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Simmons panning for gold
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Great Bend High School’s David Simmons will be returning to the Class 5A state track and field meet to compete in the shot put on Friday at Cessna Stadium in Wichita.
Simmons said the experience at the state level will help him in competition this year. He finished in fourth place a year ago.
“You get a feel for it,” Simmons said. “It’s always new. There are new people every time, but you go up against the same guys all year. You compete against these guys all year, and you get a feeling of how they throw.
“You prepare yourself all year in practice. The experience just helps you know how to go up against the competition.”
Simmons also said that competing on Friday will be helpful.
“I need to get it out of the way,” Simmons said. “If you wait too long, you start thinking too much. You start thinking too much, and you start putting pressure on yourself.
“When you can just get it done and over with, you can usually do better.”
Simmons had a distance of 53 feet, three 1/2 inches to take second at the regional meet.
“My personal best is 53-5 1/2 at the Buhler meet about halfway through the season,” Simmons said. “I threw a 53-3 at the regional meet, but I’ve been throwing 54 and 55 in practice though.”
Great Bend head coach Bo Black said that Simmons’ hard work will lead to positive results at state.
“He needs a good first throw,” Black said. “He’s shooting for 54 or 55, and he’s capable of that.
“He works extremely hard everyday. He’s worked all year to get to this point this weekend.”
Simmons said he plans on taking first place, but to do that, he will need to best Hays’ Zack Gaughan, who won the Western Athletic Conference meet, beating Simmons by seven 3/4 inches.
Gaughan also beat Simmons in the regional meet in Wichita by nearly two feet.
“The Hays kid beat me at regional,” Simmons said of Gaughan. “I got it in for him bad. I’m going to take him down. That’s my goal.
“I’m taking first place.”
Simmons began competing in track and field in middle school and got into shot put because of his older brother, Matt Simmons.
“I’ve competed in track since seventh grade,” David Simmons said. “This was waiting for. When I started, my older brother was here. He was throwing shot put, and I used to watch him. I’ve been throwing ever since.
“He made it to state his senior year. I’ve got him by one year.”


    • Jacy Quade — 1. Discus (127 feet, 10 inches); 3. Shot put (36-10 1/2)
    • Kaylie Doll — 1. Triple jump (34-7 1/2); 3. Long jump (15-7)
    • Ali Niederee — 2. 100-meter hurdles (16.22)
    • Hannah Middleton — 2. Pole vault (9-0)
    • Salem Ball — 3. Pole vault (9-0)
    • Hannah Wondra — 3. 400 dash (1:01.32); 4. 200 dash (27.59)
    • Rubi Torres — 4. 1,600 run (5:28.74); 4. 3,200 run (11:52.59)
    • 4x440 relay — 4. (Ali Niederee, Stephanie Langer, Ali Heilman & Wondra, 4:17.67; Alternate: Summer Bates)
   • David Simmons —
2. Shot put (53-3 1/2)
   • Simon Sullivan — 3. Pole vault (13-6)
   • Chris Burley — 2. Pole vault (13-6)
   • Sheldon LeShore —  2. 100-meter dash (10.94)
   • Matt Moyd — 1. 110 hurdles (15.03); 4. 100 dash (11.04)
   • Alex Reed — 2. 400 dash (49.21); 2. 200 dash (22.57)
   • 4x100 relay — 3. (LeShore, Reed, Darion Yager & Moyd, 44.06)
   • 4x400 relay — 2.  (Mauricio Uribe, Reed, Yager & LeShore, 3:27.9; Alternate: Chon Chavez)
     NOTE — Class 5A regional placings, plus times, distances