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From Construction to Champions

by Jay O'Neill

July 17, 2014

With construction underway on the new track at Jefferson County North High School the Track and Field team had to take to the streets of Winchester for practice this year.  In typical Kansas fashion the team persevered through snow, rain, cold, and heat culminating in 18 athletes participating in the KSHSAA State Championships in Track & Field, with two individuals bringing home gold medals.

The girls team was probably the more successful of the two teams, winning 7 of 10 meets including the new Northeast Kansas League and the Regional meet in Herington.  The girls also placed 13th in the Topeka-Seaman meet out of 22 schools which were mostly 5A and 6A schools.

The girls took 14 athletes to the State meet, while the boys took 4. Luke Pyle threw both the Javelin and Discus at State, winning the Javelin with a throw of 183’ 8” and placing 6th in the discus with a School Record throw of 146’ 1”.  Laramie Leakey also continued her School Record performance for the 4th time this year, vaulting to a first place finish in Pole Vault with an effort of 10’ 6”.  Other individual medalists were Jamie Navinskey, 3rd in Long Jump and 4th in 100m; Heather Polson, 5th in High Jump; and Randi Noll, 8th in Discus.  Additional competitors included Lauryn Baker, 400m; Hannah Twenhafel, 300m hurdles; Grace Kramer, Discus; Devon Wilson, 3200m; Elaina Tweed, High Jump; Joel Abel, High Jump; and Bryce Noll, Triple Jump. In Relays, the 4x100m Relay medaled in 6th place with Baker, Twenhafel, Jacee Kramer, and Navinskey.  Also competing were the 4x800m relay with Carissa McAfee, Amanda Wistuba, Julie Schrick, and Leakey; and the 4x400m Relay with Baker, Lyndsey Vittitow, Polson, and Twenhafel.

With no home field to practice on the coaches feel this was a fairly successful year by the number of individual and team victories, and the number that participated at the State meet.  I would also like to thank the many parents and fans who braved the wind, cold, wet, and sun throughout the season to support our athletes.  Thanks also to the administration; Mr. Bedigrew and Mrs. Jennings who supported us throughout the season and at State.  Finally the work could not be accomplished without another team, and that is the coaches who worked diligently throughout the season to help our athletes compete at the best of their abilities; Rich Leakey, sprints and hurdles, Coach McFarland, throws; and finally, in his last year at JCNHS T&F, Coach Moore in Long Jump and Triple Jump.  Jack I have appreciated the many years you have coached Track & Field and the experience that brings, and we as coaches wish you the best in retirement.

2014 Track & Field athletes are:


Seniors Molly Bassette, Bailee Deviney, Kayla Jobbins, Jacee Kramer, Laramie Leakey, Kylie Manville, Jamie Navinskey, Randi Noll, Heather Polson, Hannah Twenhafel, Sami Twenhafel, Abbie Weishaar.

Juniors Lauryn Baker, Rylie Farrar, Lyndsey Vittitow.

Sophomores Gabbi George, Carissa McAfee, Savannah Parkey, Jobi Patterson, Ella Weishaar, Amanda Wistuba.

Rookies Kenzi Bryant, Melena Cotto, Allie Hofelt, Grace Kramer, Becca Malin, Peyton Minor, Julie Schrick, Elaina Tweed.


Seniors Ty Brickell, Christian Pease, Luke Pyle, Matt Stutz.

Juniors Taylor Barnes, Tobias Hansen, Brooks Mize, Conner Norris, Casey Willyard, Devon Wilson, Austin Wolfe.

Sophomores Caigen Atzenweiler, Jake Brickell, Cole Bryant, Lane Fowler, Dakota Hutchinson, Jeremy Larson, Bryce Noll, Brian Seever.

Rookies Joel Abel, Michael Bertels, Michael Jackson, Gavin Polson, Ted Sharp, AJ Stutz, Logan Wilson.

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