By RANDY GONZALES
Special to the Telegram
HAYS — Tribune-Greeley County junior distance runner Kennedy Schneider let her competitive juices get the best of her.
Schneider not only qualified in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter run at next week's Class 1A state track and field meet in Wichita, she did so in winning fashion, taking home the gold in each event at Friday's Class 1A regional at Lewis Field Stadium.
"My coach wanted me to run all distance races today," Schneider said. "Just tried to run to qualify, but seemed to try too hard, being competitive."
Schneider won the 800 in two minutes, 24.73 seconds, the 1,600 in 5:35.13 and the 3,200 in 12:48.02 — more than 16 seconds faster than the runner-up.
Schneider got fifth in the two-mile at state last year and said she would like to do better this time.
"I have high goals," she said. "We'll just have to see what the day brings, go from there."
The Jackrabbits also qualified two other girls for state, and one of them in two events. Senior Carly Robertson was second in the 300-meter hurdles (49.32), while freshman Kelli Holthhaus was fourth in both the 800 (2:30.63) and 3,200 (5:41.87).
On the boys' side, senior Jonathan Miller made the season finale in two events. He will be back in Wichita to defend his discus title. Miller also took third in the 400 dash (52.46).
In the discus, Miller went 163 feet, 1-inch to win by more than 23 feet, but he wasn't satisfied.
"It's kind of disappointing," Miller said. "About the same as I threw last year. You might think I would improve, but it's been a terrible year for discus."
Miller blamed the windy weather for his woes this spring.
On Friday, it wasn't the wind, but the rain which gave Miller problems. A shower during the discus finals made it tough, Miller said.
"Two of the three throws it kind of did (affect him)," Miller said. "Just kind of slipped out. Not in the ring; on the release."
Still, Miller won. And he will defend his state title next week.
And while the pressure to repeat will be there, Miller will try to focus his attention on just performing well.
"I wouldn't feel so much pressure if I'd been throwing well," he said. "Since I'm maybe not throwing quite far enough to win again, it does put a lot of pressure on."
Miller is just hoping for good weather next weekend. He's had enough of the wind and cold and rain.
"It's just been a lousy spring," Miller said.