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Panthers' Nachtigal win javelin gold medal
Panthers' triple jumper Ohnmacht wins gold medal
Great Bend 5A stat javelin champion Macy Nachtigal. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez


WICHITA —When Great Bend's Macy Nachtigal officially clinched her 5A state javelin gold medal, she had one more goal.

"When the last person threw, I hugged my coach (Shelly Duvall) because I knew I'd won," Nachtigal said. "But I wanted to throw my best on my final throw."

Sure enough, Nachtigal bettered her 132-10 throw with a 135-8 effort to achieve a little icing on her gold medal. Nachtigal had placed fourth, fifth and seventh in the 5A javelin the past three years.

"It feels great to be a state champion," she said. "A few of our seniors have been fortunate to win gold medals over the past four years. It's pretty cool to be first on the podium."

Nachtigal appreciated the positive support from her teammates.

"It meant a lot to see my entire team watching," she said. "I was nervous when I started, but I knew I could do it. There are some years you've got to throw over 150 feet."

Throwing conditions were excellent with 80 degree temperatures accompanied by a 10 to 15 mph southeasterly wind.

"It was a perfect wind for me. My first throw my tip got too high, but after that I got my technique back together," she said. "You've got to stay focused when they're announcing your name."

Nachtigal credits the guidance of throwing coach Shelly Duvall for her success.

"Coach Duvall has helped me tremendously," she said. "I'm where I am today because of her. I worked Monday through Saturday on technique, cardio and weightlifting to stay sharp. The hard work paid off."

Nachtigal is a 2-time Western Athletic javelin champion and 2-time WAC javelin runner-up who will join Panther graduate Kyndall Blessing at Barton Community College next fall. Nachtigal will play volleyball and throw the javelin at Barton.

The Panthers' quality distance runners faced two of the best 5A runners in Kansas history. Topeka Seaman’s Ryin Miller broke the 5A 1,600 state record (4:51.58) and won the 800 (2:10.8). Salina Central’s Katelyn Rupe (10:18.9) broke the 5A 3,200 state record.

The Panthers' 1,600-meter relay placed fifth (4:04.38) with Reese Bullard, Eliana Beckham, Daizy Gomez and Sadie Spray running a season-best time. Panther Addy Nicholson placed fifth in the 3,200 meters (11:31.65) with a career-best time.

The 4-time Western Athletic and 4-time girls regional champions featured quality finishers in the 800 meters (7th place Eliana Beckham, 2:20.78; and 8th place Reese Bullard, 2:20.91); and 1,600 (14th place Nicholson, 5:32.22 and 16th place Sienna Smith, 5:49.94).

When Great Bend’s Cooper Ohnmacht tried his first triple jump, he was well prepared at Friday’s 5A state track championship.

“I did an extra-long warmup starting at 9 a.m.,” said Ohnmacht. “I had a great warmup.”

Ohnmacht soared in the air and broke his own school record with a state championship leap of 47 feet, 31/2 inches on his first attempt. Ohnmacht placed seventh in the 5A long jump (21-31/2).

“I thought it was good, but it took them a while to mark it,” he said. “Once they marked it, it all felt surreal. I didn’t think it had happened. It feels good to be a state champion.”

Great Bend track coaches Lyles Lashley and Alex Birney saw potential in Ohnmacht, who broke the Panthers’ vertical jump record last summer. Ohnmacht had never competed in competitive track until this spring.

“I thought I’d be a sprinter, not a jumper,” he said. “I’m surprised it’s worked out.”

Ohnmacht was focused on his performance.

“I focused on jumping my best,” he said. “Around the WAC meet, I knew I had a shot at state, if I jumped my best. Coach (Alex) Birney deserves a lot of the credit. He’s helped a lot.”


5A GIRLS TEAM SCORES—1—Lenexa St. James 83; 2—Salina Central 50; 3—Andover High 47; 4—Topeka Seaman 42; Arkansas City 42; 6—Spring Hill 38; Maize South 38; 8—Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 34.5; 9—Hays High 34; 10—Great Bend 32

PANTHER RESULTS *season best

300m hurdles—DQ—Sadie Spray

800m—7—Eliana Beckham, 2:20.78; 8—Reese Bullard, 2:20.91

1,600m—14—Nicholson, 5:32.22; 16—Sienna Smith, 5:49.94

3,200m—5—Addy Nicholson, *11:31.65; 16—Marissa Boone, 12:11.37

1,600m relay—5—Great Bend, *4:04.38 (Bullard, Beckham, Daizy Gomez, Spray)

3,200m relay—9—Great Bend, *9:43.02 (Eliana Beckham, Kate Welcher, Bella Long, Reese Bullard)

High jump—3—Spray, 5-2; 6—Cassie Ellegood, *5-2

Shot put—14—Allie Gerhart, 32-61/2

Javelin—1—Macy Nachtigal, 135-8


5A BOYS TEAM SCORES—1—Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 87; 2—Blue Valley Southwest 69; 3—DeSoto 67; 4—St. Thomas Aquinas 65; 5—KC Piper 36; 6—Wichita Carroll 34; 7—Lenexa St. James 33; 8—Goddard 32; Topeka Seaman 32; 10—Shawnee Heights 30; 19—Great Bend 12


3,200m—14—Ismael Ramirez, *10:02.73

3,200m relay—8—Great Bend, *8:22.84 (Braylon Moore, Diego Pasos, Tavon Stroup, Alex Galindo)

Long jump—7—Ohnmacht, 21-31/2

Triple jump—1—Cooper Ohnmacht, *47-31/2