WICHITA — Three of the four triple jumpers for the Parsons track team that went to Wichita for the KSHSAA state championships returned with bling around their necks.
Jessie Jones, Marion Ryan and freshman Iniya Hinman all finished in the top eight of their respective Class 4A triple jump competitions to earn medals.
Jones took third with a leap three-quarters of an inch shy of 43 feet. Carson Key of Bishop Miege took the state title with a 45’7.5” mark.
“He’s been one of our most consistent athletes all year,” Parsons head coach Rob Barcus said. “He didn’t feel anything different today because he has that routine down.”
Ryan finished eighth in the same event, clearing 41’10.5”. Ryan’s medal came after a 13th-place showing in the high jump earlier in the day.
“It was a little stressful this morning because I’m not used to jumping as early in the morning,” Ryan said. “But once the afternoon came, I was ready to go in that triple jump.”
As for Hinman, a freshman who can add a state track medal to a freshman campaign that includes All-SEK League honors in volleyball and basketball. She cleared 34’6.25” on Friday to finish in eighth place.
“It’s a blessing to be able to medal at state as a freshman,” Hinman said. “It wasn’t my goal to place. It was just to get the experience.”
“She took a deep breath right before her first jump to compose herself,” Barcus added. “It seemed like that helped her relax. That jump got her into the finals.”
The only other Parsons athlete to earn a medal was shot-putter Isiah Tyson, who polished off a postseason surge to finish sixth at state. Tyson had a throw measured at 48’10.5” in Wichita just weeks after picking up the event in practice.
“I was just messing around in practice and threw a 40 one time,” Tyson said. “So I had a lot of fun working on it with the coaches these past few weeks.”
Tyson was a surprise bid to state after being seeded 16th at the regional tournament a week ago. But the Parsons coaching staff envisioned Tyson emerging.
“The coaches were telling me all week he was getting close to 50,” Barcus said. “Then I get out there and he throws 48. So they were telling me all along this was coming.”
In other Parsons results, Matt Ray placed 10th in the long jump, hoisting himself 19’4”.
Gracen Friess narrowly missed out on two medals, finishing ninth in the 100m hurdles with a time of 16.60. The last medal went to a hurdler that was less than two-tenths faster than Friess.
The senior also took 10th in the 300m hurdles with a time of 49.63.
“She gave her best and that’s what she’s done in every meet,” Barcus said. “She’s one of the hardest-working kids I’ve ever been around. We don’t see the type of field in Southeast Kansas that we do up here. It’s just how it falls sometimes.”
Kinsey Baldwin took 10th in the 1600m run with a time of 5:54.49. Parsons’ 4x100m relay team of Anna Ecoff, Briona Patterson, Friess and Hinman finished 16th with a time of 53.26 seconds.
Kaden Spall, a third triple jump qualifier for the Parsons boys, finished 15th at an even 38 feet.
Barcus aims for more participation from new athletes and even current ones already rostered in 2022.
“We’re still trying to get some numbers up,” Barcus said. “I want girl participation up. And we need more kids to do four events to get more kids here.”