Topeka High’s do-it-all senior Richard Newman nets three first-place finishes at 6A regional

Washburn Rural sends 15 individuals, six relay teams to state

LAWRENCE — Jai’Mein Berry has the utmost faith in teammate Richard Newman.

 

Still, the Topeka High senior admits that he got a little queasy watching Newman stumble near the conclusion of his leg in the 400-meter relay finals at the Class 6A track and field regional Thursday at Free State.

“I got a little scared, my nerves,” said Berry, who runs the final leg for the Trojans. “Even the hair on my arms stood up when I saw him trip a bit. I was like, ‘Please don’t fall. Please don’t fall.’ ”

Newman didn’t disappoint — and, really, that phrase could be the slogan for the entire meet.

Newman recovered in time to complete a clean handoff to teammate Stephaun Carter, and the Trojan relay team of Newman, Carter, Berry and Corey Thomas won the 400-meter relay in 42.32 seconds.

It was the final piece of three first-place finishes on the afternoon for Newman, who also took third in the 100-meter dash. It also represented redemption for a Trojan relay squad that was disqualified at last week’s Centennial League meet following a botched handoff.

“Oh man, it’s a big relief,” Berry said of the clean run. “I was kind of worried. All the weight went off my shoulders when I got the baton. I was like, ‘All right, we’re good. I can just run, hit the finish line and we’ll be straight.’ ”

As for Newman, it’s hard to imagine the day going much better for the 6-foot-4 superstar in the making.

First, he captured the long jump with a 22-foot, 5½-inch leap. Then, he took third in the 100-meter dash, trailing Berry’s first-place time of 11.08 by just over a tenth of a second.

And in his signature event, the high jump, Newman smoked the competition with a 6-10 leap, just one inch shy of his personal best. He took three stabs at the 7-foot mark but missed it on his first and third attempts by a hair.

Both Berry and High coach Walt Alexander said they believe it is only a matter of time until the Trojan senior bests the 7-foot margin. In fact, Newman is setting his sights even higher.

“I’m totally confident in that,” Newman said. “I’m going for 7-foot, 7-1, 7-2 — yeah.”

If the conditions are right and the weather is fine, it’s a feat Alexander said he could see Newman pulling off at the best possible time — at next weekend’s state meet in Wichita.

“He’s the kind of kid that will feed off that emotion because that crowd will really get into it if he’s going for 7 feet,” Alexander said, “and I think he’ll make it.”

At the very least, Newman proved Thursday he is a good multitasker.

His participation in the 100-meter prelims meant Newman didn’t get to the long jump finals until the very conclusion of the event, in which he was required to complete all three jumps consecutively. He topped 22 feet on each to take the lead and the victory, though admittedly it wasn’t easy.

“It’s a huge challenge,” Newman said of going back-to-back-to-back. “On my first one I was like, ‘OK,’ and the second one it was like, ‘Aww, I’m tired.’ And the third one I had to jump that one; I was really not feeling it.”

The Trojans’ do-it-all athlete should get some relief at the state meet, where his four events will be significantly more staggered apart and feature longer rest periods.

“It will help him tremendously,” Alexander said. “Honestly, he’s been jumping his best when he’s getting warmed up real good too. So he’s going to be fine. I think we have a chance to do some damage at state with those kids.”

The Trojans could pull off a lot of that damage in the 100, where Berry and Newman will both be among the favorites heading in. While teammates, the two have become known for their “brotherly love”-inspired trash talk, as Berry coined it, fueled by bragging rights and the desire to be the best at everything.

Consider Alexander’s interest piqued.

“Richard knows that, fresh, he’s got a little better chance, but our whole coaching staff, they’re about 50-50 — (and) they think Newman’s going to get him (in the 100),” Alexander said. “I’ll say that Newman will never get him because Newman’s great at it, but Jai’Mein’s a little savvier in the sprints. So it’ll be an interesting race, especially if they’re both rested.”

RURAL SENDS STABLE TO STATE — Washburn Rural netted only five first-place finishes Thursday, but make no mistake: The meet was a huge win for the Junior Blues.

Rural qualified 15 individuals and six relay teams for state through various top-four finishes up and down the board, an outcome that had coach Keith Wetzel riding high.

“We’ve been fortunate to be able to qualify a lot of kids in a lot of different events, from being on the track, sprints, relays, to the jumps and the field events as well,” Wetzel said. “We’re fortunate to have a lot of different events covered.”

Perhaps no Junior Blue personifies that more than senior distance runner Pierce Flanders.

