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Sullivan, Burley push each other to new heights
spt mm Sullivan
Simon Sullivan is coming off a third-place finish at a Class 5A regional last Friday. - photo by Mack McClure Great Bend Tribune

Sophomore Chris Burley and senior Simon Sullivan, out of Great Bend High School, share a special yet competitive bond.
Both athletes were state-qualifying wrestlers during the winter, where Burley went on to win the 130-pound state championship in Class 5A. And, last Friday at the regional track and field meet at Friends University in Wichita, Burley and Sullivan qualified for this weekend’s state meet at Cessna Stadium on the Wichita State University campus.
Burley finished second and Sullivan placed third — both clearing personal bests of 13 feet, six inches in the pole vault at the regional meet.
“We both made it on our first attempt,” the soft-spoken Burley said. “I was first and I made it, and then Simon made it.
“We’re shooting for the skies, especially for this meet. We’ve both jumped 14 feet in practice.”
Sufficient to say, the duo has spent the entire season helping catapult each other to new heights.
“We really push each other,” Sullivan said. “That’s the only way to get better in practice is to push each other.
“I don’t know what (Burley) is going to do next year, when he doesn’t have anybody to push him.”
Burley and Sullivan credit GBHS graduate Corey Monroe, a former pole-vaulter for the Panthers, who has been helping the pair as of late. He was on hand in Wichita last Friday, when both cleared their personal bests.
Burley, upon advice from Monroe, said he used a pole 10 pounds heavier than the one he normally uses.
It provided instant results.
As for Sullivan, “We don’t have a big enough pole for me,” said the slender 6-foot-4, 170-pounder. “It’s at the top of the spectrum for me. I just get on a really tall pole and hold it down a couple inches.
“Fourteen was our goal at the beginning of the year, and 14-3 is the school record. That’s what we’re shooting for.”
The duo will also have a steak dinner at stake at state.
“Whoever finishes higher, the other guy has to buy a steak dinner,” Sullivan said.
Casey Bowen of Gardner-Edgerton is the hands-down favorite to win the 5A title. He is coming off a 17-1 vault at Blue Valley-Stillwell last Friday.


     • 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