WICHITA – From the start of the track season, first-year Chanute High School coach Matt Kmiec pushed his student-athletes to qualify for the Shocker Pre-State Challenge at Wichita State University for the first time. A few weeks into the season and 11 CHS athletes made it to the event and did quite well last Friday morning.
Kmiec said this event is needed to get rid of the nerves for State track.
“We are still in the grind right now, trying to get better every week with hard workouts and limited rest. The goal for this meet is to allow the athletes to see new competition in a great track and field environment,” Kmiec said. “Sometimes, if you can get an athlete to Cessna Stadium prior to the State meet, it allows some of the nerves that are associated with the first experience in that environment to be cleared out. Then the next time they are in that environment (the State meet), they can just relax and perform.”
Several of Chanute’s athletes indeed performed.
Rawley Chard in the 200m dash placed first in the Elite Division with a 22.26. Chard, William Guan, Nathan Stanley and Eric Erbe also cemented first in the 4x400m relay with a 3:36.
“It was super fun besides all the bad weather,” Erbe said. “I felt like I did well for it still being early in the season. It got me prepared by showing me what it’s going to be like and how competitive it will be.”
Also finishing first in the discus was Kolten LaCrone, who threw 132-2.
LaCrone in the 4A-6A shot put division registered second place with a 14-4.75.
Brandi Schoenhofer in the 4A-6A high jump placed third with a 4-9.
Chard, Erbe, Guan and Dagen Dean in the 4x100m relay finished fifth with a 45.09.
Camri Ranabargar, Madison Hughes, Abby Stephenson and Kynleigh Chard in the 4A-6A 4x100m relay finished sixth with a 54.29.
Schoenhofer in the 4A-6A division long jump placed seventh with a 14-10.75.
“The weather was less than ideal, but I was extremely proud of the team’s attitude and effort,” Kmiec said. “Their ability to perform no matter the conditions says a lot about their character.”
What is the Pre-State meet and what are the implications?
The event is a huge meet with high school teams from all classes from all over the state of Kansas.
“It’s a great opportunity for our athletes to be able to see athletes they usually don’t get to compete against,” Kmiec said. “It’s a meet with very tough competition.”
The meet has two divisions: 1A-3A and 4A-6A. The top eight from all classes are in the elite class. Kmiec relayed this to his team at the beginning of the year and set a mark for his athletes to reach by qualifying for this meet.
A few weeks of hard work paid dividends, as the CHS athletes stood out amongst some of the top competition in the state.
“The weather was terrible, but our kids did a great job,” Kmiec said.
Chanute’s next track meet is Thursday in Fort Scott, set to begin at 3:45 pm.