HHS earns fourth straight 5A crown
By KLINT SPILLER
WICHITA -- Not everything went the way Hays High School athletes wanted it to, but one thing happened that made everything OK: a fourth consecutive team title.
The Hays High boys won the Class 5A state track and field championship Saturday at Cessna Stadium in Wichita.
The Indians finished with 78 points, defeating runner-up Leavenworth by 11 points. Hays High joined three other schools (Liberal, Wichita East and Quinter) as the only schools to have won four straight team titles.
It wasn't quite the domination Hays High put together in 2012 when the boys won with 118 points.
This season, the Indians weren't at full strength. Hays High dealt with plenty of adversity, including two season-ending injuries to key members of the team as well as several nagging injuries to key members of the squad.
"I'm proud of our kids, because one slip up could have been the difference of us not winning," said Hays High coach Ryan Cornelsen. "I'm extremely proud of all of them for stepping up and doing what they were supposed to."
The senior members of this squad were freshmen when Cornelsen took the job, and since then, they never lost a varsity meet. They finished undefeated at meets in their careers.
"That's quite an accomplishment," Cornelsen said.
Sharp wins third straight shot put title, school's fourth
Senior Cade Sharp managed to defend his shot put title Saturday, winning with a personal-best heave of 57 feet, 3.5 inches.
Sharp's performances at the state meet are among some of the best in all-time Kansas history. Out of all classifications, he is just the ninth person to win three shot put titles in a prep career.
"It's my favorite event in high school," Sharp said. "I love being in the ring, and I'm going to miss the high school atmosphere and especially this meet."
Not only that, but he extended Hays High's winning streak in the shot put. Hays High has taken first in the shot put four straight years, making it the first school to ever accomplish that feat.
"I'm really happy about that," Sharp said. "I'm happy to do that for Hays High. I hope that Peyton Harris, the other Hays High thrower in the event, will continue that tradition."
However, Sharp, a four-time throwing champion, wasn't satisfied after getting off the podium Saturday.
"I'm still kind of upset," Sharp said. "I shouldn't be upset, because I PRed and got the state championship, but I'm still upset because our school record was a 58. I was shooting for that all season."
Deterding survives photo finish
Senior Adam Deterding was involved in a photo finish while attempting to defend his 110-meter hurdle championship against Liberal junior Trenton Hammond.
It was so close that when Deterding crossed the finish line, he turned around mid stride to see the video board to see if he won. Once he saw his name on the top of the list, he pumped his first three times.
"You always think you win, but whether or not you do, who knows?" Deterding said. "Anytime it's that close, I'm sure me and him both thought we had won."
Deterding won in 14.53 seconds, besting Hammond, the 300 hurdle champion, by 0.03 seconds.
"He's a hell of an athlete," Deterding said.
Deterding successfully defended both of his titles, winning the high jump Friday as well. Deterding has won the past three 110 hurdles championships as well as back-to-back high jump titles.
However, he took eighth in the triple jump with a leap of 43-10.75 and didn't make the finals of the 300 hurdles.
However, he still netted 21 points for his squad -- a team best by an individual.
"Not qualifying for the 300 finals and not doing too well in (the triple jump) kind of put a damper on it," he said.
Relay's streak ends
The 3,200-meter relay's winning streak ended Saturday. The Indians ran a season-best time of 8:00.56, but it wasn't good enough to hold off Lenexa-St. James Academy's team, who won in 7:56.37.
Hays High had won the 3,200 relay three years in a row.
"That's always been our race," said senior Ethan Fort, who anchored the relay. "We always want to win that one. That one was really important to us. It sucks our last time we couldn't pull it off. Eight points still helps out our team, so we can't be too mad."
Senior Josh Brungardt ran a fast first leg, taking the brunt of the wind as he led for about 700 meters while cranking out a 1:56.6 split. Senior Derek Drees moved his squad back into first, and sophomore Landon Munsch hung with St. James Academy's third leg but fell back into second.
Fort managed to narrow the gap on St. James Academy's anchor, senior John Scherschligt, but Scherschligt broke away with 300 meters to go and cranked out a 1:57.8 split.
"He is a really good runner, too," said Fort, who ran a 2:00.3 split. "I don't know what his split was, but it had to have been good."
Brungardt made a run at the individual title in the 800, passing Wichita-Bishop Carroll senior Gage Garcia on the final curve. However, Garcia, who won all three distance races from the 800 up, managed to overtake him in the final 40 meters when Brungardt hit a wall. Brungardt ended up taking third in 2:00.15. Fort took eighth in 2:02.22.
Sophomore Dominique Carrasco also placed, improving upon his sixth-place finish in 2012 in the 110 hurdles by taking fourth in 15.08 seconds.
Mitchell finished fifth in the 200 in 22.82 seconds, and the 1,600 relay took eighth in 3:35.56.
Zimmerman, Schlaefli medal
After enduring a rough Friday when she failed to make finals in the 400-meter run and the 1,600-meter relay and missed medaling in the triple jump, junior Wendy Zimmerman rebounded big time in the high jump.
Zimmerman took third, her highest finish at the state meet, with a personal-best leap of 5 feet, 4 inches.
"I always think if you're going to have a bad day, then you're always going to have a good day," she said. "So you've got to really think about that and always stay positive."
Zimmerman jumped 5-4 on her third attempt. Neither her nor Emporia senior Bethany Bowman cleared 5-6, but Bowman took second based on misses. Andover sophomore Jaylyn Agnew won with a leap of 5-8.
"I know my family is going to be really proud of me," Zimmerman said. "They wrote 5-4 everywhere in my house and everything, and on my car, and they are always very supportive."
Sophomore Mattison Schlaefli was the only other Hays High girl to place, and she did it twice, taking sixth in the 100 hurdles (16.30 seconds) and seventh in the 300 hurdles (48.97).
"I could have done better, but I was happy I made it on the podium in both of my events," Schlaefli said.
As a team, the Hays High girls finished 21st with 11 points.