Fresh off regional championships, three Stockton seniors will look to put the finishing touches on standout seasons and careers for the Tigers this weekend at the state track meet in Wichita.
Kylar Williams, Trey Kuhlmann and Haven Hamilton will each be making return trips to state for Stockton, which is sending five athletes overall.
Williams is one of the area’s top long jumpers, finishing second in Class 1A last year. He won the long jump in last Thursday’s regional at Colby with a mark of 22-6.
“He’s worked pretty hard at it,” Stockton coach Clint Bedore said. “Long jump is something that he just loves to do. Honestly, it’s a pretty natural thing for him. We’ve dealt with a few injuries over the last couple years, hamstrings and knees and stuff, so to be able to maintain that consistency has been pretty impressive.
“If you look over the last couple years he’s been 21-plus in almost every meet. The stage never seems to big for him.”
“If you look over the last couple years, he’s been 21-plus in almost every meet. The stage never seems to big for him.”
Kuhlmann has enjoyed a breakout year in the 400 and enters state on a high note after winning the regional with a 53.09. He took advantage of the void left by an injury to Victoria’s Collin Kisner, the defending state 1A champion in the 400.
“He’s had an unbelievable season,” Bedore said of Kuhlmann. “Last year, I think 53.60 was his best, and he’s been low 52s most of the year.
“I don’t know that we were expecting to win it going out there (in the regional). But when Kisner wasn’t running, winning is what we expected to do.”
Hamilton will compete in two events for the Tigers after winning the triple with a leap of 34 feet, 6.5 inches and placing fourth in the 100 with a time of 13.19 at the regional.
“She had never triple jumped before her sophomore year and she was able to go down a year ago and placed seventh at state,” Bedore said. “She’s just been an all-around good athlete for Stockton — volleyball, basketball and track.”
In addition to the three seniors with state experience, the Tigers will also be sending freshman Troy Rogers and junior Jalen Basart. They will join Kuhlmann and Williams on the 400 relay team.
“To me, the Kansas state high school track meet is one of the best venues for sports, just because it puts everybody together at the same time,” Bedore said. “Having that experience is really important, I think. Our boys four-by-one is going down and they’re going to have two members that have never competed at state before so it’ll be nice to see how they handle it.”