the No. 4 seed in the 1,600 run (5:36.73) and the No. 6 seed in the 800 run (2:31.10).
Pavlu is the No. 12 seed in the discus.

• St. John-Hudson to take
relay teams, one individual
Ethan Allen is the lone individual qualifier for the St. John-Hudson Tigers in the 1A portion of the state meet.
Allen is the 16th seed in the javelin. He qualified with a throw of 148-2.
Allen joins Kade Kinnamon, Omar Ramirez and Zuriel Reyes in the 4x100 relay as the No. 8 seed.
Kinnamon, Reyes, Clay Cooper and Dean Wade are the No. 13 seed in the 4x400 relay.

• Central Plains to send
four athletes to state meet
The Central Plains Lady Oilers had three triple jumpers qualify for the 2A portion of the state meet — Breanna Holmes, Julie Demel and Taylor Rolfs.
Holmes is the No. 5 seed (34-8 1/2), Demel is the No. 6 seed (34-7 3/4) and Rolfs is seeded No. 9 (34-7).
The jump to beat is 36-2 1/4, set by Chelsea Oberle of Kiowa County.
Joining them will be Maddie Demel, who is the No. 3 seed in the discus.
Maddie Demel won a regional title with a heave of 112-11.
Erin Alexander of Washington County is the No. 1 seed at 116-1 1/2.

• Trojans to compete
in distance events at state meet
Stafford’s 4x800 relay is the No. 1 seed heading into the 1A portion of the state meet.
Mikey Aguilar, Austin Ceniti, Derek McClure and Dustin McClure combined for a time of 8:22.84 for a regional title.
Pretty Prairie is the No. 2 seed, sitting more than 11 seconds behind.
Derek McClure qualified for the state meet in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs.
He is the No. 7 seed in the 1,600 (4:50.35) and the No. 10 seed in the 3,200 (10:39.01).
Ceniti is the No. 5 seed in the 800 run (2:04.63).

• Pole vaulters lead Hoisington
in state meet seeding
Lexi Sanders is a No. 1 seed in the pole vault of the 3A portion of the state tournament.
She reached 10-0 in her regional competition.
Sanders, who also runs a leg in the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams that qualified, leads five individuals from the girls’ team to make it to the state meet.
Abbi Demel is the fourth seed in the 300 hurdles, Emily Hammond is the eighth seed in the 100 dash, Jordin Greer is the 11th seed in the high jump and Rylie Koester is the 16th seed in the 1,600 run.
Brandon Ball is a second seed in the pole vault for the Cardinals, reaching 14-0.
Ball is one of three individuals from the Hoisington boys’ team to qualify.
Anthony Broeder qualified in two events as a No. 3 seed in the discus (158-8) and a No. 6 seed in the shot put (50-6).
Jacob Durrett is the 10th seed in the 300 hurdles.

• Ochs qualifies in three events
for Lady Indians
Larned’s Tahje Ochs looks to compete in the 100 dash, long jump and triple jump in the 4A portion of the state meet.
She is seeded fifth in both jumping events, and is the 13th seed in the 100 dash.
Delainee Gordon is the 13th seed in the 1,600 run and the 3,200 run.
The Lady Indians will also be bringing 4x100 and 4x800 relay teams.