WICHITA, Kan. -- Fort Scott High School senior Mallory Shelton and sophomore Katren Rienbolt each earned their first medals in State competiton at the Kansas State Track and Field Championships here Friday.
Shelton, making her third State appearance in the event, took fourth place in Class 4A high jump, clearing 5 feet even. She won a six-way tie-breaker by clearing the height in fewer attempts. Defending State champion Jennifer Whitledge, a Tonganoxie junior, went 5' 4" in taking the title while her teammate, sophomore Haley Griffin, placed second at 5' 2" after winning a tie-breaker over McPherson senior Ashton Bruner.
Shelton competed here in this event as a sophomore and a junior. She finished 10th her first time and 16th last season.
Rienbolt competed in State last year in hurdles races but returned this year as a distance runner. She finished in fifth place in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:48.64. Colby senior Emilea Finley, last year's runner-up, won the race in 11:02.98. According to an article posted at CatchItKansas.com, Finley spent most of the winter and spring recovering from anemia, discovered by a college coach she was speaking with following a 20th-place finish in the Class 4A State Cross-Country Meet in October. Pratt senior Cheyenne Becker was second in 11:15.47. Alexa VanLerberg of Lenexa St. James came in third in 11:39.40 and Maize South junior Morgan Schafer was fourth in 11:41.51.
Rienbolt will go for a second State medal this afternoon in the 1,600 meters while junior Paige Denton joins her. Rienbolt had the best time in regionals of all the qualifiers in the event while Denton, who ran the 3,200 at State last year, had the seventh-best time. The race begins at approximately 1:20 p.m.
Sophomore Jillian Lattimer missed out on her first State medal by four inches in Class 4A shot put. Lattimer's second throw of the preliminary round, 38 feet, 1 inch, held up as her best effort. Nickerson senior Cassie Caswell defended her State title with a throw of 44' 5", also on her second throw of the prelims. Baldwin junior Katie Kehl finished second at 44' 4". Paola's Morgan Gilliland was third at 41' 8 1/2".
Lattimer will look to medal in javelin, the better of her events, which begins this morning at 11:30. She was the Regional champion with the second-best throw of all the qualifiers.
Senior Dezmund Willard advanced to the finals of the Class 4A 200-meter run after finishing fifth in the second heat of prelims in 23.40 seconds. It was the eighth-best time overall with Wichita Collegiate junior Ryhs Powell, last year's State runner-up in Class 3A, had the best time in winning the second heat in 22.62 seconds. Senior Nick Deterding from Lindsborg-Smoky Valley, won his heat and was fourth overall in 22.88. The finals will take place tonight at 6:10 p.m.
Neither Willard nor senior Brady Fink were able to advance in the 400 meters. Fink, seventh in the event last year, finished sixth in the first heat of preliminaries in 51.10 while Willard was fifth in the second head in 52.06. Those results put Fink 10th overall and Willard 11th but only the top eight advance to finals.
The best overall time had to be determined by going to the thousandths place as Deterding won his heat in 49.801 seconds and Powell won his in 49.802 seconds. The finals take place today at 4:05.
Willard and classmate Nick Nuzum will run in the 100-meter preliminaries this morning at 9 a.m. If either advance, they'll run in the finals at 1:05. Fink will compete in triple jump today at 1:15.