v 25 Girls to Watch at the 2016 State Track and Field Meet - Sports in Kansas
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25 Girls to Watch at the 2016 State Track and Field Meet

Molly Born of SM Northwest (left) and Cailie Logue of Girard (right). photo: Chris Duderstadt
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
May 23, 2016

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(Alphabetical by last name, not in a ranked order)

Jewell Bolden, Andover Central (4A Girls)

Bolden, who won four titles at Wichita Collegiate before coming to Andover Central this year, will be one to watch once again in the 100 hurdles and long jump. Bolden has a season best of 14.38 in the 100 hurdles in 2016, which ranks #1 in Kansas. Her long jump of 18-11 also ranks #1 in 4A this season and third in all classes of Kansas.

Molly Born, SM Northwest (6A Girls) & Emily Venters, Free State (6A Girls)

Born has the fifth fastest time in Kansas history at 4:50.87 and she’s only a sophomore. She won both the 1600 and 3200 as a freshman in 2015 and will have some competition at state with Emily Venters of Free State, who won the 3200 two seasons ago. We could see record time in the 1600 in 6A as it sits at 4:52.31 by Alli Cash of SM West in 2012. Born also has a season best of 10:28.16 in the 3200, where the current 6A meet record sits at 10:32.40 by Cathy Saxon of SM West in 1979. We will see very fast times with Born and Venters in the same two races in 6A.

Jacque Darby, Olathe South (6A Girls)

Darby, a senior, is the defending state champion in the 100 meters and 200 meters last season in 6A, as well as winning the 200 meters as a sophomore in 2014. Her time of 11.88 ranks fourth in all-classes of Kansas and she will have some competition in the 100 meter race with Kimani Evans of Wichita East posting an 11.69 this season. Darby’s time of 24.65 in the 200 meters ranks second in all-classes of Kansas this season and number one in 6A. Darby could double up once again and earn her third consecutive 200 meter title.

Lauren Doll, Flint Hills (1A Girls)

Doll, a senior, is the defending state champion in the 300 hurdles in 1A. She also qualified in the triple jump, 100 hurdles and 200 meter dash. It could be a four medal weekend for Doll with a couple state championships.

Jewell Eck, Andale & Jessica Williams, Concordia (4A Girls)

Eck comes into state with a season best of 12-09, which ranks fourth all-time in Kansas history. The junior earned the mark at last Friday’s regional in Holcomb. She will have some competition with sophomore Jessica Williams of Concordia who has went 12-03 this season, another mark in the top 15 of all-time. State record for the 4A meet is 12-01 by Jamie House of El Dorado in 2010.

Breanna Eckels, Wichita Southeast (6A Girls)

Eckels has three state titles to her name and will be among the favorites to win the long jump and triple jump in 6A this season. Eckels is ranked #2 in all-classes of Kansas in the long jump at 19-01.75 and second in the triple jump at 38-06.50.

Jenna Gray, St. James Academy (5A Girls)

Gray has the top javelin throw in the state at 156-01 this season and is ranked fourth in the United States in the event. Nicole Murphy’s (Ark City) mark of 151-01 is the current state meet record in 5A. With a good day on Saturday this is a reachable record for Gray. Her teammate, Alexandra Webb, enters the event ranked second as she tossed just over 140-feet last week at regionals.

Odalis Hernandez, Emporia (5A Girls)

Hernandez has the top triple jump in Kansas this year at 39-01.50 set back in mid-April at the Barrier Breakers Invitational. Her mark is 20th all-time in the state of Kansas. 5A meet record is still a ways away with Dalhia Ingram of Liberal with 41-05.50 in 1996.

Kourtni Hubert, Beloit (3A Girls)

Hubert, who moved to Beloit for her junior year, set the 1A state meet record (141-06) as a sophomore last year at Clifton-Clyde. Hubert will now have an opportunity to compete for a 3A title. She has a season best of 145-04 and the 3A record of 148-01 by Elizabeth Herrs of Rock Creek will be in jeopardy.

