Track preview 2013 ... HHS in line for fourth straight crown
By KLINT SPILLER
Last year before the state meet, jumper and hurdler Adam Deterding said it was his goal to have four rings before the end of his career: one for each state track and field title won by Hays High School.
The Indians helped him get his third last ring season, and Hays High is the frontrunner to win its fourth straight title this season.
"We would get our fourth ring this year, which would be a pretty cool deal, I think," said Deterding, the only Hays High senior to qualify for state all four years -- not to mention score points at state in the school's three previous title runs.
Hays High has posted 23 total entries for the state championship meet, and Deterding has qualified, and is likely to score plenty of points, in four events.
Deterding has been a constant force in track and field for Hays High since 2010, first making his name in the high jump before expanding into the triple jump, 110-meter hurdles and, now, 300-meter hurdles at the state level.
Deterding, a Kansas State University signee, has won three individual titles so far -- golds in the 110 hurdles in 2011 and 2012 and high jump in 2012 -- and he's medaled at state seven times in three years.
"He practices hard and gets better," said Hays High coach Ryan Cornelsen. "He is exactly what you want in a trackster. He is calm and collected during meets and doesn't get rattled."
Ever since Cornelsen took over four years ago, Hays High's boys' squad has won every meet it has gone to.
Deterding has been there for all of that, and Cornelsen said Deterding has fully bought into the team concept.
Deterding has plenty of individual goals, such as clearing 7 feet in the high jump (his best is 6-10) and winning three individual titles in the 110 hurdles and two in the high jump.
However, his main goal is a team goal. He wants Hays High to win its fourth straight team title.
So it's fitting that, in his final season, Deterding has an opportunity to do exactly that -- something few schools have accomplished.
Right now, Hays High is the 17th school to win three consecutive boys' titles since 1911, but only three schools have won at least four straight: Liberal, Wichita East and Quinter.
Liberal won 14 in a row from 1991 through 2004. Wichita East won five in a row from 1943 to 1947 and four in a row from 1964 to 1967, and Quinter won five in a row from 1992 through 1996.
Despite qualifying in four individual events and isn't a part of a relay, Deterding displays a team-first mentality.
He said one of his goals is to score 30 points this weekend at the state meet, hoping that will put his team in a better position to win.
That's the reason why he started consistently running the 300 hurdles this season -- an event Cornelsen believes Deterding dislikes the most.
"(Deterding) understands he can score in that event for us, and he never once has complained and he competes in that like he would any other event," Cornelsen said.
For his team's goals, Deterding said he hopes to run faster than 39 seconds at state, which is something he hasn't done this season.
"If I can do that and get second or third, that would be huge team-wise, which is kind of the main goal for me anyways," he said.
He said it's been a challenge adapting to the 300 hurdles, explaining it's not a natural expansion of the 110 hurdles.
"The timing between those hurdles is kind of crazy, because you need to have such a consistent speed so you're not stuttering or taking long steps," Deterding said. "... I still haven't run a race where I didn't stutter and been smooth all the way through."
However, Deterding has been willing to learn because it will help the team win.