By BRETT MARSHALL
WICHITA — Sophomore Nicole Kinser of Hugoton and junior Kennedy Schneider of Greeley County left Cessna Stadium on Saturday with the gold medals they had been chasing all season.
Kinser repeated her Class 4A triple jump title from a year ago when she posted a winning leap of 36-10.50 while Schneider captured the 1,600-meter Class 1A title, earning her second gold medal in two days after winning the 3,200-meters on Friday morning.
She come up short in her bid for a trifecta when she placed second in the 800-meters.
Satanta senior sprinter Stephanie Caro had a pair of runner-up finishes in the Class 1A 100- and 200-meter dashes while Wichita County sophomore distance runner, added two more silver medals to her one from Friday.
Those were the highlights of Saturday's 2011 Kansas State Track and Field Championship.
Schneider's effort, in which she scored 28 of her team's 29 points, helped the Lady Jackrabbits tie for fourth place in the team standings, well behind winner Olpe's 43.5 points. Victoria and Pike Valley were second and third with 38 and 36 points, respectively. Wells' three seconds allowed the Lady Indians to score 31 points and place fifth in Class 2A.
For Kinser, her mark of 36-10.5 was her second best of the season.
Her Saturday leap was five inches past her winning mark as a freshman, and she still has her lofty sights on 40-feet over the next couple of seasons.
"The coaches are working with me on my strength, so I'm looking to improve on what I've done," Kinser said.
Kinser, whose season-best of 37-0 came early in the year, said she was happy to finally record another strong mark at the state meet.
"I've struggled this spring, but the weather has been horrible," Kinser said. "There was some pressure on me and some people jumped close to me (runner-up Josie Eck of Andale's 36-03). I'm just glad they didn't jump any closer."
Schneider, who on Friday ran a school-record and personal-best time of 11:45.42 in winning the 3,200-meters, followed that up with a 5:22.56 in the 1,600-meters to beat Katelyn Henderson of Olpe by nearly five seconds (5:27.48).
After a four-hour wait for her 800-meters, Schneider didn't have the final kick that she demonstrated in her two earlier wins and finished in 2:25.79 to Vanessa Kresin of Beloit-St. John's, who was just ahead in 2:24.65.
Despite that runner-up in the 800, Schneider said she was pleased with her overall performance.
"Overall, I thought things went better than I had hoped," Schneider said. "Trying to get the three was extra motivation. I can't really be disappointed in what I did. I'm proud of the effort and happy with the results."
Schneider said she knew her opponent in the 800 after running on the same team with Kresin last summer.
"She went in totally fresh and I had seen her times coming in so I was aware of her," said Schneider.
And for Wichita County's Wells, the three second-place finishes might otherwise be disappointing, but in each of her races she posted a personal best and established a school-record and season-best area time in the 3,200-meters with her 11:42.22 time in finishing second to Lincoln's Jenna Farris (11:37.01). That mark for Wells shattered her previous fastest time of 12:26.67 and her prior 1,600-meter best was 5:33.98.
Those two battled it out again, first in the 1,600 and then in the 800, but it was Ell-Saline freshman Aubrey Wilson who took the gold in both. Wilson's time of 5:19.85 compared to Wells' 5:22.04 in the 800, the marks were 2:23.76 to 2:24.50. Both times for Wells were personal bests.
"I had no idea who she was," Wells said. "Jenna and I had been battling it out all season for the No. 1 time. I'm pleased with my performances. I think I did a lot better than I expected and certainly my times were better than I could have dreamed."
For Satanta's Caro, the two sprint silver medals capped off a stellar senior season. Her losses in each event came against Victoria's talented Taylor Kisner, who also won the 1A 400-meters. Caro clocked a 12.63 in the 100 to Kisner's 12.55 winning mark. In the 200-meters, it was 25.95 for Kisner and 26.38 for Caro.
"(The 100 is) more of a competitive race for me," Caro said. "I almost won it. It's been my favorite race. I had a great start and thought I might get her, but she just got by me at the finish."
Holcomb sophomore Kyshia Prieto came up with a strong performance in her first appearance at the state track meet by placing third in the Class 3A 300-meter hurdles (47.81) and fifth in the 100-meter hurdles (16.07). It capped off a season of comebacks for the Lady Longhorns' performer after missing her entire freshman year for personal reasons.
Prieto said she hopes to improve on this success next season.
"I'm getting better with my technique, I'll work on my strength and my speed can definitely get better," Prieto said. "Next year, I'll set my goals higher."
In Class 2A, Sublette senior Gentry Hibbard had a solid third-place finish in the 400-meter dash, finishing in 1:01.31. Four-time state champion Lauren Pickens won with a time of 58.32.
"I'm happy with (third place) and said because it's my last race," said Hibbard. "This is icing on the cake. I thought it was actually a pretty perfect run for me. I thought my time was better."
In the Class 4A girls shot put and discus, Ulysses junior Kaylea Britton took third (40-04 in the shot put) and sixth in the discus (119-09). Scott City freshman Kelly Wycoff medaled twice, capturing seventh in the 200-meters (26.77) and sixth in the 400-meters (1:01.65).
Wichita County's Hannah Mehl placed fifth in the 2A 300-meter hurdles (49.23) while Greeley County's Carly Robertson was seventh in Class 1A (49.49) hurdles.
Sublette's 4x400-meter relay team was fifth in 4:18.65 and Cimarron finished seventh in 4:19.29. Wichita County's 4x800 team was fifth (10:26.10).
Stanton County's Rachelle Folger placed in tie for sixth in the 2A pole vault (8-00) and Wichita County's Rachel Busch was seventh in the triple jump (33-09.75). Holcomb's girls' 4x800-meter relay team took fifth place (10:14.58).
See results in Scoreboard, Page B2.