At the Kansas 100th State Track and Field Championship at Wichita State?s Cessna Stadium on Friday and Saturday, old champions defended and new champions emerged as four area athletes won gold in seven events
Peabody Burns? Lauren Pickens was the top gold winner from the Free Press coverage area, sweeping the 100, 200 and 400. Now a three time champion in all events, the junior broke her own state record in the 400 (56.62) in the preliminary race Friday with a time of 56.58.
Saturday she ran times of 12.20 in the 100, 25.38 in the 200 and 57.02 in the 400 to win her seventh, eighth and ninth career state gold medals.
Despite failing to defend her two year title in the 3A triple jump, Marion?s Julia Zeiner is still a two-event individual. In her final year of high school competition, Zeiner won four medals-two gold and two silver.
Winning the 100-meter hurdles for the first time in her career, Zeiner crossed the finish line in 15.20. She placed second in the 300 meter hurdles in 46.15.
For the third consecutive time, Zeiner is the 3A long jump champion, winning with a jump of 17-11
In the triple jump, the two-time champ finished in an unfamiliar second place. Zeiner?s jump of 37-08.75 was eclipsed by Wichita Independent?s Tina Liu. The junior won with a jump of 38-02.50. Hillsboro?s Dakota Kaufman placed fourth, jumping 35-05.50.
Marion?s Nick Klenda is now a two-time discus champion. The senior won with a 178-00 toss.
Rounding out the gold medalist is Hillsboro?s Nathan Vogel. Vogel ran a time of 1:58.76 en route to an 800 3A state title. The senior placed second in the 400 in 50.11.