One doesn’t realize just how big the Kansas Track & Field State Championships has become until he or she arrives around mid-day Saturday and looks for a parking spot relatively close to Cessna Stadium at Wichita State University. Trust us, you won’t find one. With more than 3,300 athletes from all six classifications competing, you only can imagine how many family members, friends and media converge on the site to observe them. Well, unless you’ve been there to see it, you probably can’t. It’s huge. Very huge.
Congratulations to all of the athletes in our circulation area who qualified to compete on this impressive stage, and to all the coaches who helped them achieve that accomplishment.
Two athletes deserve particular affirmation. Hillsboro’s Wes Shaw claimed not only a gold medal, but also a new school record and state record in the shot put with a throw of 60 feet, 11.5 inches, a distance that was nearly 10 feet, 9 inches farther than the runner-up.
Every bit as impressive, Marion senior Tyler Palic concluded his high school career as a two-time state champion in the discus. He achieved the winning mark of 182 feet, 6 inches on his final attempt of the day, setting a new meet record in Class 2A.
Whether you earned a medal or didn’t, our state qualifiers are already winners for getting there. At the very least, you’ve made a memory that will last a lifetime.