Forest wins state title for Railers
WICHITA — The Newton High School track teams kept their string of state champions intact when Kenyon Forest uncorked a throw of 175-5 on his first attempt in the finals to win the javelin Thursday in the Class 5A state championships at Cessna Stadium.
Despite throwing in the first heat for seeds nine to 16, Forest entered the finals in second. Once Forest took the lead, he was never challenged.
“I really don’t know what happened,” Forest said. “I muffed my handoff in the 4x1 and I was really mad. I was kind of disappointed. Going into the final, I kind of got over that. I was excited. I had a lot of my family come down from a long ways. I felt like I wasn’t doing my part to do well for them. I kind of angered my way in and good things happened.”
Just before competition began, there was a heavy downpour of rain.
“I handled the weather a lot better than I had in the past,” Forest said. “I kind of let that get to me in the regionals, which put me way down in the seedings. I was in the first flight. I kept my head high. I felt good.”
Newton has won several shot put and discus titles through the years, but this was a rare win for the Railers in the javelin.
“I think we won one time in the 90s or 80s,” Forest said. “I think the school-record holder did it first.”
Mick finished eighth in 152-4 to claim the final medal in the event.
The Newton boys tied for 15th in the team standings. Mill Valley topped St. Thomas Aquinas for the team title 74-71. Andover was third at 59. Newton scored 16 points.
The Railer girls finished 19th in the team standings. St. Thomas Aquinas won the team title with 92 points. Kapaun-Mt. Carmel edged Mill Valley for second 55-53. Newton scored 13 points.
“It never goes exactly how you think it’s going to, but we had some good things and the kids competed really well,” Newton coach Tad Remsberg said. “We had a state champion in the javelin, which was really cool. Asha (Regier) got second in the high jump. She jumped really well. Our throwers did really well, as normal. I was proud of how the kids did today.”
For the first time in a number of years, the Railers were shut out of scoring in the running events.
“The weather played a little part of that,” Remsberg said. “We had some delays and confusion in the relay events.”
Like the rest of the state, the Railers lost last season entirely because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Newton athletes also lost the summer season.
“We talked about this a lot,” Remsberg said. “It’s like we had two freshman classes. The seniors were sophomores the last time we did it. It takes a lot to overcome that.”
Aiden Kendall medaled in the boys’ discus, finishing fifth in 152-5. Mick finished ninth at 141-5, fouling on all three attempts in the finals.
Kendall finished eighth in the shot put in 46-5 3/4 for his second medal of the day.
The team of Simon Secor, Gabriel Gaeddert, Luke Schmidt, Simon Hodge finished ninth in the 4x800-meter relay in 8:23.12, missing a medal by 1.59 seconds.
The team of Curt Claussen, Ben Crawford, Forest and Jody Perry finished 11th in the 4x100-meter relay in 43.93.
Newton’s Avery Gates finished in a six-way tie for seventh in the high jump at 6-0, but when tie-breakers were applied, Gates finished tied for 11th.
Santiago Castillo finished 13th in the 400-meter dash in 52.63.
In the 800-meter run, Hodge finished 13th in 2:02.82 and Gabriel Gaeddert finished 16th in 2:07.27.
In the 1,600-meter run, Luke Schmidt finished 14th in 4:50.34 and Kaden Anderson finished 15th in 4:53.19. In the 3,200-meter run, Schmidt finished 15th in 10:21.72 and Alexander Barnett finished 16th in 10:59.10.
For the Railer girls, Asha Regier finished second in the high jump in 5-4, two inches off the winning jump.
Regier couldn’t be reached for comment.
Hayley Loewen finished fourth in the triple jump in 36-5. Entering the finals, she was about 4 1/2 inches off the lead, although she finished 16 1/2 inches off the lead.
“I didn’t have my best meet of the season, but it was a great experience to compete at state,” Regier said. “I don’t know how far off I was from third (three inches), but I was about a foot and a half off from first. It was a close competition. It was very close going into finals.”
Loewen is a junior.
“Hopefully, I’ll come back healthy and strong,” she said. “I will be ready to compete.”
In the girls’ shot put, Enyisha Peterson finished 11th in 32-3 3/4 and Carly Anderson finished 16th in 29-8.
Olivia Antonowich placed 14th in the 400-meter dash in 1:04.89.
Natalia Varpness finished 15th in the 100-meter dash in 13.06.
The team of Olivia Antonowich, Jaymie Murry, Gracie Hendrickson, and Madelynn Hamm finished 16th in the 4x400-meter relay in 4:19.22.
Newton loses six seniors off the state contingent.
“That was a pretty strong group,” Remsberg said. “We have a pretty good junior class. We just have to keep rebuilding.”
Class 5A State Track
Team scores — St. Thomas Aquinas 92, Kapaun-Mount Carmel 55, Mill Valley 53, Leavenworth 40, Blue Valley Southwest 38, Andover Central 37, Maize South 35, Wichita-Bishop Carroll 35, Spring Hill 30, Lansing 27, Great Bend 26, Kansas City Piper 22, Maize 21, Topeka Seaman 21, Shawnee Heights 20, Andover 19, Valley Center 18, St. James Academy 15, Newton 13, Goddard Eisenhower 11.5, Basehor-Linwood 11, Bonner Springs 10, Hays 10, Emporia 10, Salina Central 9, Topeka West 9, Salina South 6, Pittsburg 6, Goddard 1.5, DeSoto 1.
Shot put — 11. Enyisha Peterson 32-3 3/4, 16. Carly Anderson 29-8.
Triple jump — 4. Hayley Loewen 36-5.
High jump — 2. Asha Regier 5-4.
100-m. dash — 15. Natalia Varpness 13.06.
400-m. dash — 14. Olivia Antonowich 1:04.89.
4x400-m. dash — 16. Newton (Olivia Antonowich, Jaymie Murry, Gracie Hendrickson, Madelynn Hamm) 4:22.64.
Team scores — Mill Valley 74, St. Thomas Aquinas 71, Andover 59, Hays 56, Kapaun-Mount Carmel 46, Andover Central 40, DeSoto 39, St. James Academy 38, Shawnee Heights 38, Leavenworth 24.5, Maize 23, Ark City 19, Spring Hill 18, Kansas City Piper 17, Bonner Springs 16, Newton 16, Blue Valley Southwest 13, Goddard 11, Highland Park 11, Emporia 11, Goddard Eisenhower 11, Topeka Seaman 8.5, Maize South 8, Basehor-Linwood 7, Lansing 6, Great Bend 6, Topeka West 6, Bishop Carroll 6, Valley Center 3.
Discus — 5. Aiden Kendall 152-5, 9. Davis Mick 141-5.
3,200-m. run – 15. Luke Schmidt 10:21.72, 16. Alexander Barnett 10:59.10.
4x800-m. relay — 9. Newton (Simon Secor, Gabriel Gaeddert, Luke Schmidt, Simon Hodge) 8:23.12.
High jump — 11. Avery Gates 6-0.
4x100-m. relay — 11. Newton (Curt Claussen, Ben Crawford, Kenyon Forest, Jody Perry) 45.28.
Shot put — 8. Aiden Kendall 46-5 3/4.
Javelin — 1. Kenyon Forest 175-5, 8. Davis Mick 152-4.
400-m. dash — 13. Santiago Castillo 52.63.
300-m. IH — 10. Creed Ekerberg 41.92.
800-m. run — 13. Simon Hodge 2:02.82, 16. Gabriel Gaeddert 2:07.27.
Mark Schnabel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org