PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg High School boys' and girls' track and field teams finished third in the team standings at the Kansas Class 5A Regional Meet held at PHS Friday.
The Dragon boys finished with 136 team points, trailing runner-up St. Thomas Aquinas’ 155 points and regional champion St. James Academy’s 177 points.
The PHS girls finished at 87 points, behind Blue Valley Southwest, who had 112 points, and regional champion St. Thomas Aquinas, who led with 147 points.
There were a slew of Dragons from both squads who qualified for the state track meet next weekend in Wichita, including several individual and team regional champions.
Combined, Pittsburg won the regional championship in nine individual events and three relays. Taylor Muff dominated every event she was in, winning the 110-meter hurdles (14.98 seconds), the 300-meter hurdles (45.64 seconds), and the discus – with a toss of 139-feet, 9-inches.
Dylan Untereker won both shot put and discus, with throws of 46-6 3/4 and 156-3 respectively. Both Muff and Untereker threw over 14 feet farther in the discus than their nearest competitors.
Sam Bollinger won the girls' shot put regional title with a toss of 37-0 1/2.
Ashlee Beitzinger won the pole vault by clearing the bar at a height of 10-6.
Daeishia Turner won the triple jump with a leap of 34-9 1/2, and Lukas McConnell won the boys' triple jump, springing out to 44-2 1/2.
The Pittsburg girls took home the top spot in both the 4x800 relay and the 4x400 relay. The 4x800 team of McKenzie Wilks, Logan Lord, Maria Sanchez, and Abigail Cooper won in a time of 9:53.56 – nearly 11 seconds ahead of runner-up Blue Valley Southwest.
The 4x400 team of Muff, Turner, Wilks, and Casper ran 4:04.90 – finishing comfortably ahead of second place St. James Academy.
Joining these regional champion performers in Wichita are the other Dragon throwers, runners, and relay teams who managed to place in the top four of their event. Gumaro Rodriguez qualified fourth in the 110-meter hurdles and fourth in the 300-meter hurdles.
Both boys' hurdle events were won by Noah Green, who had the most impressive performance at the regional meet.
Green, just a sophomore at Blue Valley Southwest, won the 110 hurdles in 13.94 seconds, almost two seconds ahead of second-place qualifier Byron Gardner from KC-Schlagle. In the 300 hurdles, Green ran 37.04 seconds, nearly four seconds ahead of Gardner.
He also placed first in the long jump, with a leap of 22-8 and was a member of the regional champion 4x400 relay team.
Both the boys' and girls' 4x100-meter relay teams for Pittsburg qualified third. Brandis Evans, Rodriguez, McConnell, and Sherrick Rogers ran 44.27 seconds. Jayden Hammond, Casper, Lord, and Turner ran 51.65 seconds on the girls' side.
McKenzie Wilks and Abigail Casper qualified second and third in the 800, in times of 2:20.02 and 2:20.70 respectively. They both trailed regional champion Hailey Dietsch of St. Thomas Aquinas, who crossed the line in 2.19.89.
Connar Southard, part of the champion 4x800 relay team, qualified second in the boys' 800 run, in a time of 1:56.14. He was beat by Matthew Malir of St. Thomas Aquinas, who ran 1:55.36.
Southard also anchored the 4x400 relay team that placed fourth to qualify for the state championship. Helping him to time of 3:27.35 was Derrick Sumner, Rodriguez, and younger brother Cade Southard.
Sherrick Rogers finished second in the 200, with a time of 23.17 seconds, just behind regional champion Byron Gardner, who ran 22.87 seconds.
Jayden Hammond took third in the long jump, going 15-4 1/4. She was bested by Ellie Gossman of St. James Academy (15-7) and Arielle Sargent of Blue Valley Southwest (15-5).
Hammond also qualified in the triple jump, placing fourth with a leap of 33-8 1/4.
Sam Bollinger qualified third in the discus with a throw of 121-3 1/2, and Ashlee Beitzinger finished third in the javelin, throwing 114-5. Rounding out the list of Dragon qualifiers is freshman Joel Kafka, who took third in the pole vault, clearing 11-0.