WICHITA — Davonte’ Yates finally got some gold hardware for his trophy collection. They came on the final days of a four-year exodus through Parsons athletics that culminated at the 2019 KSHSAA State Track and Field Championships.

Yates captured both the 4A Boys Triple Jump and Long Jump state titles on Saturday. In the triple jump, Yates launched himself 46’5”, distancing himself nearly two feet from second-place finisher Carson Key of Bishop Miege.

“I wanted to understand what athletes from Parsons are like,” Yates said. “We don’t always get the recognition being from a small town. I wanted to do it for our community.”

Yates cleared 22’5.25” in the long jump, a foot-and-a-half away from Blake Vercher of Chapman who took second.

“I’m extremely happy for Davonte’,” Parsons head coach Rob Barcus said. “He didn’t have the best luck his sophomore year, and last year he finished third in the long and second in the triple. He wanted to get titles in both this year and he accomplished that goal.”

Yates, a senior for Parsons, is continuing his athletic career at Neosho County Community College for both men’s basketball and track-and-field.

“I can’t change anything now,” Yates said. “Only thing I can do is be proud of what I’ve done over the last four years and keep the momentum going into college.”

Sunday also brought with it a surprise state champion in Cherryvale’s Mariah Monroy, who captured the crown in the 3A Girls Triple Jump.

Monroy, who was seeded eighth going into the event, leapt 37’2.25” to take first place. The sophomore for Cherryvale edged out second-place finisher Jacee Wilson of Cimarron, who jumped 37’1.75”.

“It feels great,” Monroy said. “I was just thinking that I was ready to jump. I had my confidence up. I was just ready.”

Cherryvale head coach Chad Dick highlighted Monroy’s rapid improvement over the season — she claimed the school record in the triple jump and qualified for state after being seeded fifth, on the outside of the bubble looking in to state qualification, at regionals.

“She wants to win,” Dick said. “On the winning jump, she wasn’t even on the white board, so she has room to grow. She PR’d at regionals when she wasn’t even seeded to go to state. She just keeps getting better.”

An all-league talent in volleyball and basketball as well, Dick expect Monroy to establish herself as one of the area’s premier athletes in the coming seasons.

“She did well and is an awesome competitor,” Dick said. “She rises to the competition. We had a really young squad this year, but we have some talent. It’s been awesome to watch her improve. She’s PR’d at almost every meet this year.”

“I have high standards,” Monroy added. “I just have to keep working.”

The state track meet bled into Sunday after days of torrential storms with doses of thunder and lightning forced postponements. Saturday’s events were all timed finals and shortened flights in field events.

The Parsons boys team finished in fifth place in the Boys 4A team standings with 39 total points.

“I was hoping we could finish in the top-six range,” Barcus said. “I’m pretty happy with our results overall. We had a very good spring. We won a couple meets early in the year and were competitive all year. Our track team is going to continue to get better.”


Vikings bring home seven medals from Wichita

In other results for Parsons, DaQuan Johnson finished in fifth place in the 4A Boys 100m Dash with a time of 11.16 seconds. Jordan Hawkins of Buhler broke the meet record in the race, taking first with a time of 10.65 seconds.

“He’s had better starts,” Barcus said. “He was a little disappointed in himself. But just to medal is a great accomplishment. He didn’t run as well as he has, but he still competed.”

Dariq Williams finished fifth in the long jump with a leap of 20’5.25”. Josh Pierce finished 16th in the long jump at 19’5” and 14th in the triple jump at 40’2.75”.

“Dariq got fifth place and missed the board every jump,” Barcus said. “The skyis the limit for him. He’ll be the one to take over our jumps next year. We’ll ask him to triple jump and his long jump will continue to get better.”

Zion Natt failed to clear a height in the 4A Boys High Jump but took 13th in the triple jump with a mark of 40’5.5”.

Gage Friess took sixth place in the 4A Boys 400m Dash with a time of 51.56 seconds. Tate Robison took 15th in the event at 55.09 seconds, while Brenden Hudson of Ulysses won at 50.55 seconds.

“That’s a place where our regional time really hurt us,” Barcus said. “If Gage would’ve been in the fast heat, he could’ve been in the top three. That was the second fastest time of his career, so he ran really well.”

Baxter Finley finished 13th in the 4A Boys Discus with a throw of 125’10”. Winfield’s Matt Everett won with a mark of 183’9”. Brett Baldwin of Parsons placed 11th in the 4A Boys 1600m Run with a time of 4:56.22. Aaron Modrow of Chapman won with a time of 4:34.31.

Gracen Friess, a sophomore, competed in three individual events. She took 10th in the 4A Girls 100m Hurdles with a time of 16.73 seconds, while Tori McGinnis of Circle won at 15.05 seconds.

Gracen Friess then finished 12th in the 4A Girls High Jump as she cleared 4’8”. Nataleigh Cantu of Augusta won the event, clearing 5’4”. Friess then took 11th in the 4A Girls 300m Hurdles with a time of 49.85 seconds. Sian Helfrich of Pratt won at 45.90 seconds.

“She’s one of our hardest working kids and shows up every day,” Barcus said. “She’s a heck of a competitor. She’s a little hard on herself at times. She’s just got to perform. She puts a lot of pressure on herself to do well. She’ll medal here in the next two years for sure.”

Anna Ecoff took 15th in the 200m dash with a time of 27.72 and 15th in the 4A Girls 100m Dash with a time of 13.05. Kimalee Cook of Circle was first at 12.25 seconds.

Sanya Anderson placed 11th in the 4A Girls Discus with a mark of 102’5”, with Jacy Anderson of Andale winning with a toss of 131’3”.

