Editor's note: This is the fifth in a series of articles highlighting the top 10 local sports stories of 2018.
The 2018 version of the Scott City boys track team had something to prove at the state track and field meet in Wichita.
Just two years earlier, the Beavers tied with Norton for the Class 3A title, winning one individual title and garnering two runners-up. In 2017, they placed third in Class 4A with no titles but four second-places. This year — this year was different — of the nine medals they brought home, three were gold, four silver and one bronze, literally running away from the field. Their 74 points was a distant first in front of Garden Plain’s 45.
For their efforts, the Scott City boys track and field win is The Telegram’s No. 6 story of 2018.
No stranger to titles in multiple sports, Scott City earned its fifth outright track championship, last winning 3A in 2008. Before that, they won titles in 4A in 1987, 1988 and 1995.
Team joy ran high for the Beavers as Wyatt Hayes crossed the finish line in the 4x800 race, nearly six seconds ahead of Halstead’s team. Jack Thomas ran the third leg of the event after missing most of the spring track season with a severe hip injury. Thomas, who won the 3,200 meters as a senior and was the state cross country champion in the fall, ran a split of almost 2:00, then handed off the baton for Hayes to cross the line in 1:58 and helped the Beavers set a school record.
Key Stats and Figures
Hayes also won the 800 meters. A football fullback and state champion wrestler, Hayes led most of his race but had to battle at the end, crossing the finish line and then watching the giant scoreboard for the results. Seconds later, the junior raised his arms in triumph, having run a 2:00.2, edging out Matt Goeckel of Council Grove (2:00.03).
Scott City won its other gold in the 4x400 relay (3:24.92).
Placing second was the 4x100 relay (43.67). Marshall Faurot was runner-up three times (110-meter high hurdles, high jump and pole vault), scoring 24 points by himself.
Kaden Wren was third in the 400 meters and Nick Nowak medaled eighth in the 200 meters.
Scott City’s emotional relay win caps team 3A title
Editor’s note: The following story, written by former sports editor Brett Marshall, first appeared in The Telegram’s May 27 edition and is re-published, in part, below.
WICHITA — Gold, gold, and more gold.
Area track and field performers panned enough gold to make lifetime investments.
Scott City’s boys 4x800-meter relay team was perhaps the most inspirational of all.
The Beavers showed about as much heart as any group you’d encounter and walked off with the Class 3A state team championship as well, scoring 74 points to 45 for runner-up Garden Plain. Even with two subs in the final event, the 4x400-meter relay, the Beavers still captured that one (3:25.95) to make it one of the most memorable wins in school history.
Special for Scott City
It almost wanted to make you cry.
And if you did, it would have been tears of sheer joy.
The emotions ran high for Scott City’s boys team Saturday on any number of fronts, but likely nothing matched when Wyatt Hayes crossed the finish line for the Beavers in a time of 8:09.51 as they won the 4x800 race, easily outdistancing Halstead’s mark of 8:15.27.
It was Jack Thomas, a junior, who ran the third leg of the event for the Beavers that made this such an emotion-filled victory.
The Beaver ace distance runner, who won the 3A cross country state last fall, has missed nearly all of the spring track season with a severe hip injury that will require surgery next week.
So running in his only race of the state meet, Thomas clicked off a split of right around 2:00 flat while Hayes capped off the inspiring win with a 1:58 anchor leg.
“It just means a lot because the year’s been tough with injuries and sickness,” a happy and relieved Thomas said afterward. “You come out here and you want to do well for your teammates, and we were able to come together and do this.”
Thomas tore the labrum in his right hip, and it will be repaired June 4 but will require a rehab of six to eight months, meaning he will miss his entire senior cross country season.
“Knowing that, and that I’m not going to run for awhile, I wanted to run this for the guys,” Thomas said. “They’ve been amazing in encouraging me, because sometimes the pain is just so much.”
In the process, the Beavers set a school record, making it worth every tear.
For a football fullback and champion wrestler, Scott City’s Wyatt Hayes can sure run. The junior led much of the Class 3A 800-meter race, but it took a few seconds after leaning at the finish line and then watching the giant scoreboard to confirm that he was, indeed, a champion.
It was by the slimmest of margins, one-hundredth of a second. Hayes ran a 2:00.02, edging out Matt Goeckel of Council Grove (2:00.03).
When the results posted, Hayes let out a whoop and raised both fists to the sky, just as he did when he anchored the 4x800 team to victory earlier in the day.
Hayes led most of the race but got passed on the final curve.
“I saw him (Goeckel) and said I’m going to have to kick it a little bit sooner than I usually do,” he said.
That’s usually the final hundred meters, but he went sooner than that. The group started scooting out, and he saw his chance.
“I saw my opening and said I have to go get it now,” Hayes said.
Goeckel pushed him the entire race, but that actually felt good, he said.
“That last 50 meters, I just gutted it out,” he added.
For the third time in two days, Scott City’s multi-event ace Marshall Faurot came in second, this time in the 110-meter high hurdles, and for the second time he trailed a Caney Valley competitor.
Faurot, who placed second Friday in the high jump and pole vault, clocked a 14.89 to finish behind Caney Valley’s Tyler Watts, who finished at 14.46 seconds. He had come up short in Friday night’s pole vault, clearing 15-00, only to see Caney Valley’s Chandler Heid clear 15-06. He had lost to Sterling’s Tyus Wilson in the high jump, 6-04 to 6-06.
“I had a better start than I did Friday,” Faurot said of his hurdle race. “I hit a couple (hurdles) at the beginning and was in third, and I knew I had to pick it up. But I gotta give it to that group (of hurdlers). They are really special and fun to compete against. It’s the way the state meet is supposed to be.”