Kelsey Kehl, Baldwin (4A Girls) & Victoria Orth, Andale (4A Girls)

Kehl, now a senior won a state title in the javelin as a sophomore in 2014, is entering the state meet with the two best marks in the discus (143-06) and javelin (150-04) in 4A. Kehl could double up as a state champ in both this season but will have some competition in the javelin as five athletes went over 130-feet in last week’s regional championships.  Victoria Orth of Andale is one of those javelin athletes as she has went 148-10 this season to rank third in Kansas and 13th in the United States.

Amanda Kakoulias, Andover Central (4A Girls)

When you update the statewide leaderboards weekly, this is a name that we come across every week in four events. Kakoulias is one of the best overall track and field athletes in the state, because she does a little bit of everything. Although she may not walk away with a state title, she should figure to place near the top in all four of her events at state, which include triple jump, shot put, discus and javelin. Kakoulias is also a 17-foot long jumper but can’t compete in the event due to the limit of only four events per individual. Shot put could be her best chance for a title this week as the leads 4A at 41-10 this season.

Gabrielle Lavington, Cheney (3A Girls)

Lavington, a senior won the state shot put in 3A last season, and has a season best of 45-01.50 this season and a PR of 46-01.75 that she threw last season. The 3A meet record mark of 45-06.75 by Jacquelyne Leffler of Northern Heights fell in 2015 when Lavington went 45-10.25. With a good outing on Friday, Lavington could improve her best.

Aarika Lister, Leavenworth (5A Girls)

Lister, just a sophomore, is the defending state champion in the 100 and 200 in 5A. She has ran 11.58 this season which ranks second all-time in the state of Kansas. Lister has also ran a 24.64, good for the fastest in Kansas this season. Her brother, Melvin Lister, a former state champion jumper for Leavenworth in the mid-90s, went on to become an Olympian in 2000 and 2004.

Cailie Logue, Girard (4A Girls)

Logue, a junior, has six KSHSAA individual state titles heading into the meet in cross country and track combined. She has won the last two 3200 meter runs in 4A and also won the 1600 last season. She also has three individual state cross country titles. The 2x Kansas Gatorade XC Athlete of the Year has posted the third fastest 1600 time in Kansas history at 4:44.08. Not only should she achieve 4A meet record time (5:00.34 Cari Warden – Chaparral – 1992), she will also have a chance to complete the triple in the 800, 1600 and 3200 for state titles this season. Her mother, Christie Allen Logue, was an 8x National Champion at Pittsburg State in the early nineties.

Alyssa Miller, Hill City (2A Girls)

Miller, a junior at Hill City, has the 10th best discus throw in the country this year at 158-00. That mark is good enough for seventh all-time in Kansas. Miller won the state championship in 2A as a sophomore last season and with a good toss on Friday afternoon could break the 2A meet record of 144-02 by Whitney Taylor of Ellis in 2009. Miller will also contend for a 2A state shot put title and enters the event ranked fourth on regional seeding, however she does have the best mark in 2A this season at 40-00.50.

Taylor Muff, Pittsburg (5A Girls)

Muff, now a junior, won two state titles two years ago as a freshman in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles. She took second in both last year and now has the top two marks in 5A this season in the 100 hurdles (14.66) and 300 hurdles (45.64). She is also one of the best discus throwers in the state and will contend for a 5A title in that event with Payton Roberts of Newton. Her throw of 139-09 ranks fifth in all-classes of Kansas. Muff is also an all-state basketball player and volleyball player that has committed to play volleyball at Division I Northern Colorado.

Payton Roberts, Newton (5A Girls)

A name many are familiar with at the state outdoor since her freshman season. Roberts has won the last two titles in the shot and discus and 5A. She enters the state meet with a season best of 46-11.75 in the shot and a 143-09 in the discus. Her shot put mark ranks #1 in all-classes of Kansas, while her discus ranks #3 this season.

