Following three weeks of practice, the Gardner Edgerton track squads get the season underway March 30 at the Shawnee Mission South Relays.
Under the direction of Head Coach Brian McGee, the Blazers boys placed second in the East Kansas league and captured third at its first ever 6A regional. The team qualified 14 for state competition.
“We will have a senior laden group and look forward to an exciting season,” said McGee, who is starting his eighth season. We have an excellent season planned and will be ready.”
At 6A state last spring, the Blazers got a gold medal from Ryan Weisenburger . It was the Blazers fifth straight pole vault title and sixth in the last seven years.
Other state medalists were Matt Mayeske (110 meter hurdles), Anthony Seymour and Colton Pevehouse (long jump ), Ben Carpenter (pole vault) and the 400 relay.
Mayeske, a senior hurdler clocked a season best 110 meter time of 15.7 and earned second place at league and regional.
Seymour, a senior long jumper, sailed 21-feet, 8-inches and placed third at state and second in league competition. Senior pole vaulter Ben Carpenter cleared 14-feet, 6-inches for second at state and regional .
Senior Riley Craig hopes to defend his league javelin title. He had a league best 173’7 inches effort last spring. Senior Dewey Molenda took third last year at 800 meters in a time of 1:59.1
On the girls side, Veteran Coach Larry Ward enters his 24th season with senior leaders Danie Plank , Cassie Wait, Kyra Burcham, Natalie Mitchell, McKenzie Scroggin and Jessica Cisneros leading the way.
Last year, Ward led the Lady Blazers to a third place 6A state finish. The team lost seniors Hannah Schneider and Ashlee Bilhimer and promising young sprint star Kyla Martin has moved to California.
Plank returns to defend her 6A javelin title . She had a season best throw of 145-8 inches last spring. She also placed 10th at state in the discus and 12th in the shot put.
Wait will defend her pole vault title after clearing 12-feet, 10-inches last spring. Other top seniors include Burcham ,shot put, Scroggin, 800 and 1600, and Cisneros, javelin.
Other top returnees are Jill Starling, Taylor Claybon, Aly Daniels, McKenna Douglass, Sierra Coen, Abby Clabaugh, Katie Groshong, Jordan Eubanks, Marissa Gray, Faith Jolly, and Carissa Scarff.