By BRETT MARSHALL
WICHITA — By all accounts, Jonathan DuVall can look back on his four-year prep career and know he made gigantic strides in his hurdling from his freshman year to his senior season.
On Saturday at Wichita State University's Cessna Stadium, DuVall capped off his spectacular two-year performance with one for the history book, a blistering 13.89-second burner to successfully defend his Class 6A state championship in the 110-meter high hurdles. In the process, despite being wind-aided, he beat the 13.90 time of Kansas City Wyandotte's Willie Vaughn (1985) and Shawnee Mission East's Doug Hedrick (1983).
His record run is the seventh fastest time in the United States this year at the high school level, and it also represents the seventh fastest time in Kansas high school history.
"It just feels amazing. I'm in shock with my time," an elated DuVall said after his repeat win in the shorter hurdle race and considerably faster than his winning time of 14.51 a year earlier. "Breaking a state record is amazing. I've been progressing really good and I knew if I cut down a few things — getting out of the blocks clean, going over the hurdles smooth, getting down on the hurdles low, getting my lead leg low, being quick between hurdles and the lean at the finish — if I did all those, I had a chance to get into the 13s.
"I nicked one hurdle. I can't remember if it was the third or fourth," said DuVall, pointing to his ankle where the skin had a slight abrasion. "Overall, it just felt really good."
Even more amazing was the margin of victory, as runner-up Khalil Austin of Topeka High was 1.12 seconds back at 15.01. Clearly, DuVall had left the field in his wake.
He added his second straight 300-meter hurdle crown a few hours later, running it in 38.43 seconds, just off his personal best of 38.14. Considering that he was running the final 120 meters into the teeth of about a 15 mph headwind, the time was impressive.
Second-place finisher Devin Burton of Shawnee Mission East was 1.03 seconds and nearly 15 meters behind in 39.46. Nobody was close; nobody challenged.
"I wanted to end this on a good note," DuVall said of his sweep of the hurdles. "It's my fourth state championship. I thought I had a good start and got over the first few hurdles with my lead foot, then had to switch toward the last few. The wind was pretty difficult come around the home stretch. It was coming right at me. It's not my p.r. (personal record), but it got me a state championship."
DuVall's effort led a solid showing by the Buffs' boys as the team placed fourth with 48 points. Topeka High won the team title with 70 points while Olathe South was second with 61. Olathe East placed third with 60 while Shawnee Mission East and Stilwell-Blue Valley shared fifth with 47 points.
"I just really thought the kids competed so well and so hard," said GCHS coach Mike Smith.
DuVall was not the lone Buffs' boys team member to leave Cessna with a gold medal, however.
Junior Dusty Tempel went 23-2 1/2 to claim the long jump while DuVall garnered a fourth in the event at 21-7.
For Tempel, his winning effort came on his third attempt in the prelims. He had fouled on his first try and then went 21-7.25 before his best jump. In the finals, he fouled twice and went 21-00.25.
"It feels kinda weird, but this was fun," Tempel said. "I don't know how to explain it, other than a lot of hard work went in during the season. I just knew I had to be consistent."
Tempel got his winning jump on his third preliminary attempt and it held up during the final three jumps of the event.
"I've still got a lot of improving, a lot of work to do for next year," Tempel said. "I need to work on keeping my knees up longer and extending more. It's just a really good feeling."
Senior Aaron Vasquez came up just short in his attempt to claim the pole vault title. After clearing a season best 15-0 at the regionals a week earlier, Vasquez could manage only getting over the bar at 14-0 before missing all three attempts at 14-06. Blue Valley North's Christopher Cusick made 14-06 to win the gold. Vazquez took second based on misses as Ben Carpenter of Gardner-Edgerton and Dan Krieger of Lawrence-Free State also cleared 14-0 but had more misses.
"It just wasn't a good day and the wind really wasn't helping much at all," said Vasquez. "I was using a pole that felt soft and I tried to go the bigger pole and I probably should have waited longer. But still, second is pretty good and I'm happy with the way my season went."
The Buffs' 4x100-meter relay team of DuVall, Greyson and Dusty Tempel and Vasquez, placed fifth with a time of 43.25, not quite up to their season best of 42.88. Their 4x800-meter relay team of Jacob Thomas, Conner Schultz, Jalen Rowland and Brett Cady finished out of the medal chase (13th of 16 teams) despite running a season best 8:28.78. Thomas had run a personal best 10:07.71 on Friday for 11th place in the 3,200-meters.