Parsons played host to the 2019 SEK League Championships on Thursday.
Pittsburg won both the boys and girls team titles, with the Purple Dragons boys scoring 147.5 points while the girls notched 165. Thursday marked the sixth straight season Pittsburg’s boys won the league title, while it was the 10th year in a row for the girls. Pittsburg has swept the SEK Championships every season since 2010.
The Parsons boys took second place with 83 points, while its girls were sixth with 30 points.
“I felt like we performed about as expected,” Parsons head coach Rob Barcus said. “The kids were hyped to run against us, so we knew we’d have to do really, really well. Pittsburg is tough to beat.”
As for Labette County, its boys finished in fourth with 73 points while its girls with fifth with 35 points.
“I thought our kids competed really well,” Labette County head coach Craig Hartman said. “We just had really good effort out of all our boys and girls.”
Davonte’ Yates of Parsons broke the school record for the long jump at the league meet, launching 22’9” to break Jamario Kendrick’s record of 22’8.5” set back in 2004. Yates also finished first in the triple jump (46’7”).
“It was a record that I didn’t think was going to be broken,” Barcus said. “When they told me he broke the record, I didn’t believe it. He basically got another foot onto his personal best. That’s a big jump. It’s a great result, and I just wasn’t expecting it.”
Zion Natt took fifth in the high jump (5’6”), while Josh Pierce took third in the triple jump (41’2”). Baxter Finley took sixth in the javelin (120’9”).
DaQuan Johnson placed second in the 100m dash (11.04).
“Expectations are always high with him,” Barcus said. “People don’t realize what kind of year he’s had with three extra weeks of football and a week-and-a-half extra of basketball. His time in the semis was great.”
Gage Friess took third in the 200m dash (23.60) and first in the 400m dash (53.12), while Tate Robison was second in the 400m dash (54.20). Brett Baldwin was fourth in the 1600m run (4:55.71)
The Parsons boys’ 4x100m relay team took second (44.36) while the 4x400m team was first (3:35.69).
As for the Parsons girls, Gracen Friess took third in the 100m hurdles (16.75), third in the high jump (4’10”) and second in the 300m hurdles (49.87).
“She came in and competed well,” Barcus said. “She only had one day of practice before league because she missed a few days. For her mentally to come in and run the way she did was big.”
Anna Ecoff was fifth in the 100m dash (13.34) and sixth in the 200m dash (29.09), while Hollie Marlow was sixth in the 400m dash (1:05.55).
The girls’ 4x100m relay team for Parsons took third (53.40).
Caleb Hentzen once again won the boys high jump for Labette County, leaping 6’6”. Ethan Jameson took second in the same event, clearing the same height.
“They’ve competed well all year long,” Hartman said. “Caleb tied for first at the KU Relays earlier, and Ethan has done super as well. It’s been great to see. They both ran in that 4x400 relay too. They’re team players too, not just high jumpers.”
Hayden McClenning took sixth in the long jump (19’5”). Caleb Haggard was fifth in the shot put (41’1”) and third in the discus (109’8”) while Zac Hyatt was fifth in the discus (108’2”).
Noah Grady took third in the javelin (133’1”). Zach McCarty was second in the 300m hurdles (43.64) and fourth in the 110m hurdles (16.92), while Russell McCarty was sixth (17.56) in the 110m hurdles and fifth in the 300m hurdles (46.04). Lane Manners took sixth in the 1600m run (5:10.10).
Alex Meister was fifth in the 1600m run (5:02.52) and second in the 3200m run (10:52.14).
“He’s been running really well all year,” Hartman said. “He’s done very well.”
The Labette County boys’ 4x800m relay team took fifth (9:21.32), the 4x100m team was fifth (46.33) and the 4x400m team was second (3:39.13).
“That’s the best time we’ve run by over four seconds,” Hartman said of the 4x400m group. “Our kids ran really hard.”
Finally for the Labette County girls, Lauren Forbes took sixth in the long jump (13’11”) and fifth in the triple jump (30’2”).
Elsie Sorrell was third in the discus (100’5”) and fourth in the shot put (33’7.5”). Abby Pegues took fifth in the 100m hurdles (17.67).
Jasmine Perez took third in the 200m dash (27.81) and first in the 400m dash (1:02.52)
“I wasn’t surprised when she got up there and ran that 400,” Hartman said. “She’s been running really well for us all year.”
Gracie Gatton took fifth in the 3200m run (13:49.07). The Labette County girls’ 4x400m relay team took fifth (4:49.84).
Both Parsons and Labette County now prepare for the KSHSAA 4A Regional meet at Chanute next week with berths to the state meet on the line.
“We’re peaking at the right time,” Barcus said. “We’ve seen every team at our regional except two. We have high hopes to win the regional on the boys side. We knew league would be hard because everything would have to go perfect.”
“We’ve got a lot of guys with shot to qualify for state,” Hartman added. “You just never know with some kids, especially at regionals. We’re excited to see what we can do. The new format with nine teams will open up some opportunity.”