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Wright earns four medals to lead Lady Cats at state track

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Louisburg freshman Delaney Wright reaches out for the sand pit during the long jump Saturday at the Kansas State Track and Field Championships in Wichita.

WICHITA – Coming of an impressive regional performance where she qualified in four events and broke two schools records, Louisburg’s Delaney Wright was busy last weekend at the Kansas State Track and Field Championships.

Wright may have not gotten the times or marks she had hoped, but she left Wichita with a lot of decoration around her neck. The Louisburg freshman medaled in all four events at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium.

In all, the Lady Cats medaled in eight events and racked up 28 points to finish 10th in the team standings. The finish left a good impression with the Louisburg athletes as almost all of its state qualifiers are underclassmen.

It wasn’t easy for Louisburg either as the Wildcats had to deal with numerous weather delays and didn’t get to compete till Saturday. The meet wrapped up a day later and the athletes in running events didn’t get to run in any preliminaries, while jumpers and throwers only got four attempts with no finals.

“Delays are always tough, but we weathered the storm and performed well,” Louisburg coach John Reece said. “It was an awesome long weekend. On paper, I was hoping for a little more, but with the youth we took, I could not be happier. They did great.”

Wright’s best individual event came in the 400-meter dash Saturday as she finished fourth overall in 1:00.74 and Ottawa’s Summer Spigle won the race in 59.51 seconds.

“To be able to qualify for four events was super cool and I will definitely remember my first season as a freshman,” Wright said. “Running the 400 was very difficult, but I was so nervous that I barely remember a lot of it. The competition was tough and I didn’t think I would do as well as I did. Running with all the girls from 4A was so fun and such a good experience.”

The Lady Cats saved their best performance for last as the 4×400-meter relay of Wright, Carlee Gassman, Rain Pugh and Sydni Keagle ran a personal best time of 4:12.74 to take fourth overall and was just .10 seconds behind third place Andale.

The Louisburg 4×400 relay of (from left) Carlee Gassman, Rain Pugh, Sydni Keagle and Delaney Wright ran a personal best time to medal fourth.

“I’m so proud of my 4×400 team,” Gassman said. “We had to deal with a lot of chaos, but we still stayed strong. We have so much talent and we fought for that fourth place finish. I can’t wait to see what we do next year.”

Wright would also go on to finish seventh in the 200-meter dash in 27.07 seconds. In her first event on Saturday, she was eighth in the long jump with a mark of 15 feet and 10.5 inches.

“I feel like it was rough in my two other events,” Wright said. “It was such a great experience to go to state and learn how things work as a freshman. After not competing how I wanted to in the long jump, I had to change my mindset because I had three other events.

“Our 4×400 was so fun to be a part of. We have a great team and we worked so hard this season. I was grateful to be a part of that team and stand with them on the podium.”

Gassman, a junior, also had a big meet for the Lady Cats she came away with three medals, including an individual one in the 300-meter hurdles. Gassman ran a time of 47.52 seconds to finish fourth overall.

Junior Carlee Gassman left Wichita with three state medals last weekend.

“In all honesty, I was very disappointed with my 300 race,” Gassman said. “I know I can do so much better, and knowing my time from last year was faster than first place at state this year, just tells me that I didn’t work hard enough. I am going to keep my head high and work for it next year.”

A second Louisburg relay also made its way to the medal stand. Gassman, along with Jordon Leach, Pugh and Keagle, ran a time of 50.69 seconds in the 4×100 relay to take eighth overall.

“It was great being able to go on the medal stand with the people I love and getting a medal for the 4×100 is amazing,” Gassman said. “Getting to run against girls that are so much faster than us just pushed us even more.”

In the field events, the Lady Cats earned two more medals as both Alyse Moore and Avery Graham both captured their first state medal.

In the javelin, Moore recorded a personal best for the second week in a row as she had a toss of 131-9. The Louisburg sophomore went on to finish fourth in her first state meet.

Louisburg sophomore Alyse Moore and javelin coach Alex Gentges get a picture with her state medal.

Graham also found her way to the medal stand in the pole vault. The Louisburg junior tied a personal best mark of 10 feet to take fifth overall.

“It was really nice to see both of them medal,” Reece said. “I think that is going to be a huge confidence builder for them.”

Keagle, a junior, just missed out on her first state medal by one place in the 100 hurdles. On Saturday morning, she ran a time of 16.67 seconds to take ninth overall.

Leach, a senior, competed in her final meet for the Lady Cats and came in 12th in the 100-meter dash in 12.81 seconds.

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