Hollie Marlow medaled in the 4A Girls 400m Dash with a time of 1:02.15, while Summer Spigle of Ottawa won at 59.51.

“She wanted to run better,” Barcus said. “Her time wasn’t where it was last year. She wants to do well and I thought she ran a good race. She just ran out of juice on the homestretch a little bit. She’ll keep doing well next year and probably medal in multiple events next year.”

Marlow also took 16th in the 4A Girls 200m Dash with a time of 28.30 seconds. Kimalee Cook of Circle won the race, finishing in 26.28 seconds.

The Parsons Boys 4A 4x100m Relay team of Yates, Williams, Johnson and Friess finished in second place with a time of 43.12, trailing race-winner Piper by less than a second as it finished in 42.89 seconds.

“All our handoffs looked good and I have no complaints,” Barcus said. “Piper was just a little bit faster. Our kids ran as fast as they could and they did a great job.”

Parsons wrapped up its trip to Wichita with a 10th place finish in the 4A Boys 4x400m Relay. The team of Friess, Robison, Yates and Johnson ran a time of 3:30.39. Louisburg won the race with a time of 3:25.39.


Labette County’s Jameson surprises with second place showing in high jump

Ethan Jameson finished ahead of Labette County school record holder Caleb Hentzen in the 4A Boys High Jump, clearing 6’10”. Hentzen took second place at 6’8”, while Hunter Jones of Nickerson won the event at 6’10”, beating Jameson on jumps.

“I was super proud of both of them,” Labette County head coach Craig Hartman. “Caleb performed very well even though it wasn’t his absolute best. But Ethan broke through and performed extremely well. They’ve done a really good job all year. Ethan has great potential just being a junior.”

Jameson, whose previous career-best in the high jump was 6’6”, said breaking through to 6’10” was an accomplishment.

“I was just trying to give it my all every jump,” Jameson said. “When I got up to 6’10”, I didn’t think I could do it. But I thought of the things I could do, and it just happened.

“I take so much pride in it. Caleb and I have gone at it all year. It was sad to see he didn’t get his best mark. But I worked hard for what I did. Taking second place felt amazing.”

In other Labette County results from Saturday, Zach McCarty took 16th in the 4A Boys 300m Hurdles with a time of 45.46. Pratt’s Brett Windsor won with a time of 39.07.

Alex Meister finished 13th in the 4A Boys 3200m Run with a time of 11:08.94. Aaron Mudrow of Chapman won the race with a time of 9:49.25.

Gracie Gatton finished 15th in the 4A Girls 3200m Run with a time of 13:48.74. Taylor Briggs of Chapman took first in the race with a time of 11:10.31.

Lauren Forbes took 16th in the 4A Girls Long Jump with a mark of 13’3”. Saniya Simmons of Piper won with a jump of 17’0.5”.

Forbes also finished 13th in the 4A Girls Triple Jump with a leap of 31’3”. Chapman’s McKenna Kirkpatrick won with a mark of 35’8.75”.

Jasmine Perez took ninth in the 400m dash with a time of 1:02.15 and 12th in 200m dash at 27.45 seconds.

Elsie Sorrell was 10th in the 4A Girls Discus with a throw of 103’9”.

“We felt like our kids performed as well as they could have,” Hartman said. “We had a couple ninth-place finishers. We did all we could do. We weren’t intimidated and I was pleased with that. It’s a tough meet up here. We were pleased with our whole season and the attitude of our kids.”


Erie’s Aikins wraps storied career with two medals

For Erie, Ashlynn Aikins wrapped up an illustrious high school athletic career by taking third place in the 3A Girls 100m Hurdles finals with a time of 15.67 seconds. Layne Needham of Cheney won the event with a time of 14.93.

“I’m glad that I got third,” Aikins said. “I was hoping for a little more. I didn’t run as well as I wanted to. But I was glad that I placed.”

Aikins also competed in the 3A Girls Triple Jump, where she medaled and took seventh place with a jump of 35’0.25”.

“I know I could’ve performed a lot better,” Aikins said. “But getting seventh is really rewarding after this season.”

She’ll now head to Neosho County Community College along with Parsons’ Davonte Yates to continue her track-and-field career.

“I wish I could go back and start over,” Aikins said. “I’d love to do it all over again. But I’m ready to be in college. I want to be coached more and I want more experience. I’m really looking forward to improving and getting to the four-year level.”

In other Erie results, Nicole Aikins finished 14th in the 3A Girls Javelin with a throw of 110’1”. Jacy Dalinghaus of Nemaha Central won with a toss of 146’9” while Nemaha Central took the top three spots in the event.

On Sunday, Alexis Hernandez finished 12th in the 3A Boys Javelin with a toss of 147’9”. Trey Patterson of Cheney won the event with a throw of 195’10”.


Other local results

Mariah Monroy of Cherryvale competed in two events for the Chargers. In addition to winning the state title in the triple jump, the sophomore took 12th in the 3A Girls 300m Hurdles with a time of 50.22 seconds, with Cheney’s Layne Needham winning at 44.79 seconds.

Dick said after the meet that he’s hopeful to bring more athletes to Wichita in 2020.

“We just need to get more competitors here,” Dick said. “We had a really tough regional with a lot of fifth place finishers. One of our competitors would have been fifth here in the 200m Dash. We have five seniors leaving out of 62 athletes, so we have a lot coming back.”

Trayton Walker of Oswego finished 16th in the 2A Boys 1600m Run with a time of 5:09.80. Hadley Splechter of Yates Center won with a time of 4:26.77. Abby Long took 16th in the 2A Girls Shot Put with a throw of 30’4”. Grace Thompson of Sedgwick won with a mark of 39’2”.

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