This weekend Allen County — and the rest of the state of Kansas — will turn its attention to Wichita and the Track and Field State Championships.
All six area schools go into the meet with high expectations. Here are the top storylines and top contenders for championships for each team.
The Fillies will send two athletes to state with both of them being freshmen.
Neither Elysia Kunkler or Elka Billings are slated to medal based on their seeding times, but with each athlete showing tremendous improvement each time they hit the track, coach Dana Daugharthy may be in for some excitement.
Regardless of what the final places end up being for each of the Fillies, qualifying for state was a big step for each of them and the experience should help in their maturation as they prepare for the next three years.
Kunkler qualified in the 100-meter hurdles, 100-meter dash and long jump while Billings will go in the 800-meter run.
The Cubs are sending 11 athletes to Wichita — the most in the area — but Joe Kline stands above the rest in terms of his state meet expectations.
The senior comes into the meet as 3A’s top 800-meter runner.
Kline’s time of 2:00.22 is the standard the rest of the 3A runners will be shooting at as the senior looks for his first state championship.
Halstead’s Patrick Porch has the second-best seed time coming into Saturday’s race with a 2:01.16.
The Wildcats will get things started for the area teams early Friday morning with sophomore Hadley Splechter and junior Colin Bedell running in the 3200-meter run shortly after 8 a.m.
The pair of Wildcats come into the race as the second- and third-seeded runners.
After Spletcher took second at the state cross country meet this fall, the sophomore is hunting his first state championship on the track.
The top-seeded runner is Valley Heights senior Adrian Pishny with a 10:34.