The Great Bend High School Panthers have a pair of throwers seeded in the top 5 of the Class 5A discus competition in this weekend’s state track and field championships.
Sophomore Jayce Brack and junior Nick Warren will be representing Great Bend in the event on Friday at 3 p.m. at Wichita State University’s Cessna Stadium.
Brack, who competed in the state meet last year, will also throw in the shot put on Saturday at 3.
“I think all year he’s been throwing against the best in the state,” GBHS head coach Bo Black said of Brack. “Just about every track meet we’ve been to, he’s thrown against Cade Sharp. I think that’s really made him a better thrower.
“It only takes one good throw. He continues to improve. I think he’s in a good spot right now.”
Brack competed in the shot put as a freshman last season. He finished 11th overall.
This year, Brack is the No. 2 seed in the event. He sits behind two-time state champion Cade Sharp of Hays.
“It feels pretty good,” Brack said. “I’d like to have a little better finish than we had last year. Any time you drop eight spots from where you went in, that’s never good. I’d like to be in the top 3.”
Sharp narrowly edged Brack at a 5A regional at Salina Central on Friday. Brack threw 55-3, and Sharp reached 56-4 1/4.
Brack acknowledged that Great Bend assistant coach Cliff Burt as a large part of his success.
“I just want to go out and compete to the best of my abilities,” Brack said. “(I’m) way more confident than last year. I’m feeling a little bit more consistent.
“Practicing with a good coach can help make you confident. Our’s is a great coach.”
Brack is the No. 4 seed in the discus with a state-qualifying throw of 151-10. Warren is right behind him as the fifth seed with a distance of 150-4.
“Both of them have been throwing against Sharp all season,” Black said. “Really, four out of the top 5 kids are coming out of our regional. The discus is such a finicky event.
“It just takes hitting it right one time and coming off the right way and the wind catching it the right way. Both of those kids fully expect themselves to be in the mix in the finals of the event.”
The Panthers duo sit behind Cory Martens of Newton, Austin McCormick of Maize South and Sharp in the discus.
This is Warren’s first time at the state meet. He said he discovered his potential this season.
“I was pretty excited,” Warren said. “I went to McPherson (on April 25) and I got that really good PR. I knew that I had the potential to be good, so I’ve been doing really good this year.
“That PR was 156-4, I believe. I was at 136, so that was pretty good.”
Warren said he’s trying to not let state’s biggest stage for high school track and field athletes get to him.
“I’m just kind of treating it like any old track meet so I just don’t blow it, get psyched out of it,” Warren said. “I’m not going alone. I’m going with somebody who knows what he’s doing, you know, as much as Jayce knows what he’s doing.”