Hays High boys take fourth at state track
WICHITA — Hays High's Jaren Kanak, Trey Adams and Jordan Dale all put themselves in a position to be right in the mix for state championships at the Class 5A state track and field meet on Thursday at Cessna Stadium.
All three came up short by razor-thin margins, with Kanak taking second in the 100- and 200-meter runs, while Adams and Dale were runners-up in discus and high jump, respectively.
In the end, they tipped their caps to the competition while also taking pride in their own performances.
The runner-up efforts helped the Hays High boys take fourth as a team.
Kanak, who collected four medals on the day, ran a 10.58 in the 100 and a 22.06 in the 200, but was edged out by Shawnee Heights' Jeremiah Smith in both events. Smith clocked a 10.52 in the 100 and a 21.92 in the 200.
"You have to be a little bit disappointed, but that was a great race. I made him earn it," said Kanak, whose time in the 100 was better than the time of the 6A champion.
"I wasn't really paying too much attention to where he was," Kanak said. "I was just trying to go as fast as I could. I think I had him there at the start, but he just gutted it out."
The highly-anticipated 5A sprints lost some luster because of the absence of Lansing's Malik Benson (suspension). Smith, Kanak and Malik Benson had been atop the state leaderboard all season long in the 100 — with a 10.36 from Smith ranking No. 4 all-time in Kansas in the 100 and Kanak No. 6 with a 10.37. Benson had run a 10.55 in the 100 while owning the top mark in the 200 with a 21.34.
Even without Benson in the mix, Kanak and Smith made the 100 and 200 must-see events.
"I've been looking forward to a race like that all year," Kanak said. "I'm still extremely excited to compete in a race like that."
Adams unleashed a personal-best mark of 178 feet, 7 inches in the discus, taking the lead in the event on his second throw.
"I felt really good on that throw, really easy," Adams said. "Then I started trying to speed it up and my feet just weren't setting right."
Wichita Kapaun's Will Doolittle bested Adams' mark on his final attempt with a 179-8.
"It was very, very tough (competition)," said Adams, a senior. "I think out of the top three or four, we all PRd. I gave them by best. ... Happy to get on the podium."
In the high jump, Jordan Dale went 6-4 to earn his second-place medal. Maize's Jacob Hanna won with a 6-6 on his last attempt.
"I had a pretty good time," said Dale, a junior. "It was very fun. It was a good experience. First time I've ever been here before. I thought I performed pretty well."
Dale, whose personal best is 6-5, has high aspirations for his senior year.
"I definitely think I can win the high jump next year," Dale said. "My goal is to break the school record, which I need to jump seven foot for that. I've got to go up quite a few, but I'm pretty sure I can do that."
On the girls side, Hays High senior Re Green earned two medals, taking third in the long jump (16-10 1/2) and fifth in the triple jump (36-0 3/4).
"I just wanted to have a good day and good depends on the meet. For this one, I felt I did pretty good," Green said.
Aquinas' Grace Allen won the long jump with a 18-1/2 while her Saints' teammate was Lydia Micek second with a 17-1.
"Personally, I always want to be first, but third at state you can't complain about that. The competition was pretty tough," Green said.
Kanak took fifth in the long jump (20-11). He was a member of the 400 relay team, along with Logan Casper, Bryce Salmans and Malik Bah, that took third in 43.67.
Gaven Haselhorst and Trey Adams took third and fourth, respectively, in the shot put. Haselhorst threw 49-11 1/4 and Adams 49-11.
Tucker Veach took seventh in the pole vault with a 12-6 and Kyler Beckman was eighth in the long jump with a 20-5.
Mill Valley won the boys team championship with 74, followed by Aquinas' 71 points, Andover's 59 and Hays' 56 points.