Varsity track sets records despite injuries

Micheal Simmons, Staff Writer

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Shattering school, league and even state polls is exactly what some members of the Manhattan High Varsity track team did on Thursday at the Centennial League track meet. The boys placed fourth and the girls placed second falling just 10 points shy of beating Junction City.

“It was pretty good,” head coach Jesse Woodard said. “It’s a little bitter sweet, the guys were probably not at full strength and won’t be for the rest of the year, but we competed hard and got every point we could. I’m proud and I’m always going to want more but the fact is, to see these kids compete the way they did made me proud and I’m looking forward to the next two weeks.”

Despite having seniors Josh Haus being injured and Tom Haug not competing in the high jump along with John Haug not competing in the triple jump, the boys still managed to score 91 points, falling just five points short of Shawnee Heights.

“[The injuries] have been a little disheartening but they have battled through it pretty well,” Woodard said. “We had other people step up, James Higgs [sophomore] stepped up, Sam Hankins [freshman] placed in discus, Max Kiracofe [sophomore] stepped up, we had a young group with the 4×400 who got a season best tonight. It makes me proud as a coach to see how people can step up and compete, to finish the way we did. League is bragging rights but it comes down to qualifying for state and we are doing what we need to do in order to peak at the right time

Although they finished fourth, The team still had some notable performances, including Hankins placing first in boys javelin with a throw of 205’ 11”, which is also the leading throw in the state. Senior Cara Melgares also set a new school and league record in the 1600 meter run with a time of 4:59.71. With the league events now over, the team sets their eyes on the regionals on Thursday at noon at Lawrence Free State.

“At regionals it not so much about points,” Woodard said. “Yeah of course it’s nice to win, but it’s more about getting as many people as possible to qualify for state as we can, at state I don’t know if we can compete team wise, with the guys having people injured, it just comes down to getting as many medals from state as possible, so that’s what we are shooting for right now.”

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Varsity track sets records despite injuries