Panther boys win state track title

The Paola High School Panther boys’ track and field program put on a heck of a party celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Kansas Track and Field Championships, capturing a second successive Class 4A state title running away. Paola defended its 2009 title, scoring 63 points to defeat second-place Wichita-Trinity by 23 points in the May 28-29 meet. “That’s hall-of-fame-type stuff there, boys,” Paola coach Mike Smith said as the team gathered for the state championship trophy appearance. “Back-to-back state titles and you did it in the meet’s 100th anniversary.”

Paola had the meet won on the first day, scoring 55 points in the shot put, discus, long jump and triple jump.In their first field event, the Panthers went one, two, three in the shot. Luke Wilson placed first in the shot and additional gold in the discus, scoring 20 points.Garrett Appier was second in the shot and Cale Karigan was third. Karigan was fourth in the discus.Skylar Hawkins and Zach Johnson were second and third in the long jump. Anthony West was fifth in the triple jump.“Our throwers and jumpers have spring boarded us to the track all year,” Smith said. “We had a lot of meets won before we ever got to the track.

“We thought 50 points would win it,” he said. “But, I had no idea we would score 60 points again. This was a great team championship. Everyone contributed.”Hawkins had a leap of 22-4.25 for second place in the triple jump. Johnson was third with a mark of 21-9.5. West had a mark of 41-11 for fifth place.Alex Hermes was fifth in the 200-meter dash, crossing the finish line in 22.66 seconds. He ran a time of 11.12 for sixth place in the 100-meter dash.The Panthers placed sixth in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 43.87. Running the relay were Tyler Henness, Trent Teuscher, Hermes and Hawkins. Paola was seventh in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:30.87. Running the relay were Vince Hermes, Alex Hermes, Randall and Teuscher.


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