Brandi Jo Roepke, Valley Heights (2A Girls) & Kayla Smith, Valley Heights (2A Girls)

The all-state basketball duo at Valley Heights are also very good track and field athletes. Roepke, a sprinter and jumper who has battled injuries has four state titles in her career but will only be doing long jump this year at state, after missing all of last year’s meet due to injury. Smith, a sophomore won the long jump and triple jump last year in 1A, and will battle Roepke for the 2A title in the long jump this season.

Jordan Speer, Dighton (1A Girls)

Speer, a junior, has went 43-00.50 in the shot this season and ranks in the top 10 of Kansas in all-classes. She has the top two marks in the shot and discus in 1A this season. Speer won the 1A state title as a sophomore last spring and took fifth in the discus.

Jenny O’Bryan, St. Paul (1A Girls)

O’Bryan has won three individual state track and field titles and three more in cross country. O’Bryan, a Tulsa signee, has the fifth fastest 3200 meter time in Kansas this season at 11:03.32. She will be in record territory of the 1A girls 3200 record of 10:57.30 set by Jacque Strcukhoff of Grinnnell in 1983. Look for her to double up once again the 1600 and 3200 in 1A.

Jazmin Williams, SM North (6A Girls)

Willams, a senior, has the fastest 300 hurdle time in Kansas this season at 44.75 and will be the favorite to win in 6A. Not only does she have the best hurdle mark in Kansas, she also has the best long jump in the state in all-classes at 19-03.

Many more to watch:

Tyaji Adams, Hutchinson (6A Hurdles

Kimani Evans, Wichita East (6A Sprints)

Cameron Gueldner, Olathe Northwest (6A Distance)

Callie Hicks, Free State (6A Pole Vault)

Summer Kragel, Olathe South (6A High Jump)

Alex Rodriguez, Hutchinson (6A Shot Put)

Astrid Same, Wichita East (6A Shot Put)

Hannah VanBuskirk, BV Northwest (6A High Jump)

Kalli Anderson, Newton (5A Sprints)

Jennifer Andres, Newton (5A Sprints)

Kylia Floyd, Emporia (5A Jumps)

Kassidy Johnson, Maize South (5A Mid-Distance)

Savanah Simmons, Newton (5A Sprints)

McKenzie Wilks, Pittsburg (5A Mid-Distance)

Demitra Carter, Sumner (4A Hurdles/Sprints)

Sidney Howland, El Dorado (4A Sprints)

Madi Rollins, Chanute (4A High Jump)

Aubrie Sorrell, Labette Co. (4A Shot Put)

Clancie Sorrell, Labette Co. (4A Discus)

Amy Suenram, McPherson (4A Jumps)

Cassidy Westhoff, Fort Scott (4A Distance)

Kaley Dailinghaus, Nemaha Central (3A Throws)

Emily Gartner, Hiawatha (3A Discus)

Alaina Gfeller, Russell (3A Sprints/Jumps)

Jessica Heidel, Belle Plaine (3A Jumps)

Rachel Heiman, Silver Lake (3A Sprints)

Sydney Johnson, Beloit (3A Throws)

Kylee Poague, SE Saline (3A Hurdles)

Lyndsay Shupe, Minneapolis (3A Sprints)

Emerson Tice, Garden Plain (3A Sprints)

Taylor Valdez, Hesston (3A Sprints)

Sydney Wilson, Sterling (3A Hurdles/Jumps)

Brooke Brownlee, Maranatha Academy (2A Sprints)

Alexia Deutscher, Ellis (2A Javelin)

Jessica DeWeese, Skyline-Pratt (2A Sprints)

Grace Ivey, Sacred Heart (2A High Jump)

Peri Lange, Moundridge (2A Hurdles)

Erin Topham, Berean Academy (2A Distance)

Clara Eilert, Beloit-St. Johns (1A Hurdles)

Rachel Miller, Lakeside (1A Hurdles/Sprints)

Bradie Schmitz, Axtell (1A Sprints)

Gabrielle Smith, Beloit-St. Johns (1A Javelin)

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