Though Flanders didn’t leave Thursday’s meet with a first-place finish, he did qualify three times for state in perhaps the most physically grueling way possible, scoring top-four finishes in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.

It was a feat of endurance Wetzel labeled “a phenomenal day.”

“I think it’s just all about having the base coming in the season, and also just not necessarily pigeonholing yourself into one event,” Flanders said. “Being able to do a little bit of everything helps.”

Flanders, who set the Centennial League record in the 1,600 last week with a time of 4:19.40, said the most rewarding part of his day was seeing the Junior Blues sweep the top three spots in the 800, which senior Michael Knapp won with a time of 2:01.96.

“That’s awesome, because those guys are all seniors and I’ve been working with ’em for all four years,” said Flanders, who finished third in the 800. “It’s really cool to see it all pay off in that one race.”

Other first-place finishers for Rural included Laurel Haley in the girls discus (131-03.5), Riley Six in the girls pole vault (9-06), Zach Chandler in the boys pole vault (14-0) and the boys 3,200-meter relay team of Brandon Hoeffner, Daniel Luke Jaramillo, Luke Bleidissel and Michael Knapp (8:14.84).

GIRLS

Team scores

Junction City 152, Manhattan 110, Free State 104, Washburn Rural 63, Wichita East 43, Wichita Southeast 36, Derby 30, Topeka High 17

Individual results (top four qualify for state)

100 — 1. Holman, JC, 12.75; 2. Herzberg, WE, 12.88; 3. Booker, JC, 12.92; 4. Johnson, Manh, 13.04.

200 — 1. Moseley, WSE, 25.19; 2. Holman, JC, 25.93; 3. Herberg, WE, 26.35; 4. Booker, JC, 26.5.

400 — 1. Moseley, WSE, 55.48; 2. Holman, JC, 59.3; 3. Smith, JC, 1:00.27; 4. Taylor, Derb, 1:00.41.

800 — 1. Melgares, Manh, 2:22.75; 2. Hertig, FS, 2:24.87; 3. Stephens, JC, 2:25.63; 4. Zenger, FS, 2:25.69.

1600 — 1. Venters, FS, 5:00.87; 2. Melgares, Manh, 5:13.92; 3. Mayfield, Manh, 5:17.36; 4. Zenger, FS, 5:20.54.

3200 — 1. Venters, FS, 10:55.87; 2. Cordes, FS, 11:39.66; 3. Melgares, Manh, 11:48.14; 4. Mayfield, Manh, 11:52.91.

100 hurdles — 1. Newman, JC, 15.46; 2. Okere, Manh, 15.88; 3. Kramer, JC, 16.68; 4. Cook, Derb, 17.36.

300 hurdles — 1. Newman, JC, 46.8; 2. Kramer, JC, 47.44; 3. Okere, Manh, 47.62; 4. Lemons, JC, 51.61.

400 relay — 1. JC (Banks, Newman, Holman, Booker), 49.0; 2. Manh (Bowyer, Johnson, Kelly, Musselman), 49.28; 3. TH (Thomas, M. McFadden, D. McFadden, Wilkerson), 52.66; 4. WR (Depperschmidt, Frederiksen, Hill, Issitt), 52.91.

1600 relay — 1. JC (Smith, Kramer, Nixon, Booker), 4:09.33; 2. FS (Thomas, Hertig, Hawkins, Childress), 4:16.49; 3. WR (Hill, Kessler, Depperschmidt, Issitt), 4:18.11; 4. Manh (Robinson, Gloria, Stewart, Sanchez), 4:18.91.

3200 relay — 1. JC (Eschilman, Stephens, Jensen, Beck), 9:59.7; 2. WR (Issitt, Sales, Miller, Kessler), 10:04.32; 3. FS (Fagan, Hertig, Cordes, Crawford-Parker), 10:09.98; 4. TH (Wagemaker, Dunekack, Malone, Swarts), 10:10.73.

High jump — 1. Dotson, JC, 5-04; 2. Banks, Manh, 5-02; 3. Moseley, WSE, 5-02; 4. Stephens, JC, 5-02.

Pole vault — 1. Six, WR, 9-06; 2. Griese, Manh, 9-0; 3. Hardesty, WR, 8-06; 4. Stokes, Derb, 8-06.

Long jump — 1. Thomas, FS, 17-11.75; 2. Kelly, Manh, 16-09.5; 3. Malone, TH, 16-07.75; Silva, Derb, 16-05.75.

Triple jump — 1. Childress, FS, 36-02.5; 2. Fallon, WR, 35-0; 3. Kramer, JC, 33-10.5; 4. Frame, WE, 33-04.5.

