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REGIONAL CHAMPS: Wildcats qualify for state in 13 events

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone

Members of the Louisburg boys track and field team hoist the regional championship trophy last Friday at Shawnee Mission North.

SHAWNEE MISSION — In what was a competitive regional, the Louisburg boys track and field team made it look easy at times.

During the Class 4A regional Friday at Shawnee Mission North, the Wildcats racked up 132.83 points and cruised to the regional title as they qualified for state in 13 events. The top four teams in each event qualified for state. 

Wamego earned regional runner-up honors with 113.33 points.

“Knowing this was a super tough meet, I just asked them to compete and focus on getting in the top four in each event,” Louisburg boys coach Andy Wright said. “They did a great job.”

Louisburg senior Mason Dobbins won two regional titles and qualified for state in four different events. Dobbins won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.91 seconds and later won the high jump after he cleared 6 feet, 4 inches.

Dobbins continued his success in the 200-meter dash as he finished third in 22.67 seconds.

“I was very happy about the outcome of the 110 hurdles and high jump,” Dobbins said. “The 200 competition was fast and it made for a great race.”

Mason Dobbins (center) and Nathan Apple finished 1-2 in the 110-meter hurdles during the Class 4A regional meet Friday.

Dobbins continued his success with a few teammates as he, Caden Caplinger, Colyer Wingfield and Ashton Moore qualified in the 4×100-meter relay.

The fastest three 4×100 teams in the state were at this regional in Bishop Miege, Topeka-Hayden and Louisburg. The three teams were neck and neck, but the Wildcats were third in 43.19 seconds.

“We knew that this is basically a look at how the 4×100 is gonna be at state and we are going to practice and tweak the things that need to be fixed so we can improve at state,” Dobbins said.

Also on the track, sophomore Jerynce Brings Plenty had a big day in the distance races as he won the 1,600-meter run in 4:36. 

Louisburg sophomore Jerynce Brings Plenty won the 1,600 run and took third in the 3,200 Friday at the Class 4A regional meet.

Brings Plenty later finished third in the 3,200-meter run and was less than a second from breaking the school record. He ran a 9:50.70 and the record is currently 9:50.60 set by Jason Rose in 2007.

“Regionals was a big field in the distance races,” Wright said. “Jerynce ran smart and did what he needed to do to be in the top 4. It (the 3,200) was probably one of the smartest races I saw him run all year.”

The Wildcats also qualified all three relays for state. Along with the 4×100, Brings Plenty, Hunter Heinrich, Colton Blue and Blaise Vohs ran a season-best time of 8:22 in the 4×800 relay and finished second.

To end the meet, the 4×400 relay of Heinrich, Colyer Wingfield, Vohs and Ethan Ptacek ran a season-best time of 3:27 and took fourth.

“With the competition, we knew that our relay teams had to be at their best,” Wright said. “The 4×8 started the meet with a big finish. 4×1 ran a solid race, just inches away from winning, and the 4×4 came in ranked sixth and knew they had to PR to get in.”

Louisburg junior Caden Caplinger won the regional title in the pole vault Friday after clearing 15-1.

In the field events, junior Caden Caplinger and sophomore Cooper Wingfield have scored big points for the Wildcats all season in the pole vault and that continued Friday.

Both vaulters cleared 15-1, along with Eudora’s Kole Manley, but based on number of misses, Caplinger won the regional title and Wingfield was second. 

Originally, meet workers had Manley winning the event, but due to some confusion, meet officials went on to change the results late in the evening.

“It didn’t mean as much winning the regional title as me and Coop taking first and second to help win the meet,” Caplinger said. “But it was nice to win it after last year coming in second.

“I felt like after the first few heights I settled in and vaulted much better. Having Coop right behind me this season has been so fun. We’ve been taking over the meets, which is just so fun and making us both better vaulters.”

Louisburg senior Nathan Vincent qualified in all three throwing events as he was second in the javelin at 184-11. He found himself out of the top four going into his final two throws, when he shot his way up to second.

Prime Accounting

Vincent was third in the discus at 147-9 and took fourth in the shot put at 49-5. 

He will have some company at state in throwing department as senior J.R. Rooney qualified for state for the first time. Rooney finished second in the shot put with a personal best toss of 50 feet.

“Nathan has been solid all year,” Wright said. “I’m excited to see what he can do with all three events when they are spread out in two days instead of four hours. 

“JR has been working hard the last four years. It’s nice to see it pay off with throwing a PR and qualifying in shot for the first time.”

Senior Nathan Apple also ran strong in his two hurdles events as he qualified in both. Apple was second in the 110-meter hurdles in 15.15 seconds.

In the 300 hurdles, Apple was the regional runner-up in a time of 40.24 seconds.

After reaching the state podium as a team the last two years (first in 2021 and third in 2022), the Wildcats will try and get back there again this Friday and Saturday at the Kansas State Track and Field Championships.

Events begin Friday afternoon and will run through Saturday at Wichita State University. The top eight in each event earn a state medal.

“We qualified 13 events and have a chance to place in all 13,” Wright said. “I am excited to see what we can do.They have been focused all week and are ready to compete this weekend.” 

Other results are: 

100 dash: J’Lee Collins, 10th, 11.92

200 dash: Collins, 7th, 25.05

400 dash: Ethan Ptacek, 7th, 51.03

800 run: Blaise Vohs, 5th, 2:05; Leo Martin, 15th, 2:15

1600 run: Martin, 8th, 5:01

3200 run: Noah Cotter, 9th, 10:33

High Jump: Isaiah Whitley, 6th, 5-10

Long Jump: Colyer Wingfield, 6th, 19-9.75; Whitley, 7th, 19-9.25; Myles Vohs, 15th, 17-4.75

Triple Jump: Wingfield, 5th, 40-10.75; Trey Myers, 13th, 36-11.5

Pole Vault: Jacob Brown, 5th, 11-1

Discus: Ben O’Bryan, 9th, 128-11; J.R. Rooney, 13th, 123-1

Javelin: Tasen Ellison, 10th, 136-1; Brecon Klugman, 12th, 130-6

Shot Put: Jaymes Melton, 10th, 44-4.5