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Top stories 2012: Three times as nice for Indians

By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Head track and field coach Ryan Cornelsen might have started a track and field dynasty at Hays High School.

Last spring, the Indian boys won their third consecutive Class 5A state championship. It was a rare feat, considering it was just the second Class 5A school to win three straight state titles and 17th school to win three consecutive boys' titles in any classification since 1911.

This accomplishment rarely happens, and that's why it's deserving of being one of The Hays Daily News' top sports stories of 2012.

Hays High was in a race for first with a stacked Wichita-Bishop Carroll squad, but Hays High's depth and prowess in the field events proved to be enough to outpace Bishop Carroll. The Indians won with 118 points, their most of their three-year title run, while Bishop Carroll finished second with 104, which would have won 5A in most years in the recent history.

Cornelsen matched his father, Gary, as the only Class 5A track and field coach to win three consecutive titles, but he's still got a way until he matches his father's legacy. His father won 13 boys' track and field titles and nine girls' track and field titles at the helm of Liberal.

"It's a special deal," Ryan Cornelsen said after the state meet. "Growing up and watching all the titles he won, to recreate that here in Hays has been exciting. I've been very fortunate to have good athletes and good coaches. We've won, and hopefully, we continue to win."

The Indian boys finished with four state champions and 16 medalists in individual events, and all of the relays scored with two medalists and one state champion.

Adam Deterding defended his 2011 title in the 110-meter hurdles with a win in 14.54 seconds. He also won the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 6 inches, narrowly defeating teammate Derek Bixenman via tiebreaker who also jumped the same height.

Deterding already has three titles and is a senior this year, and his two titles in the hurdles were particularly impressive, considering he learned how to hurdle in 2011.

"I've got one of the best coaches, if not the best coach, in the state to teach me all this stuff," Deterding said regarding Cornelsen's tutelage. "He's won two state championships, and he's learned from his dad who's won (22)."

Cade Sharp won the shot put and discus with throws of 54-6 and 161-2, respectively.

The Indians got a ton of points in the throwing events, sweeping the top three finishes in the shot put, finishing 1-2-6 in the discus and placing third in the javelin.

"Our coaches know exactly what they are doing and they know how to get the best out of us," said Zach Binder who finished second in the shot put and sixth in the discus and is now a freshman football player at Fort Hays State University.

"We take things very serious at Hays High track," Binder added.

"We don't (mess) around at all. This is business. We have fun, but it's still business for us"

The 3,200-meter relay, composed of Tanner Staab, Eric Stumon, Josh Brungardt and Ethan Fort, also played a big role in the Indians' title, blowing away the competition with a 7:56.73 finish and their second straight state title. Second-place Wichita-Kapaun Mt. Carmel was 14 seconds behind them.

"We train every day," said Staab, who was one of two seniors on the relay. "It wasn't easy for us. Like coach always says, this is how it all pays off. It's our last race together, and we just wanted to go out and win."

Like the past two years, Hays High graduated a number of seniors off last season's state title team, but this year, they again return a number of athletes who scored points or won events at state.

The Indians could be the favorites to win in 2013.