Ready, set, stop.
That’s probably how the state’s track and field athletes think that goes after a weekend of weather delays at the all-class state championships at Wichita’s Cessna Stadium.
“You get so ready to run, and then you get so close to perform, and then it’s a delay,” Garden City High School coach Brian Hill said. “It’s not really the physical side — you can always warm your muscles back up — but it’s tough to stay mentally focused when there’s so much time on the sidelines.”
Friday was nearly an entire wash, as classes 6A, 5A and 4A never even got onto the track or field before delays and then eventual postponement to Saturday. And then the usual Day 2 featured a completely full schedule, with each running event featuring multiple heats, pushing the time to complete events to much longer than usual.
And even that didn’t help as more weather came in during the afternoon, pushing the meet to Sunday for the first time in Kansas history. By the end of Sunday, the Buffaloes had five individual medals and a pair of relays also got onto the stand.
They were led by senior Taylor Savolt, who secured three more medals to finish her standout high school career with 15 medals. Savolt took fourth in the 300-meter hurdles (46.36 seconds), fifth in the long jump (17 feet, 1 ¾ inches) and fifth in the triple jump (38-04.25), breaking her own school record in that event.
“For Taylor, she missed out on 16 medals, but for her to continually get on that medal stand I know was important for her,” Hill said of the four-year star who is set to compete at Fort Hays State University in the fall.
She scored all 13 points for the girls’ team, which came in 20th. They barely missed out on points from Julie Calzonetti, who took ninth in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet.
On the boys’ side, senior Javyn Contreras broke 2 minutes in the open 800, finishing in seventh.
“That was a really tough event and a loaded event, so for him to break 2 minutes was great to see,” Hill said.
But the Buffs also got promising performances from a couple of underclassmen, as sophomore Trey Nuzum took eighth in the discus (148-06) and sophomore Josh Janas was eighth in the pole vault (12-06.00).
“Those were two good performances for two young kids, so that was exciting to see,” Hill said.
The boys’ side also got a third-place finish from the 4x800-meter relay and an eighth in the 4x400 relay.