WICHITA — Mariah Monroy wrapped up one of the most decorated athletic careers in Cherryvale history on Friday as she took third in the Class 3A triple jump at the KSHSAA State Track and Field Championships.
Monroy, who was the reigning state champion in the event from 2019 as a sophomore, posted a mark of 35’0.25” to earn her bronze finish. Karsen Duhnam of Douglass won the state title with a leap of 36’9.75” while Jayme Hagerman of Larned took second at 35’0.75”.
“She was behind the board and it was probably 36 feet in the air,” Cherryvale head coach Chad Dick said. “But we’re so proud of her coming back and being a consistent jumper for us. That was a big thing.”
Monroy gutted through a foot injury that hampered her in regionals and at Friday’s state meet. Monroy was visibly in pain and laboring through her final jumps.
“On her left foot, she had a lingering issue as far back as basketball,” Dick said. “It was just a muscle strain that would tender up. She was very hesitant to land on that foot and sometimes hesitant to come back up.”
Despite the pain, Monroy still surpassed her regional mark by nearly two feet in order to finish in the top three.
An All-Tri-Valley League honoree in volleyball and basketball as well as a state champion as a sophomore in track, Monroy will continue her athletic career with the Missouri Southern track program in Joplin.
“We’ve had some really good girls as competitors for us in the past,” Cherryvale athletic director Rodney Vigil said. “Mariah has just continued that. She set a foundational block in the area of triple jump and track and field.”
Bryce Sallee, who qualified in three events for Cherryvale, finished 12th in the discus with a toss of 132’2” and 14th in the javelin with a mark of 146’10”.
But Sallee, a senior, saw his shining moment in the shot put. Seeded 16th going into the event, Sallee earned a medal with a sixth-place finish on a 51’4.75” heave.
“He was seeded at the backend of every event and came up big with some PRs,” Dick said. “He outperformed every expectation. He’s improving every time. To do it on this stage with all those nerves, we’re very happy with him.”
For Sallee, the trip to the podium was an actualization of the labor he put in.
“It was a huge accomplishment to get on that stand,” Sallee said. “It felt amazing. All the weeks and months of practicing paid off.”
Cherryvale’s Bethany Umbarger, a freshman, finished 10th in the 400m dash and missed a medal by less than three-tenths of a second.
TJ Monroy, another young talent for Cherryvale and Mariah’s younger brother, placed 15th in the high jump as he cleared 5’8”.