Newlan has record meet, leads Phillipsburg to second place
By CONOR NICHOLL
WICHITA -- Phillipsburg High School senior Sean Newlan didn't win four golds. But in his eyes, Newlan finished with something better -- two state records.
Newlan won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.10 seconds and then helped the 400-meter relay win in 42.54 seconds at the Class 3A state meet Saturday at Wichita State University's Cessna Stadium.
"Just determination," Newlan said. "I got a really good amount of rest. I didn't have anything but track on my mind. I was pretty focused. I knew what I had to do. ... The conditions, the weather was really good. That helped out a lot, too."
Phillipsburg repeated as runner-up with 50 points and Salina-Sacred Heart earned its second straight championship with 82 points.
"We are doing fine as far as the team goes," Newlan said. "We obviously don't have as many points as we should or could have. That's just the way the cookie crumbles. It's part of track. It's what's so fun about it. Each and every day, you never know what is going to happen."
Newlan also took second in the discus Friday and then finished fifth in the 300 hurdles in 40.41 seconds Saturday.
"It was kind of funny, my freshman year at regionals, I fell on my first hurdle in the finals (of the 110)," Newlan said. "Then, I fell over the last hurdle of my senior year."
Newlan, the defending champion in the 300 hurdles, ran even with Holcomb junior Heath Tucker, the eventual champion, until the final hurdle. Then, Newlan stumbled and fell. Newlan completed his career with six gold medals, including three straight in the 110 hurdles. He became the ninth athlete in Kansas history to win the 110s three times in a career, according to Kansas track and field historian Carol Swenson.
Newlan and runner-up Trevor Webb, a Sacred Heart junior, each broke the state record of 14.40 set in 1982 and then tied the next year. Newlan finished his career with six gold medals.
"Obviously, it didn't go the way I had pictured it in my head, but I would take two state records over four gold medals any day," Newlan said. "Even with the mishap at the end (of the 300), I still had a pretty tremendous career. I did a lot of things that a lot of other kids couldn't say that they did."
As well, Newlan received some more good news Saturday. On Signing Day, he signed a grayshirt scholarship with Kansas State University football. Throughout the spring, the scholarship changed to a redshirt.
Now, Newlan is headed to Manhattan in June to play football. He likely won't redshirt and will compete for a depth chart spot at safety.
"Couldn't ask for any better," Newlan said.
Senior Seth Derr, the defending state javelin champion, threw 190-6 in the event and finished second to Scott City senior Brenner Wells. Derr cleared 182 feet on his final five throws.
"I give great credit out to Wells," Derr said. "He had a tremendous throw, but I am just disappointed in myself about that."
Then sophomore Stuart Lennemann, Derr, Newlan and junior Grant Wickham combined to win the relay and won the event for the second straight year.
In the prelims, the Panthers came just .03 short of the record of 43.11 set by Wichita Independent in 2005. Then, they easily beat the state record Saturday. Derr said the handoffs were "excellent" and "a lot better" than Friday.
"The state time is in jeopardy (after Friday)," Wickham said. "It got me pumped, and we knew that we were going to come out and get it today. Last night, we were telling each other, 'We were going to get the state record, We are going to get it, we are going to get it.' We came out, stretched a lot, made sure we were loose, didn't pull a hamstring or something. It's been go, go, go. We were ready for it. This is what we have been waiting for all year."
Ambrosier repeats in pole vault
Norton junior Bailey Ambrosier was surprised when she won the pole vault last year with a vault of 9-6. This year, Ambrosier had a strong season that included several meets where she cleared 10 feet and the Russell Relays when she jumped 10-6. Ambrosier felt "pretty good" entering state and was confident.
Ambrosier's step was a little off because she had to run the 3,200-meter relay, but ended up repeating in the event with a personal best mark of 10-8. She finished eight inches better than the field.
"I felt not nervous, I don't think, because I have been here before," Ambrosier said.