Shot put — 1. Same, WE, 43-07.5; 2. Love, WE, 36-0; 3. Adams, JC, 34-11.5; 4. Verge-Ingraham, WSE, 34-03.

Discus — 1. Haley, WR, 131.5; 2. Reynolds, JC, 130-11; 3. Irving, FS, 109-09; 4. Verge-Ingraham, WSE, 109-03.

Javelin — 1. Melgares, Manh, 117-11; 2. Wiebe, FS, 117-08; 3. Hazen, WR, 116-0; 4. Cushing, FS, 113-02.

BOYS

Team scores

Manhattan 106, Washburn Rural 91, Derby 85.5, Topeka High 78, Free State 78, Wichita Southeast 48.5, Wichita East 40, Junction City 30.

Individual results (top four qualify for state)

100 — 1. Berry, TH, 11.08; 2. McGee, WSE, 11.12; 3. Newman, TH, 11.19; 4. Wilson, FS, 11.42.

200 — 1. McGee, WSE, 22.5; 2. Berry, TH, 22.62; 3. Snell, WE, 23.11; 4. Starr, FS, 23.59.

400 — 1. Phillips, FS, 51.05; 2. McGee, WSE, 51.23; 3. Gustafson, Derb, 51.82; 4. Starr, FS, 51.9.

800 — 1. Knapp, WR, 2:01.96; 2. Hoeffner, WR, 2:02.78; 3. Flanders, WR, 2:03.34; 4. Bennett, JC, 2:04.62.

1600 — 1. Edwards, FS, 4:33.48; 2. Schroeder, Manh, 4:34.0; 3. Lovell, JC, 4:34.91; 4. Flanders, WR, 4:37.55.

3200 — 1. Schroeder, Manh, 10:06.61; 2. Flanders, WR, 10:11.27; 3. Henton, Manh, 10:15.55; 4. Sloan, FS, 10:17.63.

110 hurdles — 1. Saito, Manh, 14.94; 2. Brown, Derb, 15.12; 3. Richardson, Derb, 15.35; 4. Anil, WR, 16.24.

300 hurdles — 1. Brown, Derb, 39.94; 2. Saito, Manh, 40.58; 3. Lansdowne, Manh, 40.75; 4. Richardson, 40.98.

400 relay — 1. TH (Thomas, Newman, Carter, Berry), 42.32; 2. WE (C. Snell, B. Snell, Bell, Couey), 42.83; 3. WSE (Butner, Payne, Rankin, McGee), 42.84; 4. WR (Browning, Carter, Hiegert, Ladson), 43.54.

1600 relay — 1. FS (Thomas, Phillips, Cobb, Starr), 3:23.3; 2. Derb (Gustafson, Davis, Richardson, Brown), 3:26.25; 3. WE (C. Snell, B. Snell, Couey, Thornburg), 3:28.11; 4. WR (Bleidissel, Knapp, Hishmeh, Carter), 3:31.4.

3200 relay — 1. WR (Hoeffner, Jaramillo, Bleidissel, Knapp), 8:14.84; 2. Manh (Erickson, Weixelman, Hoff, Logback), 8:18.68; 3. Derb (Trempy, Sprecker, Robinette, Gilmore), 8:22.63; 4. FS (Case, Goertz, Sloan, Benkelman), 8:24.72.

High jump — 1. Newman, TH, 6-10; 2. J. Haug, Manh, 6-02; 3. Agnew, TH, 6-02; 4. T. Haug, Manh, 6-02.

Pole vault — 1. Chandler, WR, 14-0; 2. Wood, Derb, 14-0; 3. Matlock, TH, 12-0; 4. Lynch, WSE, 12-0.

Long jump — 1. Newman, TH, 22-05.25; 2. Gustafson, Derb, 22-0; 3. Ukoefreso, WE, 20-08.5; 4. Brime, JC, 20-08.

Triple jump — 1. Brime, JC, 45-04.25; 2. Bolton, WSE, 43-06.5; 3. Ukoefreso, WE, 43-0; 4. Ladson, WR, 42-02.5.

Shot put — 1. Clark, Derb, 51-0; 2. Richey, TH, 50-05; 3. Thompson, WR, 49-07.5; 4. Alesna, Manh, 46-10.5.

Discus — 1. Higgs, Manh, 156-03; 2. Thompson, WR, 148-08; 3. Cain, Derb, 148-02; 4. Cook, Manh, 146-05.

Javelin — 1. Hankins, Manh, 197-11; 2. Winsor, FS, 167-07; 3. Spain, FS, 165-08; 4. Kiracofe, Manh, 154-03.

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