Pete Logan
Special to The Gardner News
The Gardner-Edgerton High School girls track and field team received a dominant performance from sophomore standout Kendra Wait over Memorial Day weekend and earned their way to a 5th place finish at the Kansas 6A Track and Field State Championships at Cessna Stadium in Wichita. It was the team’s highest finish at State since 2013.
Wait turned in the weekend’s most memorable display, as she earned individual State Championships in the 100-meter dash (:12.04) and the shotput (42’11.75”), a 2nd place finish in the pole vault (11’6”), and a 4th place finish in the 200-meter dash (:25.67). Wait’s championship in the 100 meters was her 2nd straight and is a further continuation of State Championships in the Wait family. GEHS alums Kyle Wait and Cassie Wait, Kendra’s brother and sister, were each Kansas State High School Activities Association State Champions in the pole vault.
“If anyone tells you that Kendra doesn’t amaze them,” said GEHS Track and Field head coach Brian McGee, “they’re either lying, or they’re stupid. She’s absolutely sensational and as coachable as they come. She takes instuction, applies it quickly, and never has to go over it again.”
Despite volatile weather conditions that forced delays and — as a result — helter skelter event scheduling, Wait never faltered.
“Because of the way the weather forced events to fall out,” McGee said, “Kendra warmed up for pole vault, but then had to go run the 100. She won that, then went to pole vault, She was still so amped up from running and winning the 100 that we had to move her vault approach back 4 feet. She has so much amazing industry that, though she was disappointed that she got 2nd in pole vault, she just said, ‘Well, it looks like I’m going to have to go and win shot put.’ and she did it.”
For her incredible efforts, Wait was named the All-Class MVP of the 2019 Kansas State Track and Field Championships.
Yet Wait was not alone in her efforts, as several other Trailblazers helped loft the ladies’ squad to their top 5 finish.
Senior Kennedy Comstock earned 6 points for the Blazers with her 3rd place throw in the javelin (129’10”), Kylie Moorehouse brought 5 points to the cause with a 5th place in the 400-meter dash (:58.73) and by combining with senior Sariah Hull, freshman Joy Haney, and Junior Chloe Hardeman for 5th place in the 4×400 meter relay (4:06.40), and junior Morgan McIntire chalked up 4 points with her 5th place finish in the pole vault (9’6”). Hull, Haney, and Hardeman each contributed 1 point for their 4×400 finish.
The state’s top five 6A team finishers consisted of State Champ Lawrence High School with 84 points, followed by Leavenworth with 62, Olathe Northwest with 60, Mill Valley with 55.5, and GEHS with 51. The Trailblazers outpaced 6th place Topeka Washburn Rural (32) by 19 points.